TicWatch E2 Six Months Later

Six months ago I blogged my initial impressions about the TicWatch E2. Here is my review after six months of use.

Initial Expectations

How has it lived up to my initial expectations? These were:

Watch Functions

It does this well. There are thousands of watch faces available in the Play Store, and apps to help non-programmers make their own.

It comes with apps for stopwatch, timer, etc. or you can install your choice from the Play Store. You can add shortcuts to them as complications in your chosen watchface, or leave them in the app drawer (press the button to open).

Phone Notifications

It does this well. Notifications arrive as a vibration and display in the watch screen, and then minimise to a notification marker in the watchface. The option to silence my phone when connected to the watch means no one is disturbed, even by a phone call.

Fitness Tracker

The TicWatch E2 comes GPS, a heart rate sensor, and accelerometers and gyros. This is enough to track a workout, and for a step counter, and 24 hour heart rate tracking.

24 hour heart rate tracking needs to be enabled via the built in TicPulse app, and samples my heart rate every 10 minutes. It uses surprisingly little battery power, and syncs via the Mobvoi app and cloud to Google Fit, and from there to my other services.

24+ Hours Battery Life

When I first got it I installed a large number of apps and watch faces, trying to find the right ones for me. The battery would last all day, but needed a recharge to last through the night. After a factory reset (required to connect to a new phone) I re-installed only the apps and faces I wanted. I also switched to always on display, and disabled tilt-to-wake. Now the only times I don’t get 20 hours of battery life is when I track a long workout. GPS is well known for using a lot of power.

Other Thoughts

Auto-Brightness

The TicWatch E2 does not have an ambient light sensor. Tis means there’s no auto-brightness for the display; I have to set the brightness manually, choosing a setting that’s readable indoors, withought being too bright, but not readable outdoors, in sunlight (workout anyone?), or doing the opposite, with reduced battery life from the extra brightness.

Responsiveness

Responsiveness is a problem. Often there is 2-3 seconds delay when starting an app, viewing notifications, etc. This happens when the watch has been idle for a while, and takes a while to come out of whatever sleep mode it’s in. Worst is it usually displays a black screen, so I’m not sure if it’s crashed, powered off from low battery, or what? This seems to be a problem with all WearOS watches, and Google need to address this for the long term health of the platform.

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