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Many people who wear smartwatches wear them so they can keep track of their daily activity and also so they can reply to messages and social media notifications instantly without having to take out their smartphone.
The Wear OS smartwatch market is filled with many choices like the Mobvoi TicWatch S2 which is the perfect candidate for a Wear OS user looking to upgrade their old device or someone who wants a budget smartwatch that is capable of taking a beating through sport or exercise while doing the smartwatch basics very well.
So well the S2 watch works as a fitness tracker that you could replace your dedicated fitness tracker. The TicWatch S2 comes with Google Fit integration and pre-installed fitness apps like TicExercise that automatically detect when you are running, as well as provide swimming metrics (i.e. lap time, speed, etc).
You can monitor continuously your heart rate throughout the day via the TicHealth, TicPulse, TicExercise and Mobvoi apps all of which form part of the Tic Software ecosystem which provide accurate step detection and automatic work-out detection via the built-in accelerometer and gyroscope.
The Mobvoi TicWatch S2 smartwatch is powered by Google's current WearOS OS 2.0 and uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset you find in all Wear OS watches made since 2016 so you get a sluggish-performance compared to non WearOS smartwatches.
Qualcomm does have in the works a new, faster chip for Wear OS smartwatches - the Snapdragon Wear 3100 - but there isn't any date yet as to when it will be released.
The TicWatch S2 has 512MB of RAM , 4GB ROM
If you are new to WearOS and are planning to cross over, you probably have heard of Wear OS smartwatches poor battery and the TicWatch S2 is no different.
On the flip side though, the WearOS platform does provide a better smartwatch experience as Wear OS apps and the operating system are more optimized for smartwatches and offering more flexibility to install any app you like.
The Mobvoi TicWatch S2 smartwatch has a sport/ outdoor design so there is no SIM card support nor speakers built-in to provide the S2 with full waterproof resistance.
You can take the TicWatch S2 swimming and under water up to 50 metres in depth for 10 minutes (same as the Apple Watch Series 4).
The Mobvoi TicWatch S2 also has a MIL-STD-810G rating which is the same US military grade protection you get with flagship smartphone protective cases.
The TicWatch S2 can withstand the impact shock of a drop, hot/low temperatures, immersion (certified to 5ATM standards), rain, humidity and dust.
There is no NFC built-in and without speakers you cannot use Google Pay nor listen to music from the TicWatch S2 watch. There is no usb port either so you won't be able to upload your music playlist from a desktop PC to play offline through Bluetooth earphones while running or exercising.
While you cannot make calls nor send texts from the TicWatch S2 watch, you can receive call notification and texts. And, there is a good working microphone built-in that you can use for Google Assistant.
S2 smartwatch comes with phone finder
The TicWatch S2 415mAh internal battery can last 2 days on airplane mode but realistically Android WearOS smartwatches don't have a good battery life because of the WearOS drain.
If you are a heavy app user using a light theme watch face, and have other features turned on like 24hr heart-rate-monitoring (HRM), message-sync and Wifi, the battery life on the TicWatch S2 is closer to a day.
Google did release a few months ago an over-the-air update, called H, which is a WearOS update that implements a battery saver mode that kicks in at 13% of battery life remaining. The battery saver mode helps to maximize battery life by putting the watch in sleep mode after 30 minutes of inactivity.
Along with battery saver mode, the WearOS H update features the Smart App Resume which allows any WearOS closed app to retain their state when you close them down.
The TicWatch S2 has a very understated, subtle design that will really appeal to those who don't like flamboyant smartwatches. The TicWatch S2 has a 1.39-inch amoled display with 400 by 400 pixel image resolution so the display is sharp.
Amoled displays are generally better than LCD or IPS screens because with an amoled screen the pixels light up individually rather than the whole screen lighting up like with an LCD display.
If you are using a dark watch face theme on the TicWatch S2 it will save you a bit of battery. Amoled isn't as bright as LCD but amoled provides better viewing angles.
to change watch faces, you simply tap and hold on the screen
The construction of the TicWatch S2 13mm body is made from polycarbonate plastic and carbon fiber texture like finish around the rim.
The interchangeable S2 wristband is made of silicone,which makes the Mobvoi TicWatch S2 comfortable to wear and so lightweight (35 grams) that you even forget you're wearing it on your wrist.
Removing the TicWatch S2 wristband is easy via quick release spring mechanisms on either side. You can get Mobvoi replacement bands or buy a third party 22 mm wrist band strap, which is nice.
The Mobvoi TicWatch S2 biilt-in radio navigation receiver can communicate with GPS, GLONASS and Beidou satellites to help determine your exact location.
The green led light sensor pairs with light‑sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through your wrist so you can track your daily physical activity, together with calories burned, heart rate, etc.
There is proactive running tracking and swim monitoring but no sleep tracking currently on the TicWatch S2 although Mobvoi is planning to make sleep tracking available in the upcoming software OTA update.
There are three Google Fit and five TicExercise fitness apps built-in to the TicWatcg S2 watch but many other third-party apps are supported. You can check by searching the Google Play Store on your TicWatch, which you can access without being connected to your phone because the TicWatch S2 has built-in WiFi 802.11 b/g/n.
You can sync the date from the TicWatch fitness apps to Google Fit
The TicWatch S2 is compatible with Android 4.4 (and higher) devices, as well as iOS 9.3 (and higher) devices.
There are a total of four sensors built-in to the S2 watch for tracking heart rate and movement but no ambient light sensor; hence brightness has to be adjusted manually.
The TicWatch S2 has the same user interface as other Android WearOS smartwatches so you get a one-swipe access to settings, Google feed, notifications and fitness.
By swiping left you can gain access to steps, calories burnt and the distance you have covered, as well as start a fitness session. In order to make full use of the fitness information, you have to install the Mobvoi app.
There is international language support for apps for French, German, Japanese, English, Traditional Chinese and Spanish. Google Wear OS supports English, Spanish, German, French, Dutch, Brazilian, Indonesian, Danish, Cantonese, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Vietnamese.
The Mobvoi TicWatch S2 comes with a powerful magnetic circular USB cradle which has 4-pins and a centre ridge to accommodate the hearth rate sensor.
The TicWatch cradle design makes it easy to align first time with the back of the S2 watch so you get a good charging connection almost every time.
The charging dock charges the TicWatch S2 Wear OS watch at a maximum input of 5V/1A and doesn't like high voltage charger bricks so you definitely don't want to use a fast charging wall adapter. Safer to plug the S2 charger cradle into the USB port of a desktop PC or laptop.