The Ticwatch E2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch/Active 2 is really a battle of budget vs premium as well as Wear OS vs Tizen OS.
Just fresh from writing a comparison between the Ticwatch E2 vs the Apple Watch, I thought it’d be a good opportunity to write about the Ticwatch E2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch/Active 2.
Samsung’s flagship watches are fantastic, but just like Apple’s watches, they are only good if you have a smartphone of the same brand.
The Wear OS is more dynamic. As long as you are using an Android phone, you will be able to get the same experience with the watch across brands and models.
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Wear OS vs Tizen OS
A big difference between these two watches is the operating system.
The Ticwatch E2 comes with Google’s Wear OS while the Samsung Galaxy Watch/ Active 2 comes with the Tizen OS.
Both are great operating systems with each having their own advantages.
Emails and Text
The key differentiator here is how Samsung’s smartwatches are much better integrated with Samsung phones.
One major shortcoming with Wear OS, Fitbit, Polar and Garmin watches is that they have less-than-perfect integration with most smartphones.
Samsung has done this very well with their Tizen OS. On the Samsung Galaxy Watch/ Active 2, you can browse your email and messages list as if you were on your phone.
This is great if you need to read messages or emails that you have cleared from your notifications.
On the other hand, Wear OS watches cannot read your past emails or messages. The only way to read them is when they come through your notifications.
But this is where the tables get turned. Both platforms allow you to reply to your messages and emails, but the Wear OS is superior because of its input options.
Both platforms allow you to input text using a speech-to-text transcriber and this is the major selling point for the Ticwatch E2 as it has Google’s great transcription abilities.
Samsung’s speech-to-text system can sometimes be very lacklustre. Give it difficult phrases and it will give you a sentence that doesn’t make sense. Google is a lot more resistant to that and you can generally rely on it to get your message through accurately.
Otherwise, you can use a 26-alphabet keyboard on the Ticwatch E2 to type in your messages or the T9 number pad keyboard on the Samsung Galaxy Watch/Active 2. I prefer the full keyboard because it’s easier to use. You could also use the handwriting input where you draw letters which become text or send a pre-composed reply.
Talking about the voice assistant is the natural follow-up to the conversation about the speech-to-text system.
On the Ticwatch E2, you have the help of Google Assistant when it comes to tasks such as finding information, navigating to a place and starting a timer. On Samsung smartwatches, you have Bixby.
Bixby is a lot more limited in what it can do, which is unfortunate. For example, it would not be able to help you find information on the internet, but it can help you start timers.
The main issue here is that Bixby is not as good at transcribing speech, which leads to a poorer experience. One big frustration I had was when Bixby couldn’t tell the difference between “for” and “four,” which led it to think I was asking it to “start a time for minutes.” I wanted a four-minute timer.
Google Assistant is therefore superior in this aspect because it removes the tedium of certain tasks and is much more dynamic than Bixby.
Winner: Ticwatch E2
The Ticwatch E2 does not have a speaker so you cannot make calls on it. When you receive a call, you can accept or decline, but you will have to chat on your smartphone.
On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Watch/ Active 2 are full-featured watches so you will be able to chat on your watch. I find this to be convenient because you can avoid searching out your smartphone, especially when you don’t know where you placed it.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch/ Active 2
Wear OS has a great app store with more apps as compared to the Tizen OS’s Galaxy Store.
The implications of this is that if you want a non-standard app, you are more likely able to find it on the Google Play Store on the Ticwatch E2.
Apps like Google’s suite of tools including Maps, Keep and Translate are all available on the Wear OS.
Workout & health
One of the best things about wearing a smartwatch is how it can help you keep track of your workouts and lifestyle.
Samsung does this better than Wear OS because it offers much better integration. On the Samsung Galaxy Watch/Active 2, exercises and step counts go into Samsung Health on your phone which is a more thorough fitness and lifestyle tracker.
In contrast with the options available on the Ticwatch E2, Samsung Health can help you track details such as your calorie counts and water intake. There is also a Together mode which allows you to compete with other Samsung Health users.
Samsung Health also tracks your activity levels in terms of calories burned, workout minutes and your idle time. Stay idle for too long and it will notify you that you should do some stretches.
The Ticwatch E2 is a bit more complicated because there are two parallel systems that serve the same purpose. On the one hand, you have Google Fit, which is a great workout tracker which you can use to track your step counts and Heart Points, which is the measure of the intensity of your activity. Google Fit also has a wide range of activities which it can track.
On the other hand, the makers of the Ticwatches, Mobvoi, have also included their own software in the watch. This includes TicExercise, TicPulse and TicHealth. TicExercise does exactly what Google Fit does in terms of workout tracking. TicPulse measures your heart rate.
TicHealth is a bit more interesting because it complements Google Fit. TicHealth is the app that tracks your idle time and alerts you when you should start taking some steps. TicHealth also has an exercise minute counter and an active hour tracker.
Both watches have an integrated GPS and can be taken swimming. This is a great move for Samsung because its previous watches were not swimming friendly.
In the end, I prefer Samsung Health because it is much more comprehensive a health app. It can do more and you won’t need to have two different apps on your smartphone as you would if you owned a Ticwatch.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch/ Active 2
I think the Ticwatch E2 offers great value for entry-level consumers who are happy with a simple watch that is durable, light and has one of the best operating systems out there.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch/ Active 2 are great watches too but it really only shows its shine if you pair it with a Samsung smartphone.
Notably, the Galaxy Watch does have LTE integrated, in case you wanted to have a data connection right on your wrist. The issue here is that the number of networks supported is very slim. Here in Canada, you can only use the LTE function if you are subscribed to a premium network.
My thoughts are that you can’t go wrong with the Ticwatch E2 and if you want to get a premium watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch/ Active 2 are worth considering.