Mobvoi TicWatch GTH check: Worse than simply an Apple Watch low cost

“The derived design and poorly executed software of the Mobvoi TicWatch GTH make it impossible to recommend, even though it’s cheap. It’s hard to believe that it comes from the same company as the excellent TicWatch Pro 3. ”

  • Comprehensive sensor array

  • Derivative design

  • Questionable tracking accuracy

  • Uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time

  • Outdated software

Have you been looking for a cheaper, slower, less accurate, and less attractive Apple Watch tee? Good news if you have, because Mobvoi’s TicWatch GTH will suit you perfectly. It costs only $ 80 and looks pretty similar to Apple’s smartwatch, but that’s where the similarities end. If for some reason you’re not just buying one of the many very good fitness bands for less or one of the far better smartwatches for a bit more, let’s talk about where the TicWatch GTH gets it all wrong in more detail.

design

What is there to say The TicWatch GTH outrageously copies the familiar shape of the Apple Watch. It is a bit smaller overall, has a 10 mm thick case and is only available in a matte black. The crown is in the same location as the digital crown on the Apple Watch, which even Oppo avoided on the Apple Watch-like Oppo Watch, but here it’s a simple button. The 20 mm wristband is made of TPU and is attached with quick release pins. The case is apparently made of metal, but feels great like plastic.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

It’s not very comfortable to wear. I noticed that the plastic wrap will soon get hot and itchy even if I don’t do any exercise. The strap slips around my wrist unless it’s pulled tight enough that I cut off circulation and the holder refuses to stay in place, meaning the end of the strap folds around underneath your cuff. It couldn’t be better if the 1.55-inch screen lights up with 360 x 320 pixels, as this exposes the massive bezel around it.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Positive? The glass above the screen has a pleasing 2.5D curve that makes it easy to wipe, and the case is swim-proof with a water resistance of 5 ATM. It really is. What bothers me most about the TicWatch GTH isn’t that it’s a cheap imitation of the Apple Watch or that it’s not very nice to wear. It’s a more expensive version of the humble Willful smart watch I recently tried. It costs $ 36 on Amazon, but it’s no better in terms of design and convenience. In a way, it’s even worse.

Health surveillance

The TicWatch GTH is filled with sensors – its only real redemption function – at least when taken at face value. They monitor your heart rate, blood oxygen levels and, unusually, skin temperature. The skin temperature monitor is definitely something we don’t see often in wearables. It is either activated in the TicHealth suite of apps on the watch or can be automatically monitored along with heart rate and blood oxygen throughout the day.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The question is, why should you need to know your skin temperature? The temperature of the body’s largest organ is different from your internal temperature, which tells you about a fever when measured with a thermometer. While skin temperature can indicate changes in temperature, it can be due to environmental and nutritional reasons. It combines the SpO2 blood oxygen values ​​and respiratory rates as health data that are provided on the TicWatch GTH but are not adequately explained by Mobvoi.

If you fill the watch with sensors and want to rate it crucially for every Mobvoi, please make an effort to explain why we need to know all of this, please. A map displayed on the watch gathers all the sensor data ready to inform or worry you depending on how you view that type of information, and a vaguely descriptive phrase about the function itself doesn’t count. I couldn’t test the accuracy of the skin temperature monitor, but it never alerted me that I was either too hot or too cold. So I’m assuming that I’m fine and that it is functioning normally. The heart rate monitor and the blood oxygen sensor gave almost identical results as the Apple Watch Series 6.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The workout is recorded on the watch and there are a variety of options including running, swimming, yoga, and mountaineering. When compared with the Apple Watch during a 30-minute workout, the TicWatch GTH recorded a slightly lower heart rate throughout and in the final report significantly fewer calories – around half – were burned. A software update may improve accuracy in the future, but right now the training data may not reflect how hard you are actually working. Since there is no GPS on board, this is not a tracker for serious athletes or athletes.

Another important note. Mobvoi has taken a step back from linking GTH sensors to COVID-19 detection, which was hinted at in the early press materials. On the product side, however, the company says it is working with Carnegie Mellon University on a system that will use the GTH’s sensors to detect the disease at an early stage. Due to the accuracy of the training tracking and the lack of an explanation of how the sensors work now, I will not trust the GTH with my ongoing health in the near future.

software

You use the Mobvoi app to connect the watch to your phone. It also collects all of your exercise data and displays a dashboard with data taken from the watch’s sensors. The watch uses Mobvoi’s own software, which is reminiscent of the system of some early Amazfit wearables, as the menu is a vertically scrolling list and “maps” with information such as weather and training details are displayed on the left and right of the main screen.

mobvoi ticwatch gth review notifications

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

mobvoi ticwatch gth review training

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

mobvoi ticwatch gth reviews menu

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

mobvoi ticwatch gth review activity

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

While the speed is reasonable, the software looks and feels outdated. A good example is changing the watch face, an action performed in the app because it takes an excruciating 2 minutes and 2 seconds to transfer and apply a new watch face to the watch. I know because I timed it. The first Amazfit smartwatches I used took a similarly long wait, but that has changed since then. Mobvoi is obviously happy to be completely behind the times.

Carrying and using the TicWatch GTH is often frustrating and not very rewarding

Notifications are accompanied by a weak vibrating alert and not all apps are supported. Outlook and Teams are missing from the list even though they are installed on my phone, for example. The information displayed varies from displaying most of the text to nothing outside of waiting for a message. You can’t interact with notifications.

The watch does not have an ambient time display and you have to press the button to wake up the screen as there is no option to tap the screen. The raise-to-wake function works, but is very slow to respond. Although the screen has a decent pixel density, the quality of the text and images varies. Notifications look a lot more pixelated than other menus, so the operating system isn’t done yet, for example.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Bluetooth range is also quite short, and the watch gets disconnected from my phone a lot. The connection doesn’t always reconnect without me going into the app and forcing it to do so. Carrying and using the TicWatch GTH is often frustrating and not very rewarding. This situation is not supported by software that feels out of date compared to the competition.

battery

The TicWatch GTH has a 260 mAh battery which, according to Mobvoi, lasts 10 days before it needs to be charged. This seems accurate, but one irritating flaw makes it difficult to judge battery life. The battery indicator on the watch constantly shows a full charge, while in the app it remains about three quarters full. Not helpful and doesn’t include a percentage counter either. Hence, it is impossible to judge when to think about recharging until the battery is almost empty.

Price and availability

You can buy the TicWatch GTH now for £ 80 or £ 70. It is available directly from Mobvoi’s own website or from Amazon.

Our opinion

The TicWatch GTH makes me angry. I like the addition of the temperature sensor above the heart rate and blood oxygen monitor. It may help us better assess our overall health, and it’s great to see it in an affordable wearable. Except that its inclusion here is done so badly that the value has been lost.

Mobvoi does not adequately explain why we should use or trust these sensors or how best to interpret the results. After comparing the GTH to another smartwatch, there are concerns about accuracy in a few areas. It doesn’t instill much confidence or encourage me to wear the watch all the time. Not that I want to wear it all the time. The derivative design turns off instantly, the bezels around the screen make it look even cheaper than it actually is, and the strap is uncomfortable so I don’t want to wear it overnight to keep track of sleep.

Almost no matter how much you’re looking to spend, dozens of wearables will be vying for your attention, and almost all of them are better buys than the TicWatch GTH. That it came from the same company behind the TicWatch Pro 3 smartwatch, one of our top picks, is as confusing as it is frustrating.

Is there a better alternative?

Yes very much. If you’re looking for a simple, reliable fitness tracker, the Honor Band 6 and Xiaomi Mi Band 6 cost less and offer better performance. The $ 60 Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 may be a bit old, but it’s more comfortable and looks better. Happy to spend more? Make your choice from our list of the best fitness trackers.

If you want a smartwatch, we recommend spending a little more and getting the $ 130 Amazfit GTS 2e, which has a far more attractive design and better software. That’s when you want to spend the minimum. If you own an iPhone, buy an Apple Watch – the Apple Watch SE is fine – and if you have an Android phone, Samsung’s wearables are very good too. Samsung itself is currently only charging $ 180 for the Galaxy Watch Active 2, so there are deals available.

While the TicWatch GTH is cheap, the savings you get from purchasing it don’t translate into a satisfying home ownership experience.

How long it will take?

Because of its water resistance and durable metal case, the TicWatch GTH should withstand harsh treatment, and the strap can be easily replaced if it breaks. The software needs to be fine-tuned now, but no updates have come in during my time with the watch. If you can decide to buy and live with the software, which may remain unchanged, it should remain technically relevant for a few years given the extensive array of sensors.

Should you buy one?

No. The design of the derivatives, concerns about accuracy, and frustrating software have put it way behind the competition regardless of cost.

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