Ticwatch 2 is a Kickstarter project that was backed by close to 10,000 people raising close to $2.1 million. It is easy to see the allure of the Ticwatch 2 as it brings together premium features and a wallet-friendly price tag.
Design and Display
The Ticwatch 2 has a round shape and most of the watch face is taken up by the screen. The company has avoided Fitbit’s mistake with its own smartwatch design, where the screen is made smaller to make way for the Fitbit logo below.
The Ticwatch 2’s display measures 1.4 inches. The watch case is 1.65 inches in diameter and is 0.47 inches thick. Ticwatch 2 is also very light, weighing only 44 grams. Do whatever exercise you want and the Ticwatch will not impede your movements. You can even forget that you are wearing the watch! Plus, it uses a liquid silicone band, which makes it very comfortable to wear.
There are several design schemes available. For instance, the Ticwatch 2 “Charcoal” has a black anodized aluminum case, black liquid silicone rubber strap, and anti-scratch screen. The “Snow” has a silver case and white strap, while the “Oak” has a stainless steel case and brown genuine leather strap.
You can also choose the “Onyx,” with black plated stainless steel case and black stainless steel bracelet strap.
The Ticwatch 2 certainly has a good set of features, with some unique functionality that makes it a great contender among smartwatches. Some of the notable features and functions of the Ticwatch 2 are:
- Fitness Tracking:
The Ticwatch 2 makes use of different sensors: acceleration sensor, dynamic optical heart rate sensor, gyroscope, Glonass, and GPS sensors. The Ticwatch 2 can monitor your heart rate and count the steps you take, among other things. With the Glonass and GPS sensors, you get more satellite coverage and more accurate location readings. Unlike other fitness trackers and smartwatches, the Ticwatch 2 has its own Sports App on the watch itself. The smartwatch app will be able to track a variety of activities and allow you to set your goals. You can also see all of your data on the Ticwatch 2 itself. If you prefer to use a mobile app for your fitness data, you can sync your smartwatch to apps such as Runkeeper, Strave, or Google Fit.
- Water Resistance:
The Ticwatch 2 is also water-resistant, which means that it will be safe even when you sweat a lot. It is dust-resistant, too.
- Smart Features:
The Ticwatch 2 gives you all the smart features that you have come to expect from smartwatches. You can get notified if there are calendar events, SMS and calls that you receive on your phone. You can also reply to these SMS messages and calls and even set appointments. The Ticwatch 2 can really help you be more productive and connected. What’s more, the Ticwatch 2 has quick cards for the information that is important to you, as well as a range of stock apps and downloadable apps to ensure that it does what you want your smartwatch to do.
Leave Your Smartphone at Home:
Some people might prefer leaving their phones at home when they go running or biking, or when they work out, and with the Ticwatch 2, you can. The watch has an embedded GPS sensor that will be able to accurately track your location when you run.
It also stores music files on the watch itself, so that you can enjoy your favorite tunes while you work out. The Ticwatch 2 has 4 gigabytes of space for your apps and music.
- Battery Life:
The Ticwatch 2 uses a 300 mAH battery that gives you up to two days of running time. You can recharge the watch wirelessly and it only takes an hour and twenty minutes to charge it fully.
- Always on Mode:
By default, the Ticwatch 2’s display is not always on. You can tilt your hand to wake up the screen and drop your arms to your sides to dim it. But you can always turn on the ‘low power always’ mode on if you want.
The Ticwatch 2 runs on a 1.2 GHz dual-core MT 2601 processor, which makes it at par with entry-level Android Wear devices. The processor is quite fast with the very little toll on the battery life. Plus, you have the linear motor that alerts you when there are notifications received.
The Ticwatch 2 also has noise-canceling microphone and speakers for you to be able to make and receive calls on the smartwatch itself. What other features are there?
- Over-the-air upgrades that will introduce new features and functionalities to your watch.
- The Ticwatch 2 automatically locks its screen when you take it off your wrist.
- Find my phone
- Preloaded watch faces
The Ticwatch 2 offers a lot of ways for you to interact with your smartwatch. Obviously, you can use the touch display to go through different screens on the watch. You can also:
- Tickle Navigation:
One of the things that make the Ticwatch 2 unique is the Tickle strip at the side of the watch. It is a more intuitive way to interact with the smartwatch that allows users to navigate through screens and app menus. It also allows you to zoom in or out, and even control the volume.
- Voice Commands:
The Ticwatch 2 is always listening for you to say “Ok Tico.” Once you utter this activation phrase, the watch will wait for your commands. You can ask it for restaurant recommendations, make a phone call, reply to SMS messages, call an Uber, or even check the weather forecast.
- Gesture Control:
Tilting your arm to wake up the display is just one of the many gestures that the smartwatch recognizes. Additionally, you can activate the voice assistant when you flip your wrist twice. If you receive a call, you can flip your wrist to answer the call, and then end the call by flipping your wrist twice. When browsing a Web site, flipping your wrist will take you to a previous menu. Flicking your wrist will also open some functionalities. Flick the watch away from you to read timeline messages. Flick it towards you and you will see the Quick Cards, which will show you the information you need such as the current weather, temperature, and forecasts, among others. If you are listening to music, you can tap on the watch twice to shuffle your songs.
Mobvoi, the company behind the Ticwatch, is composed of key members who are AI experts, former employees of Nokia and Google, researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Cambridge, as well as people from different Chinese Internet companies.
More than 60% of their employees are engineers. With that kind of credentials, people are expecting a lot when it comes to the technology that this company can develop. The Ticwatch 2 uses the Ticwear OS for its operating system. Ticwear OS is a proprietary operating system that was created out of a necessity.
The company cannot use Apple’s proprietary Watch OS, while Android Wear was banned in China at the time it was developing its first smartwatch. So the Chinese company had to create its own operating system.
The Ticwear OS is based on Android Wear but was not limited by Google’s design limitations. It is this design limitation that made Fitbit decide against using Android Wear for its Ionic smartwatch. The company chose to create its own Fitbit OS instead.
Fitbit already has 23 million active users now. With close to 19.2% of wearables market share, that is something that mobile app developers would really want to get into.
Ticwear, however, does not have that leverage. This means that there might be a problem with the available apps that you can download for it. The good news is that the company is aware of this and has created hackathons to encourage developers to come up with usable apps for its platform.
The company also has its own SDK available for download. Nevertheless, it remains a problem. So much so that the company used Android Wear for its more recent smartwatches, such as the Ticwatch S and E.
The good news is that the Ticwear OS is new and it gets a lot of regular updates. The company is also very responsive to user inputs, so expect to see your feedback on certain features or feature requests included in one of the updates.
What Could Be Better?
The Ticwatch 2 is rated IP 65, which means that it is safe from dust, water splashes, and washdowns. However, you cannot take it swimming.
Also, the Ticwatch 2 works on both Android and iOS devices. But there are some functionalities that are available on one, but not the other. For instance, you can get third-party watch faces with an Android device, but not when you pair your Ticwatch 2 with an iOS device.
This means that if you’re using an iPhone, you will be limited by the pre-installed watch faces that are available to you. Fortunately, new watch faces are sometimes added when an over-the-air update happens.
Also, if you use an Android device, you can dictate your replies to SMS messages and get third-party application cards.
Final Say About the Ticwatch 2
There are some things that you can find in more recent smartwatches that you will miss on the Ticwatch 2, such as the NFC payments and the standalone 3G or 4G connectivity. You also cannot take it swimming. But we are willing to bet that you would not really mind it as much.
The Ticwatch 2 is available on Amazon at $199 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), with some models selling for $100 more.
The attractive price, however, is not the only thing that the Ticwatch 2 has going for it. It has some unique features, such as the Tickle navigation, and the voice and gesture command, that you simply cannot find in most other smartwatches.
What’s more, it tracks your fitness and keeps you connected, and it does both of these rather superbly. The only downside here is that it may take a while for its own app store to fill up.
If you are looking for a highly capable smartwatch that is loaded with features, then you should really consider the Ticwatch 2.