The wearable marketplace, particularly the smartwatch space, has been seeing Apple dominate the competition with the Apple Watch series blending in with the entire Apple ecosystem. Google, on the other hand, has been trying to revive its smartwatch division, by renaming Android Wear to WearOS and by pushing a couple of updates to the onboard Google Assistant. With the leaks of a Pixel Watch to be launched alongside the Pixel phones later this year, there still seems to be some hope for WearOS to catch up to the competition offered by Apple and Fitbit.
Mobvoi, a Chinese specialist AI company had launched a couple of WearOS smartwatches, the Ticwatch S and E through a successful kickstarter campaign back in 2017. The smartwatches were pretty much well-received thanks to a considerably low price tag compared to the likes of the Huawei Watch 2 or other smartwatches from Google’s premium brand partners like Fossil or Michael Kors. But the gripe that literally everyone using a WearOS device has is its battery life, and the same was with the Ticwatch series as well.
To overcome this problem, Mobvoi is said to launch a new smartwatch powered by WearOS, namely the Ticwatch Pro. The USP of this particular device is the new FSTN LCD display which is used when the watch is idle in order to save power.
While the watch is in use to perform WearOS based tasks like reading notifications or changing your music tracks or using navigation, the conventional OLED display will be used. While the watch is not in use, the OLED display turns off and a transparent display takes its place displaying just the vital information including the time, date, steps taken, heart rate etc. According to Mobvoi, this should help the battery last two extra days when compared to other smartwatches. There’s also an ‘Essential’ mode which will completely turn off the WearOS functionality and give you just the information that is expected from a normal wristwatch.
Do note that we have seen a similar implementation with the Casio WSD F-10 outdoor smartwatch which was released way back in 2016, which also packed two displays, but ran them simultaneously as opposed to the approach adopted by Mobvoi.
Other features of the watch include NFC for contactless payment, a heart rate scanner and possibly even a SIM slot for LTE connectivity. It will be interesting to see if Mobvoi decides to go with Qualcomm’s newer chips for smartwatches expected to release sometime soon or stick to the Mediatek ones it used in the previous iterations.
Mobvoi says the smartwatch should cost somewhere around the $300 mark and should pose good competition to the upcoming Pixel watches.