Ticwatch C2 review: Design-Smartwatch with NFC for $187.99
One gets the impression that Mobvoi wants to tackle the wearable market in a similar way as Xiaomi wants to tackle the smartphone market. Because the new Ticwatch C2 does not change much about the product and positions itself exactly in the in-house middle class. Yet it probably offers the current top feature: NFC for mobile payment! Is this the only feature that distinguishes it from budget models?
Technical data of the Ticwatch C2
|Display||1.3 inch AMOLED, 360 x 360 p|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100|
|Memory||512 MB RAM | 4 GB internal memory|
|Battery||400 mAh -> 1.5 days running time|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, A-GPS, NFC|
|Operating system||Wear OS, compatible with Android, iOS|
|Features||heart rate monitor, pedometer, notifications, phone, news, Google Play Store, Google Maps, music remote control|
|Dimensions||42.83 x 42.8 x 13.1 mm|
Where form meets function
With this advertising slogan Mobvoi already indicates in which direction you go with the Ticwatch C2. For this design smartwatch, a combination of stainless steel and leather is used, whereby the stainless steel is of course used for the watch case. It is available in three different colours: Onyx black, rose gold and platinum. It even has an IP68 rating, which means that it is dustproof and waterproof. Showering or swimming with it is no problem. Whether you want to do this with the leather bracelet, however, is written on another paper.
The Ticwatch C2 not only looks smaller, it is also smaller than the Ticwatch E2 and S2. With dimensions of 42.83 x 42.8 x 13.1 mm it is even slightly thinner (Ticwatch E2: 12.9 mm thickness). I personally like this rather filigree look much better. This is also due to the stainless steel case, which comes in platinum silver for our test device – very chic. This makes it look very similar to an ordinary wristwatch. However, it is not completely made of stainless steel, the lower part, which lies on the arm, is made of plastic and black.
The heart rate monitor is located on the underside, right next to the four magnetic gold contacts that charge the watch. A difference to the Ticwatch E2 and S2 is the number of keys. In addition to the display, the C2 has two operating options: two buttons located on the right-hand side of the watch. These fulfil different functions, which I will go into further under “Operation”.
Processing & wearing comfort of the Ticwatch C2
Like the cheaper models of the manufacturer, this “middle class” model is flawlessly crafted. The stainless steel finish is good for the watch and makes it automatically higher quality, especially in combination with the leather strap. However, this is rather of low or mediocre quality. Here I also ask myself whether one should not rather resort to artificial leather or a high-quality silicone bracelet.
Despite its reduced size, it has an almost identical weight (46.8 g) as the Ticwatch E2, which is probably due to the stainless steel. Personally, I like the wearing comfort better. Since the diameter of the surface resting on the arm is much smaller, you quickly “forget” that you are wearing the watch. All in all, it’s really easy to wear, even if you have to mention that a Honor Watch Magic is even thinner.
Less is more – the display
The display is a 1.3 inch display with AMOLED technology. The resolution of 360 x 360 pixels is slightly smaller than that of the budget model Ticwatch E and the Premium Ticwatch Pro Smartwatch, which both work with 400 x 400 pixels. But the screen is also 0.1 inch smaller than the other models, which is actually noticeable.
But the Ticwatch C2 doesn’t show that the resolution has been reduced. Quite the opposite: the display is probably one of the watch’s greatest strengths here as well. The maximum brightness makes the Ticwatch app “Flashlight” almost superfluous, but of course it also works on the battery. But the AMOLED panel is enough for me in everyday life even at the lowest setting. Fonts and icons are pin sharp and the precision of the input leaves nothing to be desired.
Thanks to AMOLED technology, there is also the popular “Always On Mode” again, which here is called “Display always on”. Depending on the watchface, you get a significantly reduced dial when inactive, which often only works with black and white and only gives you the current time.
Mobvoi builds its own middle class
The fact that the design is mainly changed here can be seen from the obligatory look inside. The Ticwatch C2 is also equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 CPU, which, interestingly enough, is also found in the most expensive Ticwatch Pro, but also in the cheaper Ticwatch E2 and S2. The SD3100 has already been introduced, but so far it’s only found in the more expensive models on the market. In theory, all three current Ticwatch models are on the same level!
Ticwatch stays with the popular memory combination of 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal memory. On the internal memory Mobvoi also decides to equip this Smartwatch with WearOS. But that’s not all in terms of technology, which sits in the stylish Smartwatch. In addition, there is Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, various sensors such as an accelerometer, gyroscope and of course the already mentioned heart rate monitor.
Ticwatch C2 with NFC
Another advantage is the integrated NFC module. With it you can use Google Pay and pay contactless with your watch wherever you can pay with contactless cards. However, not all credit cards currently support Google Pay, but these banks are still supporting it. Alternatively, you can also use PayPal as a payment method on your smartphone, but not (yet) on Smartwatches. Therefore you must have a supported credit card to use Google Pay with the Ticwatch C2.
Unfortunately I have to wait until my bank supports Google Pay to use this service. However, I assume that this will not be a problem. But I noticed that you definitely have to set up a display lock on the clock.
In spite of the same hardware, the performance feels smoother for me in contrast to the Ticwatch E2 – although not clearly. The loading times of the individual apps are usually somewhat shorter than with the new budget model. Opening the Play Store, for example, takes two seconds. Within an app, however, the actions are much faster. So the overall performance is completely fine, but I would still like it to be a bit faster.
This may be mainly due to the fact that the C2 has been on the market a little longer than the E2. Thus, a bit more software optimization of the manufacturer might have flowed into the clock, which could explain these slight differences. One simply notices that the main memory of 512 MB is not immediately full as soon as one has opened three or four apps one after the other. Unfortunately, there are no possibilities to manually quit the apps in order to free up some RAM.
Operating the Ticwatch C2: Two keys are better than one
Same operating system, same operation? Yes, almost. Since the Ticwatch C2 also uses the WearOS operating system, the navigation through the OS is not very different. A wipe down opens the control center for quick settings, a wipe up opens the notifications. Swiping to the right, you get access to the Google Assistant including the weather display. A swipe in the opposite direction opens the Fitness Tracker with an overview of steps taken, distance and calories burned.
On the right side there are two buttons, the upper one serves to call up the main menu of the clock. We know this from the other Ticwatches. The second key below is more interesting, because it can be freely assigned. By default, the Ticwatch Fitness Tracker is located on it, but you can also place any other app on it. So you can personalize the clock relatively well and especially the app, e.g. Spotify, which you use frequently, can be opened super fast.
Connection to the Smartphone
In order to successfully put the Ticwatch C2 into operation, the connection to the smartphone is indispensable. This is done via the WearOS App (Download: Android | iOS), which performs a step-by-step procedure and is clearly laid out. You have to make sure that you allow WearOS to run in the background, otherwise your connection will be interrupted regularly. The whole connection runs via Bluetooth 4.1.
Some functions, such as the entire Google Pay setup, are only performed via the smartphone during the initial setup. So it is advisable to always have the smartphone at hand, but that should be the case anyway. If you prefer to have the large display, you can also make other settings via the app, such as choosing a watchface. Overall we have had better experiences with the connection between Android smartphone and WearOS than with the connection of an iOS device with the WearOS clock, but both are possible without problems.
Ticwatch C2 with open WearOS operating system
The Smartwatch operating system from Google is probably the most popular OS for Smartwatches with WatchOS. And it has the classic Android advantage: a multitude of apps. No matter if Uber, Spotify, Strava or Google Maps, with the Ticwatch C2 you get a lot offered. Therefore it makes sense, especially in combination with Strava or Google Fit, that the C2 is equipped with GPS, a gyro sensor and a heart rate monitor.
Since it comes from Google, the Ticwatch C2 is already equipped with some typical Google Apps at the start. These include Google Fit, Google Translator, Google Pay and of course the Google Play Store. This App Store is of course by far not as well equipped as the equivalent on our smartphones, but now offers almost everything you could wish for.
On the internal memory are also a few apps from Mobvoi, which we only find on Ticwatches. One of them is the Mobvoi App, which you can use to connect Ticwatches and other products of the manufacturer. There’s also the heart rate monitor, the TicRanking list (compare number of steps with other users) and the TicExercise app. This reminds us however strongly of the standard sport application on other China Smartwatches.
What WearOS does best in my eyes are the notifications. First of all they look good: There are color differences, the app icons are really well adopted and emojis are displayed correctly. Second, the notifications are functional. With China gadgets notifications, the images from the push message are displayed and can be enlarged as needed. The notifications can also be unfolded so you can quickly read, delete and even reply to an email – not bad!
Besides the just mentioned freely assignable button, there are hardly any other possibilities to personalize your Ticwatch C2. Mainly there are the watchfaces. There is a selection of dials, a total of 19 of them. Among these you should quickly find your favorite, after all the scale ranges from very classic and simple to brightly colored up to more mechanical looks. But you can download more watchfaces from the Google Play Store.
Otherwise WearOS won’t let you change much. Of course, you can also define how you want to lock the clock display or which movements the clock should register. But of course you can’t change anything in the menu.
Features of the Ticwatch C2
Since there are theoretically a lot of functions thanks to the open operating system and the large number of apps, we will limit ourselves in the following to the two probably most popular usage possibilities. These are the Fitness Tracker functions and the possibility to listen to music. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments section.
Sport: Smartwatch as a fitness tracker
The app “TicExercise” is pre-installed on the Ticwatch C2 and is ready to go after a short query of relevant data (height, weight, age). It offers five different sports modes: jogging, walking, treadmill, bike and free style. Personally, I only use the jogging mode to go running outside. As you’d expect, this provides various information such as pulse, speed, distance and calories. Both while running and after finishing the activity, the app displays these relatively clearly.
In addition, the clock uses GPS to create a route. The fix is done within 5 seconds and therefore faster than my Huami Amazfit Bip. Another positive thing I noticed was that you can define goals before running (distance and time) and that the clock takes an automatic pause as soon as it notices that you are no longer moving. The clock needs about 10 seconds to do this.
But since Google Fit is also on board, you can also use it as a sports app, which in theory has actually integrated all sports as a “mode”. However, these do not offer any separate functions and probably only serve for your own overview. In the Play Store there are also Strava, Nike Run Club, Runtastic, Runkeeper and 7 minutes.
Stream music & save offline
If you want to listen to music over or with the Ticwatch C2, you have three options. Just like with the Ticwatch E2 and S2 we have a Spotify, Google Play music and a third party music player available. You can’t actively stream via Spotify, you just control your smartphone or laptop as playback device. If you want to actively stream and save songs offline, the only streaming service available is Google Play music. This works fine again, you can simply listen to the songs, albums and playlists on the internal memory of the clock. So you can safely leave your smartphone at home while jogging and pair your Bluetooth headset with the clock.
Battery life of the Ticwatch C2
Such a kind of Smartwatch, with WearOS, large display and lots of memory, is by far not such a battery monster as a Xiaomi Mi Band 3 by default. During my test period, the built-in battery of 400 mAh actually brought me to the stated battery life of 1.5 days. But that’s only because I usually have the brightness at the lowest level. I’m still surprised how much battery is lost when completely inactive. So you can lose 20 to 30 percent overnight. So you should have the charger in your backpack whenever possible or recharge your watch every night.
Conclusion: my Ticwatch favourite
Meanwhile I have already tested a few Smartwatches, but up to now none of them could convince me. I think I will remain faithful to my Huami Amazfit Bip. However, I like the Ticwatch C2 tested here the best! There are several reasons for this and it starts with the optics. The slight reduction of the display size makes more difference than you think, the high-quality stainless steel workmanship does the rest and the leather strap fits seamlessly into the overall picture. Even if one is allowed to criticize the use of genuine leather and should question it.
Besides the look and the good wearing comfort, I like the overall performance better than with the budget versions of Ticwatch. WearOS works well here, provides a lot of possibilities and ran smoothly during my whole test period, except for one or two exceptions. The battery life is fine for such a Smartwatch, but definitely not the yellow of the egg. The unique selling point here is NFC, which you can use to pay contactlessly in supermarkets. Here we only hope for the possibility that soon Paypal will also work as a payment option for Smartwatches.
The biggest criticism is and remains the price. The RRP of about $226 is no joke. You can get it cheaper in the offer and you should definitely try that. For less you already get the Honor Watch Magic, which is especially suitable for athletes. The Ticwatch E2 and S2 are also cheaper and differ only by the missing NFC and the other design. The decision is up to you. Would the mobile payment be worth the extra charge to you?To the gadget