TicWatch GTX Review: This Is A Surprisingly Affordable And Genuinely Stylish Smartwatch
Dropping Google’s Wear OS seems to have been a good idea, and Mobvoi was able to keep the TicWatch GTX price tag well in check. It is priced at Rs 5,999. That being said, it isn’t the most feature rich, particularly if you are looking for third party apps and call handling.
- Last Updated: October 28, 2020, 12:30 IST
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The smartwatch market is really heating up. Over the past few weeks and months, we have seen some excellent new smartwatches, across price points. The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 at one end of the price scale, the Oppo Watch somewhere in the mid-range price points and the excellent Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve priced under the Rs 10,000 mark. The common thread in both these examples? The reliance on operating systems developed by the watch makers themselves. And these are just a few examples of how aggressive the smartwatch space has been. Yet, some things never change. Google’s Wear OS remains as uninterested as ever, except for what Oppo did to make their Oppo Watch absolutely brilliant. In steps Mobvoi, with the TicWatch GTX. Not soon after the TicWatch Pro 2020. More affordable than anything we have named and reviewed this year as far as smartwatches go, since the TicWatch GTX is priced at Rs 5,999. Try to beat that!
Dropping Google’s Wear OS seems to have been a good idea, and that has meant the Mobvoi was able to keep the TicWatch GTX cost down, for starters. But before you wonder how it is as a result, let me just say that the TicWatch GTX is a fine smartwatch, as long as you don’t expect the world from the smart piece of tech around your wrist. The in-house effort on the software front has worked. Very well, in fact. In fact, Mobvoi is just the latest smartwatch maker to move away from Wear OS towards making a platform they will be able to actively update and improve.
Design: This Watch Looks So Classy, Your Friends Won’t Be Able To Guess The Price
The TicWatch GTX is a looker. In fact, this looks much more expensive than the Rs 5,999 price tag would lead you to believe. The watch body is metal, and very nicely curved spines around the round dial which itself is quite thin. At first glance, your friends may not realize you are wearing a smartwatch. The matte finish looks good and the overall build of the TicWatch GTX is something that Mobvoi has done a very good job with. This is also IP68 rated for water and sweat proofing, and this can be dunked in the swimming pool and it’ll still emerge on the other side in perfect health. The watch is paired with a 22mm sport band, which is geared more towards fitness and being able to hold up to rugged use and the elements of nature, than purely style.
At this time, there just seems to be one colour available for the TicWatch GTX smartwatch in India, and that’s the black option. To be honest, this black that Mobvoi have finally dressed the TicWatch GTX in looks really classy and sophisticated. Paired with the right watch face, this can be equally formal looking for business meetings and the serious stuff in life or geared up for the fitness tracking on a daily basis or even ready for a fun evening after work with some serious style. You get some really good ones, with a nice mix of infomational loaded watch faces and minimalist ones that focus on cool ways to show the time. The watch faces are customizable to a certain extent as well.
Display: Pretty Basic, But Gets The Job Done
This 1.28-inch TFT display won’t really win any spec sheet competitions, but it gets the job done. It is bright, has fairly good viewing angles and reproduces fairly deep blacks which has a positive impact on most of the watch faces allowing the screen to merge with the rest of the watch. That being said, this isn’t the sharpest display, something one should perhaps expect. You will notice this every time you read any text on this screen but it really shouldn’t be a problem for the most part.
Performance: Efforts With The Software Has Paid Off, But It Is Certainly Limited
The TicWatch GTX runs the Realtek RLC8762 processor, and to be honest, this is the first time I am encountering this chip in a smartwatch. The rest of specs also look quite basic—just 160KB of memory and 16MB internal storage space. Now we know how Mobvoi has been able to keep the costs down. To work on these rather basic specs, what we have running on board the TicWatch GTX is something that the company has made in-house. It’s quite basic, one has to be straightforward about it. There are no frills, no application stores filled with third-party apps and no complex series of features. Yet, everything feels snappy. The TicWatch GTX boots up in mere seconds. Swipe gestures give you the next screen without much delay, albeit you will notice a slightly laggy transition animation from time to time.
You won’t find third party apps for the TicWatch GTX but on its own, this watch has pretty much all the features that you may want. Music player, notifications, the ability to disconnect incoming calls in your paired phone, stopwatch, sleep tracker, weather app, heart rate app as well as 14 different exercise modes that you can quickly get started with as well—outdoor runs, cycling, swimming, walking, yoga and more. No costs have been cut on the essentials, and the TicWatch GTX has a heart rate sensor that logs your active and resting heart rate all through the duration you are wearing the watch. If you are okay with wearing a smartwatch to bed, this can also do sleep tracking for you, with metrics on the quality of sleep.
Battery: Charge It And Forget About It, For A Few Days
The TicWatch GTX draws pretty robust battery life from the 200mAh battery. The simplicity of the OS and the frugality with which it works got me 9 days on a single charge, without the power saver mode and with a bit of fitness tracking but mostly worn as a watch.
The Last Word: The TicWatch GTX is Surprisingly Affordable But Somewhat Limited
In the real world, all things considered, the TicWatch GTX doesn’t genuinely have a like for like competition in and around the Rs 5,999 price point. What you get at this price point is a lot of genuinely good fitness bands. And also, some basic smartwatches that really are a compromise, all things considered. But none of the rival super affordable smartwatches really match the slickness and the well-rounded package that is the TicWatch GTX. It doesn’t have GPS and Wi-Fi built in, and you need to rely on your phone for the most part. That is hardly a shortcoming. The TicWatch GTX ticks off the style quotient better than any of its rivals. It has a slick operating system doing a very neat job and the long battery life means you only have to reach for the charger every few days. Not bad, for an affordable smartwatch that gets you into the smart wearables game.