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Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5
What we like
What we don't like
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5
The TicWatch family finally joins the Wear OS elite with a device that supports Google’s latest software. The watch also introduces Qualcomm’s newest chipset to deliver faster processing and fantastic battery specs. It even takes a useful design cue from outside the Android smartwatch family. But does piecing together a device with a variety of solid parts work? Find out how this combination of improvements performs in our Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 review.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 review: What you need to know
- Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5: $349.99 / £329.99 / €329.99 / CA$469.99
If you’ve been anxiously waiting for a Mobvoi TicWatch boasting the best Wear OS has to offer, the time has finally arrived. Despite initial rumors that older devices would have the update by now, the TicWatch Pro 5 is the first watch to hit wrists with the newest software. It even couples the powerful ecosystem with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1, an upgrade we’ve been eagerly anticipating since summer 2022. The result is a faster smartwatch experience with greater processing power and improved power efficiency. Add in 2GB of RAM and 32GB of memory, and the device is built to perform. It’s also built to last with 5ATM water resistance and a MIL-STD-810H durability rating.
From a hardware standpoint, the watch features a new digital crown for easier navigation and interaction. Now users can scroll through apps, tiles, menus, and more without utilizing the touchscreen. That said, the screen remains one of the device’s highlights thanks to Mobvoi’s unique power-saving dual display with customizable backlights. The latest model displays even more key stats in essential modes, offers colorful heart rate zone indications during workouts, and boasts thousands of customizable watch faces.
Users will also find more than 100 workout modes, all-day health and activity monitoring, sleep tracking with added data fields, and useful training metrics such as VO2 max and recovery time. Thanks to Wear OS, smartwatch features include Google Maps, Google Wallet, Google Pay, and of course, the Google Play Store.
The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 launched on May 24, 2023, for $349.99. It is available in a single case size as well as a single color: Obsidian. It can be found on sale from Mobvoi or from third-party retailers such as Amazon.
What I like about the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5
In a growing field of durable-yet-attractive devices, the TicWatch Pro 5 makes a case for itself. The design is reminiscent of past lineups with a familiar steel bezel and aircraft-grade aluminum case. It’s neat, lightweight, oversized, and contemporary. It’s slightly bulkier than its predecessor at 50.15 × 48 × 12.2mm compared to 47 × 48 × 12.3mm, but I still found it to be quite comfortable. However, it takes a sleek departure when it comes to buttons, dropping the dual set of protruding dials found on the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra in favor of one actionable digital crown and one button. Where that watch’s dials spun to no consequence, the TicWatch Pro 5 actually has an effect, as well as satisfying haptic feedback.
Apple didn’t invent the wheel when it popularized digital crowns, but it certainly struck gold. Following in the footsteps of the Google Pixel Watch, Mobvoi adding this useful navigation tool isn’t necessarily a surprise. However, with the risk of sounding biased, this was a fantastic adoption of a great feature. Zipping through the TicWatch Pro 5’s upgraded software is pleasant and speedy. After sweaty workouts or sunscreen-required outings, it’s crucial not to have to rely on a touchscreen to use your watch effectively.
The TicWatch Pro 5's digital crown isn't original, but it is highly effective.
My only regret is that Mobvoi chose to highlight the crown with a red circle. I was so happy to see Apple drop this practice and let its crowns blend seamlessly with Apple Watch cases. Unnecessarily introducing color is a singular pet peeve of mine. One, because I dislike red, and two, because I abhor when things don’t match.
The watch also brings back military-grade durability and Gorilla Glass scratch protection over its display. After two weeks of testing, I haven’t made any dings or scratches despite forgetting to remove the TicWatch Pro 5 when gardening and when building a surfboard rack. The watch is also water resistant to 5ATM and suitable for open-water swimming, so you can finally take your TicWatch out to sea. If swimming isn’t your thing, it offers more than 100 alternative workout modes as well. That’s in addition to stress tracking, Vo2 Max, and recovery time metrics, so you can make the device a staple gym companion.
Meanwhile, the 1.43-inch touchscreen is responsive and attractive, with vibrant colors, clear text, and thousands of watch faces to browse. I grew partial to an animated space-themed one but the options are endless. Like other smartwatches, you can also swap watch faces on the device, so it’s easy to mix up your look if a situation calls for it.
I’m also still a big fan of Mobvoi’s dual-display function, which drops the watch into its battery-saving mode with a black-and-white display when not in use. Now you can also choose more details to add to this secondary display so you don’t have to switch modes to view key health metrics, notifications, or your compass. The extra data fields are a subtle but significant addition. The backlight is also still customizable if you want to add a specific hue to your low-power mode.
The TicWatch Pro 5 has the Mobvoi fan-favorite, customizable dual display, now with even more metrics in low power mode and colorful heart rate zone monitoring.
On the TicWatch Pro 5, Mobvoi also adds new heart rate zone backlights when using the secondary display during workouts. These backlights correlate with your heart rate during workouts. Once you memorize the color key, you can check your heart rate zone at a glance. This lets you see if you are in the zone for warm-up, fat burn, cardio, etc. I love this feature from a convenience perspective. I found it much easier to stay on target during cycling as well as running workouts.
My only gripe is that the colors follow the rainbow in reverse, with one odd exception. The anaerobic is purple, right between cardio, which is orange, and dangerous, which is red. It seems like a strange choice not to stick with a natural progression of color. Then again, this review is maybe too heavily focused on my opinions about colors.
Beyond the display(s), the TicWatch Pro 5 finally brings the latest Wear OS to Mobvoi users’ wrists. Considering the software still hasn’t arrived on older TicWatches, this puts the new addition well ahead of the pack. In fact, it’s the first realistic Galaxy Watch 4 or Galaxy Watch 5 series competitor the company has in its stable. The Wear OS ecosystem opens the device to the top apps and services for Android wearables. These include Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions, Google Wallet for on-the-go payments, and the Google Play Store for everything else.
Of course, the real highlight of the TicWatch Pro 5 is the double upgrade to Wear OS 3.5 and Qualcomm's Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 platform.
Of course, the operating system runs smoothly and efficiently on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 platform, which debuts for the first time on this watch as well. Swiping through tiles and spinning through menus is a breeze, especially with the added digital crown.
You can also use the tactile dial to adjust the volume or zoom in and out on maps. On that front, the watch boasts multi-band GNSS as well as a barometer and a compass, like its predecessor.
The GPS on the newest TicWatch proved fairly accurate. It recorded nearly the exact same total distances as both my Garmin Forerunner 265 and Apple Watch Ultra. It did waver on some runs in terms of my specific position on the road, but it is likely satisfactory for most users. Thanks to the new Mobvoi Health app, users can head over to their paired phone to review workout and health data. The app is simplistic compared to other companion apps, but it’s also intuitively organized with color-coded charts and graphs that make it easy to analyze your stats. You can tap into everything from activity and sleep data to heart rate and Vo2 Max analysis.
The new Mobvoi Health app is simple but effective and very easy to digest.
Mobvoi Health certainly gives users interested in activity tracking plenty to look at. It may not be on par with an athlete-centered platform like Garmin, but it’s great for regular gymgoers. As mentioned, I very much enjoyed using the heart rate zone backlight function on the device during workouts and then analyzing the details post-sweat session in the app. The app also allows third-party data binding with Google Fit and Strava. However, I had occasional issues getting my workouts to sync with the latter. Nevertheless, it’s a huge improvement over previous versions of Mobvoi’s companion app that have often let the great hardware down.
In light of its upgraded processor and its power efficiency improvements, as well as the 628mAh battery, the watch can also stay on users’ wrists a little bit longer. According to Mobvoi, a full charge should last up to 80 hours in Smart Mode or up to 45 days in Essential Mode. As always, battery life varies with usage, and I was able to hit closer to 70 hours with typical use and workout tracking. Still, that’s a fantastic spec, especially compared to competitors like the Pixel Watch or Apple Watch.
What I don’t like about the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5
Starting at the wrist, the strap on the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 isn’t anything to write home about. We didn’t get the textured finish of the Movboi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, nor the accent stitching of the Pro 3. The flat, standard silicone is a bit cheap looking, especially compared to the case. It’s also a dust magnet. Or I’m a dust magnet and it suffers by proximity.
Fortunately, the spaces on this model are closer together than in the past, making it easier to get a snug fit. It’s also plenty comfortable and very easy to swap out with any other 24mm strap, thanks to its quick-release design. Fortunately, if you don’t mind the look, the band is comfortable as is, even for wearing to bed. Unfortunately, that brings me to the device’s second shortcoming.
In a classic case of if it’s broke, please fix it, I was really hoping to see Mobvoi improve its sleep-tracking platform. Granted, in a few ways, the company did so, covering tons of data points and metrics. In addition to tracking sleep stages, the watch offers overnight heart rate recordings, blood oxygen monitoring, respiration rate tracking, and useful insights. It records naps, and all of the data is presented clearly on the device or in the companion app. Mobvoi even offers more sleep aid tools and trend data if you’re willing to pay for a VIP membership. Where it struggles is accuracy.
The TicWatch Pro 5's sleep tracking measurements offer more details and useful insights, but still struggle in terms of accuracy.
On each night of this Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 review period, I tracked my sleep on four different devices: the watch itself, an Apple Watch Series 8, an Oura Ring 3, and a Withings Sleep Mat. Each morning three of those devices provided very similar results for total time asleep and time spent in each sleep stage. The TicWatch, on the other hand, consistently measured much more sleep than all the others, sometimes by nearly an hour. I am all for extra sleep, but it doesn’t help me if I don’t actually experience the rest.
All that said, the TicWatch Pro 5 does offer sleep mode in the quick menu. Now with a downward swipe and a tap of the moon icon, you can ensure no flashing screens wake you up in the middle of the night, as we experienced with the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra.
Finally, I was really hoping to see Mobvoi make its way to wireless charging. Instead, we’re left with the same bean-shaped proprietary charger and a USB cable. Though it gets the job done, it’s not nearly as refined as a charging pad that lives on your desk like an adorable parking stall for wearables. Fortunately, the watch does offer fast charging capabilities, so you shouldn’t have to get too cozy with the cable. It can power from zero to 65% in just thirty minutes. In my experience, it easily hit 100% in under an hour.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 specs
|Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5|
1.3-inch AMOLED + ultra-low-power display
466 x 466 resolution
50.1 x 48 x 12.2mm
Metal, aluminum, and nylon with fiberglass
Proprietary magnetic charger
Qualcomm Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1
Wear OS 3.5
GPS, Beidou, Glonass, Galileo, QZSS
HD PPG heart rate sensor
Low-latency off-body sensor
Skin temperature sensor
5ATM, Open water swim
Should you buy the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5?
The TicWatch Pro 5 has a lot to offer, especially to anyone who’s already a Mobvoi enthusiast. It’s currently the only wearable from the company with the best of Wear OS on board. Likewise, its processing chip provides a smooth, glitch-free experience. It’s also attractive, lightweight, and easier than ever to navigate, thanks to the new digital crown. Performance-level durability specs keep the watch on trend with the growing adventurer’s market, and it checks off all the basics in terms of health and fitness tracking.
In short, it’s a solid device and we’d recommend giving it a look. Though its launch price is higher than that of its predecessor, it’s a fairly reasonable ask. In fact, it lands at the same price as the Google Pixel Watch. If you’re upgrading from a much older TicWatch, you’ll likely find the purchase well worth its cost. If you already own a TicWatch eligible for a future Wear OS 3 update, whether it’s worth upgrading is a tougher call. It’s hard to say how much longer you’ll be left waiting.
On the other hand, competition is not getting any lighter out there. Naturally, there are pros and cons to most smartwatches. The TicWatch offers great battery life compared to the Pixel Watch ($329 at Amazon). However, its native health and fitness apps don’t stand a chance against the Fitbit integration Google offers. Similarly, it’s more affordable than the ultra-durable Galaxy Watch 5 Pro ($374 at Amazon) but doesn’t offer the same level of health monitoring for Samsung phone users.
If you’re in the very small, strange camp of iOS users looking for something other than an Apple Watch, the TicWatch Pro 5 offers compatibility you won’t find on Samsung or Google’s offerings. However, the app experience isn’t quite as strong and the iPhone integration is not even close.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 review: FAQs
Yes, however, some TicWatch Pro 5 features like quick-reply are only available with Android phones.
The TicWatch Pro 5 is made in Beijing, China.
The TicWatch Pro 5 supports on-wrist phone calls when a paired phone is within Bluetooth range.
Yes, the TicWatch Pro 5 supports digital payments.
Unfortunately, it does not. You must charge the TicWatch Pro 5 with its proprietary cable.
The TicWatch Pro 5 tracks sleep stages as well as heart rate, blood oxygen, respiratory rate, and skin temperature during sleep.
The TicWatch Pro 5 is compatible with Android phones running Android 8.0 or later.