Not many people would raise an eyebrow if Garmin, Suunto or Polar released a new rugged smartwatch, although I'm sure many people, including myself, would like to see the Garmin Instinct 2.0 announced soon. But I certainly didn't expect Mobvoi, of all the brands, to get on a 'rugged adventure smartwatch' train, albeit this is exactly what happened.
Mobvoi actually announced two new smartwatches, the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS and TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra (with 4G LTE). The new Pro 3 Ultra smartwatches are an upgrade of the popular 2020 TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, offering a more rugged solution with "military-grade materials, faster speed and smoother performance", as Mobvoi puts it.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS and TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra (with 4G LTE): price and release date
The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS is available from 13 October 2021 at Mobvoi (opens in new tab) and Amazon US (opens in new tab) ,Amazon UK (opens in new tab) and Amazon AU (opens in new tab) for a recommended retail price of $299.99 / £289.99 / AU$399.99
The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra with 4G will be available from November 2021 on Mobvoi and Amazon and can be expected to ship at around $349.99 / £329.99 / AU$449.99.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra: Wear OS-powered adventure watch
When I think of adventure watches, watches that come to mind include the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, Polar Grit X, the Garmin Instinct Solar and maybe even the Amazfit T-rex Pro. Now we'll have to add the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra to this list.
What makes a smartwatch an adventure watch? For one, it has to be rugged, ideally made to 'military standard', and the TickWatch meets this criterion. The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra is built using "US Military Standard 810G (MIL-STD-810G) materials", similar to many other rugged watches including the Instinct.
This means that the watch can withstand extreme temperatures, humidity, solar radiation, shock, low pressure and has an IP68 water rating. The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra also has an "easy-to-read" compass, which might come in handy if you're out and about in the wilderness.
Performance has been increased by "up to 40%", according to Mobvoi, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Platform and Mobvoi’s dual-processor system. The combination of these promises faster app loading, a smoother operating experience and lower battery consumption.
Battery life has increased to "up to 72 hours" in Smart Mode or 45 days in Essential Mode where app usage is limited. Admittedly, most people won't be using the latter, unless it's impossible to obtain a charger, because let's face it, why would anyone spend this much money on a watch if they can't access the smart features? 72 hours is not too shabby for a Wear OS watch; these wearables generally last for a day or so. Three days is certainly an improvement.
The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra offers a "full suite" of health monitoring functions including all-day heart rate monitoring, IHB/AFib detection mental fatigue assessments as well as energy level measurement. The watch has over 20 workout modes, less than the recently announced Amazfit GTR 3 Pro but quite enough for most people.
Other features include contactless payments through Google Pay and Spotify offline support.
Some quick stats:
- Weight: 41 grams
- Watch case: Stainless steel and high-strength nylon with fiberglass
- Screen: Corning Gorilla Anti-Fingerprint Cover Glass
- Display: 1.4“ Full Color Always On Display AMOLED + FSTN (454*454, 326ppi)
- Memory: RAM: 1GB / ROM: 8GB
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, HD PPG Heart Rate Sensor, SpO2 Sensor, Low Latency Off-Body Sensor, Barometer, Compass
- Battery capacity: 577mAh
These details certainly don't look too bad, we have to wait and see if the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra delivers on user experience. For now, I'm waiting with bated breath until I can give it a try.