The Ticwatch C2 is better than the most entry-level of Wear OS smartwatches but the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle takes it further into first class.
When I first looked at the Ticwatch C2, it reminded me of my time wearing the Fossil Sport Smartwatch.
The Fossil Sport Smartwatch is the little sibling to the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle. The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle is a full-fledged smartwatch with premium features that are not available on both the Ticwatch C2 and Fossil Sport Smartwatch.
The Ticwatch C2 is an entry-level smartwatch but I think it actually puts up a good fight with the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle. The key factor here is that the software in the C2 is essentially the same with the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle, and the main difference here is hardware.
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The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle has a better processor and more RAM. It uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 and has 1GB of RAM, versus the Ticwatch C2’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 and 512MB of RAM.
In practice, the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle does feel a bit smoother than the Ticwatch C2, especially in programs that require a lot of power. I noticed that activating Google Assistant is a lot faster with the Carlyle than the C2.
The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle also has a speaker which is something I really like. With a speaker, you can make phone calls and you can hear the responses from Google Assistant.
The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle has two buttons and a crown, while the Ticwatch C2 has two buttons. As much as I don’t like too many buttons, like the five-button configurations on Polar and Garmin smartwatches, having a crown really brings convenience when scrolling menus or reading long texts. It’s more accurate and easier to work with than swiping a finger.
Winner: Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle
Comfort, strap vs band and clasp
The Ticwatch C2 comes with a leather strap while the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle comes with a metal band and clasp.
I don’t like the leather strap that comes with the Ticwatch C2. I think it’s uncomfortable. It’s stiff and it’s also quite sticky. Really, a bit like how a leather car seat sticks to skin.
The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle’s metal band and clasp is great as it does have its inconveniences. Unlike most other smartwatches, you can’t wear the Carlyle directly out of the box. I had to find a pin (a very small Torx head), pliers and a hammer so that I could adjust the length of the band.
But just like finding the needle to eject your SIM card, you only need to do this once in a very long time. Thereafter, the band will always be at the right length and putting the watch on only takes one second.
In the end, the Ticwatch C2’s strap really drags its comfort score down. It has a stainless steel watch case which makes it feel more premium, but that also comes with an additional weight. For such a small watch, I would have much preferred less weight.
The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle is even heavier, though. Its band and clasp is heavy as is the watch case. But in totality, the Carlyle gives a more premium feel because of how it looks completely made of stainless steel.
Winner: Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle
Both watches’ battery life are similar. They can last up to two days but they seem to be watches that need to be charged daily just because after a full day’s worth of use, you will have little buffer for the second day.
The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle has a better battery saver system whereas the Ticwatch C2 is more of a smart mode or non-smart mode kind of battery saver.
On the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle, you can shut off certain smart tech like speakers, always-on screen and location.
Whereas the Ticwatch C2 will either have all the functions of a smartwatch including receiving notifications and then fall into just being a mere time-telling device once the battery gets too low.
Winner: Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle
Both watches use Google’s Wear OS which is one of the most common operating systems on smartwatches.
It’s honestly a great operating system because it has a great speech recognition system which makes many tedious tasks a lot easier.
Emails and texts
One of the things that having a great speech-to-text system helps with is in emails and texts.
Both the Ticwatch C2 and Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle are able to receive texts and emails. They come in as notifications and you can read them.
You can reply to them as long as you are paired to an Android smartphone. The best way to reply is using the speech-to-text function which is accurate and reliable.
Otherwise, you can input text using the on-screen keyboard, hand write letters or use a pre-composed reply and emoji.
Another reason to love the Wear OS is Google Assistant which is available on both the Ticwatch C2 and Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle.
The voice assistant is excellent because it can really help you avoid tedious tasks, including swiping to find out the weather, manually entering the length of a timer and finding information.
Google Assistant also integrates into apps like Google Maps in helping you find directions. This is really useful when you just want Google to take you to the closest pharmacy, coffee shop, etc.
Both the Ticwatch C2 and the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle have an integrated GPS and they are also waterproof enough for a swim.
Both watches come with Google Fit, which is software that helps you track your workouts and other health metrics. But the Ticwatch C2 comes with Mobvoi’s (the maker of Ticwatches) own health and workout apps, named TicHealth, TicPulse and TicExercise.
The advantage the Ticwatch C2 has over Google Fit is that it has a Pool Swim function that can help you track your swims. On the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle, you will have to download a third-party app in order to do this.
Otherwise, both app suites have big areas of overlap. You could either use Fit Workout or TicExercise to track your workouts. You could also use TicPulse or Fit Heart rate to measure your heart rate. Fit Goals and TicHealth both track your steps but other than that, Fit Goals tracks your Heart Points which gives you points depending on the intensity of your activities while TicHealth tracks active hours and exercise minutes.
So, Mobvoi’s suite doesn’t really offer much more than what Google Fit offers, but I suppose just that little advantage of having a pool swim tracker pre-loaded gives the Ticwatch C2 a little advantage.
Winner: Ticwatch C2
The Ticwatch C2 is a great watch and I really like that it has better battery life than the Fossil Sport Smartwatch, but it’s smaller than its Ticwatch S2 and E2 siblings. However, I also find that it’s quite an uncomfortable watch to wear because of its strap and weight. Nonetheless, it offers a lot of functionality in a small package because the Wear OS is just an excellent operating system.
The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle is unique in that it has a metal band and clasp. Its powerful hardware also really makes the Wear OS experience seamless. It’s a great watch and it’s the Wear OS watch that I’d recommend to everyone if they know they want the best.
Related: Ticwatch S2 vs Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle