The latest smartwatches from Mobvoi, the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS and the latest, flagship Fitbit Sense go head to head.
I really like the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS and the Fitbit Sense.
Both smartwatches are amazing and I would say they really moved the benchmark just a little bit forward in 2020.
All in all, I found 2020’s releases to be just OK. I didn’t find anything too revolutionary in the smartwatches that I have reviewed.
But the Fitbit Sense is the best modern Fitbit out there. The Ticwatch Pro 3 is the best Wear OS smartwatch out there.
So how do these stack up?
The Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS that takes on a very classic look. A round watch case, a thin bezel and two buttons. Mine’s all black and it looks really modern.
Whereas the Fitbit Sense takes on a different look. It’s square with a curved edge and rounded corners. It’s marketed as a fitness watch. It’s also very slim and looks much more “friendly” than the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS. I like to compare the two with a Mini versus an SUV. You’d think the Fitbit Sense user is more gregarious, happy-go-lucky while the Ticwatch Pro 3 is more grounded and serious.
For example, the Fitbit Sense shows its mastery of modern design by completely eliminating a physical button. The Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS has two buttons. If we look at cellphones, you’d probably notice that manufacturers are increasingly trying to get rid of physical buttons. It’s the same with the Fitbit Sense.
This does have drawbacks though. The Fitbit Sense can be really finicky when you use its virtual button on the left side of the smartwatch. Oddly enough, it’s most sensitive right under the indentation where the virtual button is suppose to activate.
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On the other hand, the Ticwatch Pro 3 is really convenient because it has two buttons.
Nonetheless, ever since the latest update that Fitbit pushed out, both watches have become closely equal in their capabilities, which we will explore later.
Both smartwatches come with a good watch face selection. There are some preloaded ones and you can get third party ones from the app store. Mobvoi’s designs have always been a bit more utilitarian and practical, while the Fitbit Sense has always been better looking. I also like how certain creators have created meme watch faces on the Fitbit. Amazing.
I am guessing the reason why people buy a smartwatch over a regular watch comes down to the added convenience and features a smartwatch brings.
The convenience you get from both smartwatches is significant. I can honestly tell you that I really like wearing both watches for the practicality that they offer.
For one, both smartwatches have access to a really good speech to text system. That really changes everything.
If you have ever asked Google Assistant to do something for you, you’d know how convenient it is to have it take the tedium off a bunch of tasks like checking tomorrow’s weather and setting an appointment.
This is amplified when you’re on a smartwatch with a small screen that wouldn’t fit more than two thumbs.
In the past, the Fitbit Sense had Amazon’s Alexa. It still does, but I have switched over to Google Assistant, since I have already given up on trying to protect any privacy I have from Google. Luckily, Google Assistant is excellent.
So, both watches have a really easy way to activate Google Assistant. On both watches, long pressing a button can activate Google Assistant and on both watches, you will be able to ask Google something almost immediately.
This is important to highlight because most Wear OS watches don’t perform that great. They usually take a pause of a few seconds before Google can take your query. Certainly not true with the new Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS.
I tested both smartwatches’ ability to reply to messages too and I was thoroughly impressed.
I really enjoyed seeing my replies come out accurately and with the appropriate punctuation.
Seriously, that’s important because nobody is going to use the on screen keyboard that’s available on the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS. And there is no way to send a custom reply on the Fitbit except through speech to text.
Another major convenience of both watches is the epic battery life. It lasts and lasts and lasts.
Most smartwatches last one day and maybe a second day. That’s it.
However, the Fitbit Sense lasts waaaaaaaaay longer. That’s really great.
The Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS lasts long. I was thoroughly impressed at this watch because no other Wear OS smartwatch can last as long when worn 24/7.
It helps that the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS has the dual screen feature whereby it has a full colour screen and then a power saving LCD screen on top. In always on mode, the LCD screen is turned on while the colour screen is turned off. You can activate Essential Mode and have the battery last even longer.
The Fitbit Sense and other Fitbits had a tradition of lasting for half a week or more so it came as no surprise to me that the Fitbit Sense’s battery life was so good.
Smartwatches took a pivot towards adding more and more health tracking features over time and I’m happy to say that both the Fitbit Sense and the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS are on top of it.
Both watches track the most vaunted metric in 2020: SpO2. That is, blood oxygen saturation. It’s nice to have but I personally don’t see much use for this metric, but when Apple says it’s important, usually other companies follow.
Both smartwatches also have their own special features. For example, the Fitbit Sense has the EDA scanner. The EDA scanner is a conductive rim around the Fitbit Sense. Fitbit says its purpose lies in “Measuring your EDA responses can help you understand your body’s response to stressors and help you manage your stress.” You use this EDA scanner during breathing exercises and it will tell you how many EDA responses it receives.
Both watches have a sleep tracking feature and that’s really great. Wearing the Fitbit Sense to bed is a lot more comfortable than the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS, because of its less poky design. You also get a skin temperature reading with the Fitbit Sense which miiiiiiiiight just be useful if you suddenly have a fever.
The Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS has a stress monitoring feature, but not exactly in the same way as the Fitbit Sense. Its stress tracking is based on heart rate variability. In addition, the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS also has a few other features including noise monitoring.
The Fitbit Sense always had the capability to do calls but it was only recently that Fitbit unlocked it with an update.
The Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS, being a premium Wear OS watch, also had this feature.
Both smartwatches’ speakers aren’t very good, so I only use this feature when I can’t be on an actual phone.
Oh, and you can’t make outbound calls on the Fitbit Sense but you can on the Ticwatch Pro 3.
Due to the fantastic Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100, the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS is extremely fast. No lag even in situations whereby a typical Wear OS device would lag out.
The Fitbit Sense doesn’t lag either, which is par for the course for Fitbits.
Exercise and lifestyle
Being a Wear OS smartwatch, the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS actually has access to Google Fit, but in order to use its power saving LCD screen, you have to use TicExercise, which is Mobvoi’s own exercise tracking program.
Compared to Google Fit, the TicExercise has fewer tracking options, but I still used it anyway in order to take advantage of the LCD screen.
The Fitbit Sense also has the issue of having very few workouts to track, and that explains why I go “bicycling” on the water.
Also, I have read reports which claim that the Fitbit Sense’s heart rate sensor isn’t very accurate. So if you need really accurate heart rate data, you might be better off with another watch.
Both Mobvoi and Fitbit have their own smartphone companion app where it syncs the data to. I have a preference for Fitbit’s app because it’s much more comprehensive.
One of the things I like about the Fitbit app is that it has a calorie counter. It also has workout programs that you can follow if you’d like. There’s also a social media element to the Fitbit app. The only downside is that Fitbit paywalls some content and metrics unless you subscribe to Fitbit Premium.
I think the Fitbit Sense is a great smartwatch and I really like its design, battery life and software capabilities. For fitness tracking purposes, the Fitbit Sense is very good and very compact.
However, if you are looking for a smartwatch with much more dynamism, then the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS would suit your needs better. It has better hardware in terms of health tracking and it also has a more general purpose operating system with one of the bigger app stores.