TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS review – jack of all trades!

a close up of a watch

The phrase “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one” perfectly encapsulates my experience using the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS Smartwatch

The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra is a watch that plays an almost perfect balancing act among smart wearables. A great fit for someone who wants a little bit of everything – and maybe not so much for someone who wants the best version of a specific feature.

TicWatch Pro 3 video review

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First impressions of the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smartwatch

  • The 1.4″ OLED Display is very bright and responsive.
  • At $299, it isn’t cheap, but it is lower priced than many of its top competitors.
  • With a battery life of three days, it’s far from smart GPS watches like COROS, which can last an impressive 60 days, but it’s much better than the one-day battery life of the Apple Watch.
  • Moving between various widgets and apps has little to no delay.
  • The 8GB of storage is quite a bit lower than many alternatives but still more than enough for what most people need.
  • The navigation and interface are decent but definitely not the most intuitive.
  • The included TicWatch Apps are passable but not the best.
  • Its water resistance isn’t enough to support swim workouts.
  • The GPS and heart rate work well but are not the most accurate.

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smartwatch specs

Dimensions47mm x 48mm x 12.2mm
Weight41.9g
MaterialsStainless steel, plastic
Strap22mm solid silicone
Display1.4″ Retina AMOLED 454 x 454 + FSTN display
Battery lifeSmart Mode: up to 72 hours
Essential Mode: up to 45 days
ChargingCharging dock input 5V1A (USB type A)
SystemQualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 4100 Platform
Mobvoi dual processor system
Memory1GB RAM, 8GB ROM
NavigationGPS, Beidou, Glonass, Galileo, QZSS
Additional featuresSpeaker
Mic
Vibration
PPG Heart Rate Sensor
Accelerator
Gyroscope
Barometer
Ambient Light Sensor
Water and dust resistance
GooglePay capable

TicWatch Pro 3 Design

The TicWatch Pro 3 looks and feels like a premium watch, with the 1.4″ OLED Display being the standout here. The screen is bright and crisp, whether you’re browsing through health metrics or scrolling through to see the local weather.

The watch face can be adjusted and changed to one of the hundreds of faces available. You even have an option to upload your own picture through the Mobvoi app to set as your watch face.

When not using the display, it defaults to an always-on, low-powered, monochromatic display in order to extend battery life. There is an “always on screen” option, but since that only displays the time and not the entire watch face, it’s probably not worth selecting that over the more battery-efficient monochromatic display.

Using this touch screen feels great as it is very responsive, and with its fairly large size, even typing on it is fairly accurate.

The watch is IP68 rated which means it is water resistant up to 1.5 meters and for around 30 minutes. That is better than nothing, but not quite good enough to safely use for swimming workouts.

When taking a shower, for example, I found the water to wreak a bit of havoc as the screen often mistook the water for touch. To avoid this, you can turn on the touch-lock setting or simply take the TicWatch off.

The TicWatch Pro 3 has two buttons that protrude from the right edge. The top button takes you to your library of apps when pressed, and when held, it activates Google Assistant. The bottom button acts as a home button when pressed and can be set as a customizable app shortcut when held.  

The two buttons stick out a lot, which would make sense if they were scroll wheels. Personally, I would have preferred them to be lower profile, but it’s a small complaint that I’m sure won’t bother most people.

The TicWatch Pro 3 comes with a solid silicone watch strap that looks and feels great. And with the entire watch only weighing 42g, it is comfortable to wear all day long, including during workouts.

Battery life

One of the TicWatch Pro 3 smartwatch’s biggest strengths is the three-day battery life. In Essential Mode, the battery life extends to 45 days by keeping the watch on its monochromatic always-on display. I was surprised to find that the Essential Mode still shows and tracks information, including your heart rate, oxygen saturation, step count, and sleep.

With regular use, I would get close to three days while using the GPS tracking occasionally. I would imagine if you are someone who runs or bikes frequently and uses GPS tracking more often, you can expect closer to two days of use on a full charge. 

Charging the TicWatch3 is a quick process, with an hour bringing the battery up over 50%. If you are someone like me, who detests having to charge a smartwatch every day, then you’ll find those irritating moments of a dead watch battery a lot less common with the TicWatch Pro 3.

Heart Rate and GPS Tracking

In terms of heart rate accuracy, I found the TicWatch Pro 3 to be reliable in terms of keeping a pulse. I encountered very few drop-offs during various types of workouts, from running to rowing, and strength sessions.

The heart rate accuracy seems pretty good too, especially when doing more endurance-based activities. However, I did notice that it struggled a little bit with some higher intensity interval training, often failing to make the correct adjustments up or down if they came and went quickly. 

In regards to GPS accuracy, it is decent enough for casual use. It never seemed to lock in quite as well as more current-day, higher-end GPS watches.

You can see an example of this below, where the purple line is the GPS from the TicWatch. It did stray a little from the actual path. Again, accurate enough for the casual user, so usable for a vast majority of people who would use this to run, hike, or bike causally. 

Apps

With access to the GooglePlay Store, there are a huge number of apps that you can download and install to make the TicWatch Pro 3 really custom.

This is welcomed news because many of the included apps, like the TicWatch-branded TicExericse, TicHealth, TicSleep, and others, really aren’t that great. They are usable, but better options are out there. For example, I would download Strava to record my outdoor runs. 

Also included is the GoogleFit suite of apps. My biggest issue using the TicWatch apps, or Google workout tracking, is how the screen behaves while you work out. Using any workout app on the TicWatch, the screen turns off after a few seconds to save battery. That is obviously annoying and definitely not something you want when in the middle of a workout.

The fix is to turn on the always-on-screen mode. That seemed to only cure the issue for apps other than the TicWatch and Google Fit apps. For them, the screen would stay on, but basically freeze up. They would stop counting the time or intervals, freezing up unless I touched the screen to activate the display.

So for my use, I found the TicWatch apps and GoogleFit apps pretty much unusable. Again, luckily the GooglePlay store is there so you can replace the included apps with something better.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I think the TicWatch Pro 3 is a solid watch all around. It doesn’t do any one thing exceptionally well, but it does everything good enough.

With its great-looking OLED display, long three-day battery life, and $299 price tag, it really stands apart from some other options out there. I think for those looking for a nice hybrid watch that they can use for fitness and health tracking and that’s compatible with many apps on the GooglePlay store, the TicWatch Pro 3 could be a great fit. 

Buy The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra here.

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