Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic – Review

The Galaxy Watch 4 is the first Samsung smartwatch with WearOS in years. The Ticwatch Pro 3 Ultra is the latest and greatest smartwatch from the vendor Mobvoi who has been producing smartwatches for years. Reasons enough for an extensive comparison of the two devices. Mobvoi kindly provided the Ticwatch for this review while I bought the Galaxy Watch myself. Mobvoi did not influence any part of this review and was not able to read the review in advance.

Unboxing and Box content

For pictures of the unboxing, I refer the reader to my previous post. Both boxes contain the watch itself and a charger.

General Look and Feel

The Galaxy Watch Classic is built from stainless steel and thus heavier than the plastic body of the Ticwatch. Still, both feel high-quality. Overall, it comes down to personal preference and style, whether one prefers either watch. The Galaxy Watch is a better fit for a more formal appearance, while the Ticwatch is more sporty. The stock silicone band of the Galaxy Watch feels very bad. I recommend replacing it with a leather or steel band to complement the look of the watch body. The stock band of the Ticwatch is, on the other hand, a good fit for the watch. The Galaxy Watch has clicky buttons which feel more high-quality than the more smushy ones of the Ticwatch. The final advantage of the Galaxy Watch is its better vibration motor. Vibrations of the Ticwatch are more audible than perceptible. Overall this category is slightly won by the Samsung smartwatch as it suits my personal preferences better.

The Companion App

While Mobvoi uses the WearOS companion app on the smartphone, Samsung requires an app called Galaxy Wearable as well as the Galaxy Watch 4 Plugin to work with the phone. I do not understand the reasoning for using their own app, which is a clear disadvantage for me. Still, both apps allow configuring the watches from the phone and detailed settings for their smart features.

Smart Features

My main use case of a smartwatch is to forward notifications from the phone to my wrist. Both watches do an excellent job in this regard as both deliver the notifications and display emojis and images reliably and without bugs. It is also possible to reply on both watches using canned responses, speech recognition, or an on-display keyboard. As the Samsung Keyboard is not as usable for me, I recommend installing Gboard on the Galaxy Watch.

The Galaxy Watch does not support Google Assistant at this point. It is possible to sideload it, what I did. See my previous post for a tutorial on how to do this. The Google Assistant on the Ticwatch is generally perceived as broken by the community. However, in my experience, it still works better than the sideloaded version on the Galaxy Watch. In this category, the Ticwatch is, for me, the clear winner at this moment. I hope that the promised Google Assistant will fix that shortcoming of the Galaxy Watch in the future. Oh, and also: There is Bixby on the Galaxy Watch…

Google Pay is a very nice feature and works well on both devices. The Galaxy Watch also supports Samsung Pay.

Using both watches for short free-handed calls is possible, but the sound quality is not suitable for long talks on either one.

The Ticwatch has an additional low-powered LCD, which displays basic information like the time and the number of steps. Thus, the user can glance at the time to use the Ticwatch, similar to a classical watch. The only way to achieve this with the Galaxy Watch is to activate the always-on display. However, this severely limits its battery runtime. This feature is, for me, a clear advantage of the Ticwatch.

Apps

Both smartwatches are built on the WearOS-platform and thus support the Google Play store. Therefore, the user can install apps like Google Maps for direct navigation from the wrist or Authenticator Pro for Two-Factor-Authentication. I can not see one of the two watches performing better in this regard.

If you want to see an article covering my top list of apps for WearOS, let me know in the comments.

Sport and Health Features

On both smartwatches, one can use Google Fit for sports tracking or a homegrown solution of the vender. While Mobvoi preinstalls Google Fit on the Ticwatch, the Galaxy Watch only ships with the Samsung sports apps. As Google Fit has the same features on both devices, I focus on the vendors’ solutions. Both sports and health tracking solutions require you to install an additional app on the smartphone. For Samsung, you have to install Samsung Health, while the app on the Ticwatch is the Mobvoi app. Both apps allow continuously measuring heart rate and stress level. Both watches provide automatic workout detection for a limited number of workouts. While the list of the Ticwatch includes biking, this feature is unfortunately absent from the Galaxy Watch. In my experience, both devices start the tracking reliably without false positives. The user can also track an extensive list of workouts manually. The GPS accuracy and the heart rate tracking of both watches are comparable. On the internet, one often reads about a bug of WearOS where it does not detect the GPS-Signal it has no connection to the internet. I was not able to replicate this bug on either device. Overall this category is very slightly won by the Ticwatch because of the automatic bike detection.

Both devices support automatic sleep detection and sleep tracking. Both rate the quality of my sleep at the end of the night. In every case, the rating of the Ticwatch is higher than the one of the Galaxy Watch.

Both devices can measure blood oxygen. Once again, the result of both measurements is always similar.

Finally, the Galaxy watch supports measuring blood pressure and ECG if it is paired to a Samsung phone. For this, one has to install the additional app Galaxy Health Monitor. In my case, the results of the measurements seemed to be reliable and comparable with a medical device. For measuring blood pressure, the user has to calibrate the watch once a month using such a device. It is possible to enable these features on other phones using sideloading. Still, it is a shame Samsung artificially limits this feature to Samsung devices. On the other hand, the Ticwatch does not support such a feature at all.

Battery and charger

Samsung uses a proprietary wireless charger. The Ticwatch on the other hand is also magnetic however it connects two pins to the back of the watch. Personally I prefer the charger of the Ticwatch, as the magnet is stronger. Also it should be more gentle for the longevity of the watch.

The battery runtime of my Galaxy Watch is, in the best case, 24 hours, while the Ticwatch can hit three days, even if the OLED display is always-on. The Ticwatch is thus the clear winner of this category.

Conclusion

Overall, choosing between these two smartwatches is a matter of taste. Both watches have their strengths and weaknesses. Personally, I would like to combine the features of both for an ultimate WearOS watch. Let’s hope that the two vendors manage to fix the slight shortcomings in the future. Still, I believe that a customer will be happy with either smartwatch, as both are very capable devices.

115 thoughts on “Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic – Review”

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