The story of my Ticwatch

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The story of my Ticwatch

Post by Moritz » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:34 pm

In this post I would like to share some thoughts about my Ticwatch pro. I put a lot of efford into it to keep it alive, but now it kind of died.
It actually wanted to die I believe.

I bought my Ticwatch last year in Hong Kong during a trip to Taiwan. It has been my first smartwatch wich an actual operating system like wear os. The setup and pairing to my phone while I waited for my next plane was a pain. The watch was so slow that just choosing the language was barely possible. I was like WTF and wanted to return it right away, but I didn't had the time because boarding for my plane had started. Then I was back home in Germany and had to make the best out of it.

I disabled most of the unused apps such as both fitness trackers and even the animations (developer options) to make the watch usable.
It helped a little bit but the whole system was way to slow just to scroll through the main functions of wear os.
I made my own watchface and used the "AOD" function to bypass the black and white display which stopped working after a half year.

Somehow I couldn't charge the watch anymore. Every evening it was a pain to find the correct posision in the charging station to make contact. Many times it suddenly stopped charging at night and when I woke up in the morning the battery was like 20% or less.
Sometimes it charged up to 100%, worked a few hours and suddenly the battery was completely dead after a few hours of use in standby.

Many resets were done and I still didn't wanted to give up this little device. My last try was to flash a custom rom (XDA-Forum), hoping for all these bugs and defects to disappear. Sadly one of the middle contacs pins at the back of the watch kind of disappeared for some reason (there was just a hole) so I couldn't have a connection to my Pc. I opened up the watch and soldered a external Micro-USB Plug onto the mainboard directly which bypassed these many layers of spring loaded contact pins between the watch parts in order to make a stable connection.

Then I was able fo flash the new Rom onto the watch and it also helped me to solve the "not-charging" issue since this was a stable connection just by Micro-USB.

The new Custom Rom worked fine, but It couldn't solve the lagging issue. Sometimes I was not even able to open up the main watchface by turning my wrist because it froze.

I finally stopped working using the Ticwatch pro and I got myself a Galaxy Watch.
Im not going to advertise the watches of other manufacturers in here. I just want to share my thoughts about the Ticwatch. I believe its a great device with a few issues that should be solved by the manufacturer.

First issue (and main isssue) is the really slow working OS. Im not sure about the reason for it but it seems the hardware it not able to handle the Wear OS.
A smartwatch is supposed to support the owner in many things like Calendar, taking notes ans stuff. If not even the easiest operations work fluid without lagging its just not fun to use the device. I often got out my phone instead of using the watch because I knew that the watch wouldn't work anyways. This is not the purpose of a smartwatch.

Second issue i believe is the design of the contact pins on the backside of the watch such as in the charger. From the charger the electric current has to go though 2 spring loaded contacs in a row (between the back cover and the mainboard are spring contacts too as you can see here). Specially the outside contact points at my watch started oxidizing after a few weeks of use. Im not working with acids or oxidizing chemicals. Could have been my sweat. Later the gold plating came off completely and one of the contact points (which are made from brass) disappeared completely.
I think there are much better designs for that, so either just put bigger and more durable contacts on the watch or by using induction (wireless charging). But this is something that caused me a lot of grey hairs while using the Ticwatch.

The last issue is something that actually does not affect Mobvoi or the manufacturer of the watch since they are just making the hardware.
Its the very slow developement of Wear Os by Google. It took months to receive the "tiles update". Overall the whole OS is very nice I believe, specially If you use Google products and their apps already, but I believe there is so much more potential for more functions and it seems like Google lost interest developing more features for it.

So overall I liked the Ticwatch a lot with all its little errors and malfunctions. This was the story of my ticwatch and my honest opinion about it. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

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Re: The story of my Ticwatch

Post by Sabertooth » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:29 pm

Greetings Moritz!

I have to admit that was I in your shoes, having just purchased a new smartwatch at the airport, I would have done the exact same thing as you. That said looking at it with the knowledge I have now, I would know I had let myself in for a painful experience. The fact is the issue of bugs, battery life and performance has driven a lot of updating so much so that a new watch coming out the box has a monumental task in front of it. Not just the firmware of the watch and the Wear OS operating system have to be updated but almost every major app and some minor ones get updates too. To make things worse and part of the reason why the updates happen immediately is because the old app might not talk properly to the newer one that you just installed on your phone. All the updating runs the radios constantly which then drains the battery super fast. Doing this in the airport, all this would just be made really slow and battery draining. It must have been awful for you.

The issue of performance is a common topic of discussion in these forums. You can find many threads with both complaints and suggestions about performance. Disabling apps you won't use and changing some settings can help but ultimately we expect these things to work better and they should. The newest watch in the Ticwatch family ups the memory to 1GB RAM and 4GB ROM and the extra resources are reported to improve performance so it's not surprising that reducing the load on the lesser 512MB of the Ticwatch Pro might help performance too. With the updates too, it sometimes seems like we take one step forward in one place only to take two steps backward someplace else or in the next update. We, all, feel that pain. The charging issue is also a common topic in the forums and you can find topics with pictures and more about the charging system.

Thank you for your thoughtful reflections on your Ticwatch experience. We take all your comments seriously and I can assure you that I raise your concerns with the product managers and engineers directly. I'm sorry your experience didn't quite meet your expectations but I can say that we are trying hard to address the issues you raise both at Mobvoi and Google.

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