I've been wearing an Android wear smartwatch for a very long time, I've had 3 of them and just bought my 4th...
As platforms go, I can hand on heart say that there is nothing special about Android WearOS, there isn't a killer app, it's not really changed that much over the years I've been wearing one and if I am brutally honest it feels like Google have this unloved child that ticks a box because Apple have a watch and it kinda works..
The upcoming joining of Google, Samsung and Fitbit and the rebranding of WearOS as just Wear.. there is hope.
More on that here.
So why this review, why buy another WearOS watch?
From the outset let me say the Tikwatch Pro Ultra 3 DOES have a killer feature, a feature even the latest Samsung device with Wear on it can't claim...
4 Days battery life.
That's right, this smartwatch delivers 4 days continual out of the box nothing turned down of battery power...
If you've ever had one of these watches you'll know the need to massage your battery can be a right pain in the proverbial. Personally, it's been a pain because I don't have NFC on my Surface Duo phone, so the watch is my only access to my debit card. This has led to some walks from Oxford Street to Waterloo Station because the battery ran out on the watch.
This for me is a game-changer.
So if the headline for the watch is 4 days real-world use battery life what else does it offer?
The 2 screens
The battery life doesn't come from a well of witchcraft, the Ticwatch has a 2 screen system on it. There is the usual WearOS screen which is a 1.39 inch, 454 x 454 pixel 326 PPI screen. I'm a big lad and I like big watches. This is a big watch.
When the usual WearOS display isn't being used the watch drops out to this sub-display. The display drops to a separate part of the SoC processor which runs the watch and saves a HUGE amount of battery life.
The Sub display is also backlit when there isn't enough ambient light when you turn your wrist to look at the watch.
Press the top button and you're immediately back into the WearOS interface.
I'm not one for processor specs on Laptops, Phones or watches, I've seen so many poorly implemented systems on top quality processors.
For those who care this is a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 4 x - 1.7 GHz, ARM Cortex-A53.
In reality, what this means is a phone that scrolls up and down and generally operates really well. In the time I've had the watch the Bluetooth hasn't done its usual disconnects and it's a lot slicker feeling than the Skagen Falster 3 it's replacing.
Fitness and Activity
This is first and foremost an activity watch the watch supports Google Fit, and also supports the Mobvoi App as well which links with Google Fit
To be honest, the app is a bit shit, it's very focused on ads and selling, and the layout needs a revamp for the data it shows.
Something the watch provides however and I'm interested in is monitoring my stress levels. This will take a little hit on the 4 day battery life however I'm hoping it will warn me when I'm heading in the wrong direction.
There are a plethora of built-in apps for measuring runs, walks, heart rates, breathing and the like.
This watch is on the list to receive the WearOS "Wear" 3 upgrades at some point in 2022.
The layout of the watch apps however is different from the usual bezel spinning interface I've had on the other watches. I do like this look on the watch.
This watch is all about the battery, this is a smartwatch game changer for me. The heart rate, stress level monitoring will be something to look at over the next month or so.