The Polar Vantage V's orange strap means it's not for the general public's use, whereas the Ticwatch C2 comes with a more popular leather strap in beige
What does it mean when one watch comes with a beige-coloured, leather strap and another comes with a synthetic, ORANGE-coloured strap?
Offering a smartwatch strap in orange has a strong meaning in the smartwatch world.
It means that the smartwatch is a hardcore sportsperson’s watch.
But when you buy a smartwatch with an orange strap, it also means that you will be giving up some conveniences of a general-purpose, leather-strapped smartwatch like the Ticwatch C2.
Yes, the Polar Vantage V has some features that the Ticwatch C2, but the Ticwatch C2 has waaaaaay more features that seem basic but are very useful. It’ll be confusing as to why a pricey smartwatch has fewer features than an entry-level smartwatch, but I suppose people buy Ferraris that have fewer seats than a Corolla.
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One thing I wished the Garmin Fenix 6, an even more specialized sports smartwatch, had would be a touchscreen.
Luckily, the Polar Vantage V has it. The Ticwatch C2, by standard over all Wear OS watches, has one too.
But the Vantage V has five buttons and I honestly find that the buttons are much better than using the touchscreen. The touchscreen is a nice touch, but it doesn’t have the responsiveness of modern touchscreen.
The Ticwatch C2 has a nice touchscreen and it is the main method of interacting with the smartwatch. There are two buttons, one of which is a back button and one can be used as a shortcut.
Unfortunately, since you will be using the five buttons to interact with the Polar Vantage V most of the time, it takes time to get a sense of what happens when you press each button, in addition to what happens when you are long-pressing a button. Different contexts bring different functions to each button.
And that’s why, folks, the Ticwatch C2 wins in terms of the ease of interaction. It’s intuitive to most smartphone users.
Winner: Ticwatch C2
Wear(y) OS? Polar(izing) OS?
The Polar Vantage V uses the Polar OS while the Ticwatch C2 uses Google’s Wear OS.
There have been many complaints about the Wear OS being slow and laggy. In my experience, it can be true, but it has gotten a lot better over time.
So far, the experience with the Wear OS has improved significantly over the course of 2020. It went from being a really, really slow OS to being one that is a lot smoother.
But laggy hardware is laggy. The Ticwatch C2 comes with a really old processor, the four-year-old Snapdragon Wear 2100. Its sluggishness mostly is experienced when you use Google Assistant or when you have an update running in the background and you’re trying to use the smartwatch.
The Polar Vantage V runs really smoothly. There’s no lag. Transitions happen fast. Things activate quickly.
That’s great, but what about functionality?
Emails and text
On an iPhone, the Ticwatch C2 and Polar Vantage V can both receive texts and emails. But that’s all.
When paired to Androids, the Ticwatch C2 has one feature that the Polar Vantage V doesn’t. That is you can receive and reply messages, emails and other texts.
Replying to messages and emails on the Ticwatch C2 is easy. You get a bunch of options and the best among them is using the speech-to-text feature. Speaking into the microphone, Google interprets your words and puts them down on the reply. It’s mostly reliable but does make mistakes here and there.
If that doesn’t work, you can use a keyboard, send dynamically generated messages or emoticons, or hand write letters.
It’s really nice to be able to receive messages on your smartwatch but it’s even nicer to be able to reply on your wrist. Saves the annoyance of digging out your phone when you are in the midst of cooking, or at the beach and your phone is far away.
Winner: Ticwatch C2
When it comes to the Polar Vantage V, what you see is what you get.
That is the most polite way I can put it. In effect, you can’t add any programs on to the Polar Vantage V.
The last update gave it a breathing app. Great!
Whereas on the Ticwatch C2, you can add whatever programs are available on the Google Play Store. You can add apps that are part of Google’s suite such as Google Maps and Google Keep. Or you can add more watch faces and apps such as shopping list apps. Having such dynamism really makes things a lot
Winner: Ticwatch C2
Finally, some redemption for the Polar Vantage V.
You can’t go wrong with the Vantage V if your first and foremost desire is to have a smartwatch that favours sports.
Both the Polar Vantage V and the Ticwatch C2 are waterproof and come with an internal GPS. Mobvoi, the makers of the Ticwatch C2, say you should change the strap on the Ticwatch C2 before you take it into water, though.
The Ticwatch C2’s internal GPS takes a few minutes to get a GPS lock while the Vantage V takes just a while, but by default the Ticwatch C2 will latch onto your cellphone’s GPS so as to save battery and get a lock faster.
Both smartwatches come with a range of apps that help you track your workouts and lifestyle, but the Vantage V is superior in the analyses that it can pump out.
Runners will delight in that the Polar Vantage V can give you direction as to how to structure your workouts for optimal strain and rest. It also comes with the Polar Running Program which creates an exercise regime customized to your next race goal based on the data you provide the program.
Furthermore, you can also get more advanced information such as your VO2Max level and also your power output when running. These features are not available on a watch like the Ticwatch C2.
The Vantage V will also track your sleep while the Ticwatch C2 does not have any pre-loaded programs that will do this for you.
The Ticwatch C2 has both the Google Fit suite and Mobvoi’s TicHealth/TicExercise/TicPulse apps. In essence, they have strong layers of overlap on many features. The one little differentiator is that the TicExercise app offers a Pool Swim feature while Google Fit does not.
One last point: the battery life of the Ticwatch C2 isn’t very good if you intend on using it on extended workouts. The battery life is severely shortened if you are using the integrated GPS. Whereas the Polar Vantage V will last much longer if you are going to do workouts for multiple hours. If used just as a timepiece, the Ticwatch C2 will last two days max while the Polar Vantage V will hold up for over a week.
Winner: Polar Vantage V
For most folks, the Ticwatch C2 really is more than you need, but the Polar Vantage V has significantly more powerful features that would be of interest to people who need a tool that enhances their sports performance.
But using the Polar Vantage V comes at a cost of the convenience that you’ll get from a more general-purpose smartwatch such as the Ticwatch C2.
Is it worth the extra expense to gain some specialized features at a cost of utility and dynamism? It’s up to you as it’s horses for courses.