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Apple Watch Series 5 vs TicWatch Pro (Can a budget watch beat the KING?)

The Apple Watch Series 5 is a fantastic watch for iPhone users, but the TicWatch Pro offers great bang for buck. Can it dethrone the Watch?

ticwatch pro vs apple watch 5 main watch face

The word “apple” brings a nice and warm feeling to everyone. It’s a relatable everyday fruit that is supposed to keep the doctor away.

Similarly “Apple” is a relatable brand and gives you that nice feeling of having a premium product. The Apple Watch Series 5 won’t keep the doctor away but at the premium it commands, it might invite a banker’s knock when you overdraft your account.

Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro stands diametrically opposite. Few have heard of Mobvoi and they have decided to call their watch a “tic.” Does it tick all the boxes or is it a pest like the bug of the same name?

My tests showed that it ticks some boxes and has some buggy points. The upside is that you won’t invite a collection agency’s attention.

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The TicWatch is significantly bigger than the Apple Watch Series 5, but that doesn’t translate to more features. In fact, the diminutive Watch’s features puts it neck-and-neck with the TicWatch Pro.

Ticwatch Pro Lcd screen

Always-on screen

One innovation in both watches is the always-on screen. For people who haven’t followed the evolution of the Apple Watch, the Series 5 is the first Watch that has an always-on screen. Finally, you can see the time without twisting your wrist just as you would with every other smartwatch!

The TicWatch Pro’s always-on screen falls more closely in line with the definition of the word “innovation.” TicWatch’s battery life is very good because it has a layered display. The top layer is a battery-saving LCD screen which displays the date and time like a typical digital watch would.

It’s quite difficult to name a winner here. The Apple Watch’s always-on screen is great because it’s a full colour screen, and I personally would have felt very disappointed if a smartwatch didn’t have an always-on screen, but the TicWatch Pro is unique in a way not seen in any other smartwatch and that deserves credit too.

Winner: Tie

Battery Life

As a result, the TicWatch Pro’s battery can last multiple days. Conservatively, it would last at least two days especially if you are using a lot of its smartwatch features. The Apple Watch falls into the “charge every day” category because it will not have enough juice to last a full second day, unlike the TicWatch.

Winner: TicWatch Pro


The Apple Watch is much more comfortable than the TicWatch Pro because it is lighter and smaller.

If you want the bigger screen that the TicWatch Pro offers, then you will have to tolerate its bigger size and heavier weight.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5

ticwatch pro vs apple watch series 5 notifications calls email


Apple Watches have exclusive privileges that are not available to other smartwatches when both are paired to an iPhone.

Notifications, email, messages

apple watch 5 email

Both the TicWatch Pro and the Apple Watch can receive notifications from your iPhone, but only on an Apple Watch can you interact with them. It’s unfortunately read-only on the TicWatch. It’s the same with email and messages on the TicWatch.

The Apple Watch’s integrated messages and email app work like a close mirror of the watch app. You can read, view some attachments and reply to the email and message using three input methods — a canned response, speech-to-text or using Scribble, which is where you draw letters on the Watch’s screen and it becomes text.

apple watch series 5 scribble

On the rare occasion you will use the text input methods, the TicWatch Pro has all the input methods the Watch has except instead of Scribble, it has a keyboard. The keyboard has proven to be my preferred means of input because it is quick and surprisingly accurate.

Unfortunately, due to the TicWatch not being able to interact with notifications, it loses in this regard.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5 calls


You can’t take calls on the TicWatch Pro if you’re paired to an iPhone. When you receive a call, the Watch will alert you through vibration or with a ring, and you can accept or decline a call using the watch, but you have to use your phone to actually talk on the phone. On an Android, you will be able to talk using the TicWatch Pro.

The Apple Watch has a very good phone app. You can access your contacts list and call people from there or you can enter a number using the dialpad. Call quality is good and it’s very convenient to be able to accept calls on your wrist.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5 

ticwatch pro vs apple watch series 5 apps


The TicWatch Pro uses the Wear OS and therefore has access to the Google Play app store. You can download many useful productivity tools including Google’s own apps like Maps, Translate and Keep.

The TicWatch Pro also comes with a few proprietary apps for sports tracking including TicExercise, TicPulse and TicHealth. TicExercise is Mobvoi’s workout app which overlaps with Google Fit and honestly Google Fit provides a better experience because its smartphone app is better. TicPulse measures your heart rate and TicHealth keeps track of the number of steps you take and exercise minutes, which overlaps with Google Fit again.

It also has an Essential Mode app which brings the TicWatch into a low-power-usage mode which only uses the LCD screen and shows you the time, date, steps taken and heart rate.

Apple Watch Series 5 noise meter

Apple has provided many cool apps for the Watch too including a compass, a language interpreting app and also a noise meter app that notifies you if you are in an environment that will damage your hearing.

Apple’s App Store also has many excellent apps to download including games, sleep tracking tools and productivity apps. There is no Google Maps for the WatchOS though, so you’ll have to settle with Apple Maps.

At this stage, I’d say it’s neck and neck for both watches because they offer a wonderful range of third-party apps. The one thing that the Apple Watch does better than the TicWatch is in performance. The TicWatch uses a four-year-old processor, the Snapdragon 2100, and as a result, it’s a bit slow to the point of discomfort.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5.

ticwatch pro vs apple watch series 5 workout


The Apple Watch Series 5 and the TicWatch Pro have very similar hardware — both have an integrated GPS and a heart rate sensor — but what the TicWatch Pro doesn’t give you is the confidence that it will survive underwater use. While it has an IP68 water and dust resistance, I could not find any evidence from Mobvoi that it will not become a brick once I take it into the water.

The TicWatch Pro’s proprietary health and workout apps (outlined above) aren’t very good and the smartphone app is even worse. I stuck to Google Fit which had more workouts to choose from and synced to a reliable Google Fit smartwatch app.

The experience on the Apple Watch is excellent. Every detail is integrated into the Health app and the workout options on the Watch are plentiful at nearly 60. I thoroughly enjoyed using the watch while swimming because it told you how far you have swum.

Another benefit of the Apple Watch experience is how you won’t have to download multiple apps in order to get all this data. On the TicWatch, at minimum, you will have to download the Wear OS app on your smartphone and then the Google Fit app in order for these to work.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5

ticwatch pro vs apple watch series 5 tichealth rings


There’s just no reason to buy the TicWatch Pro if you are using an iPhone unless you need something very specific like if you want a bigger screen, Google Maps or if you want to save money. To be fair, if you are using an Android, the TicWatch Pro offers great bang-for-buck.

The Apple Watch Series 5 is superior in almost all ways and that is the watch you should seriously consider paying the extra money for. The seamlessness of it all is one to admire. Only Samsung watches paired with Samsung phones can compete with the Apple Watch.