A small, humble and budget-friendly Fossil Sport Smartwatch goes up against Mobvoi's TicWatch Pro. Read why one watch punches above its weight.
So how does one choose?
We shall start with the basics. If you believe a watch should be able to last more than a day, then you have to choose the TicWatch Pro.
The TicWatch Pro comes with a battery-saving LCD screen, layered on top of an AMOLED screen. The LCD screen runs during the always-on mode, telling you the time, the number of steps you have taken and the date.
The TicWatch’s manufacturers, Mobvoi, even promise a five-day battery life based on two days of light smart mode usage (i.e. all functions) and three day in Essential mode (i.e. minimal functionality). From my testing, two days is achievable assuming you do not use very taxing features.
The Fossil Sport, on the other hand, has a hard time lasting even a full day. In 16 hours, the watch went from full to 20%, and that was without using some of the more battery intensive features like tracking workouts.
This is a particularly big concern in the wintertime or if you use its integrated GPS to track your workout. Long-term prospects are even worse if you consider that you’re draining your battery to such critical levels daily, which harms its longevity.
Winner: TicWatch Pro
When wearing a heavier watch, you will feel its heft. Every time you move your arm, it feels as if something is being pulled along. Having less bulk and heft on your wrist makes for a winner in this aspect.
The TicWatch is heavy, big and unwieldy, especially if you have a smaller wrist. That is the price of having all the gizmos packed onto your wrist. You will know it’s there.
The TicWatch claims that it is made with “premium materials” and its stock strap is made from genuine leather on the top with silicone treads on the bottom. It is comfortable and stays in position without slipping.
The Fossil Sport, on the other hand, is a compact, lightweight and thin watch. It doesn’t feel like it’s there when you have it on your wrist. That said, it’s not a full-feature smartwatch.
The default strap is an unremarkable silicone strap, available in various colours. But Fossil offers other straps made from leather, synthetic textiles and silicones in different colours and styles should you want something else.
Winner: Fossil Sport
Both watches come with Snapdragon Wear processor, a line of processors that often accompany Wear OS watches. The TicWatch comes with the Snapdragon Wear 2100, which is an old processor that dates back to 2016.
The Fossil Sport comes with the new, revamped, Snapdragon Wear 3100, which promises better optimization and better battery life.
But I am sorry to say you have wasted your time reading those paragraphs because there is no palpable difference between them in performance. Neither watch achieves a conclusive victory. Both watches’ performance ranges from “fair” to “abysmal”.
Sometimes you’ll have instant response, sometimes you will be staring blankly at the screen, wondering why nothing is happening. This is true for both watches.
Winner: There isn’t a winner here
Both watches run on the Google Wear OS platform. The Wear OS platform is a decent platform which comes with Google Assistant, which is one of the best speech-to-text systems that can help you input text and find information online.
Using the Wear OS also means you will get access to some apps not available on other platforms such as Google Maps, Google Keep and Google Translate.
The difference between the two watches are the proprietary software they come with. Fossil comes with an app that helps you save different watch face configurations, while the TicWatch Pro comes with software meant to help you measure your sleep and track your workouts.
A small but minor difference between them is the range of watch faces that each watch offers. In the above screenshot, those are some of the watch faces offered by Fossil. The bottom screenshot show the watch faces offered for the TicWatch.
Because both watches come with the Wear OS, there’s little difference between their software. Both have access to Google Fit and you can track almost 50 workouts on both watches.
Both watches also come with an integrated GPS, which allows you to track your workouts without carrying an accompanying smartphone.
But only the Fossil Sport confidently claims it’s “Swimproof.” Fossil’s website says that as long as it has a heart rate sensor, the watch is suitable for swimming. The TicWatch Pro claims it has an IP68 rating which means it’s protected from dust and water but does not explicitly say you can go for a swim with it. Caveat emptor.
Winner: Fossil Sport
Price & Features
The price for the Sport is $99 as it is on sale at the time of writing. The cheapest you can find the TicWatch Pro is $199 (with a $50 coupon applied). Therefore, there’s at least $100 of difference in price here. It seems quite pricey to spend another $100 for the extra frills that the TicWatch Pro has.
Winner: Fossil Sport Smartwatch
Both the Fossil Sport and TicWatch Pro are excellent watches but the difference in price really makes the decision here.
If the TicWatch Pro costs twice as much as the Fossil Sport, as it is at the time of writing, then the Fossil Sport triumphs overall. It offers most of the functionality the TicWatch Pro has and is lighter and more mobile.
With the TicWatch, you get better battery life which is a big advantage because you can reliably use the watch for a full day with the confidence it will not go into battery-saving mode. This is a good thing because the charger that comes with the TicWatch is quite big as compared to the Sport’s quarter-sized charger.
You also get a speaker on the watch, which the Sport does not have. This means you can’t take calls on the Sport, nor will you get any audible responses from your watch. The watch is also bigger and heavier with a 1 ⅜ inch screen as compared to the Sport’s 1.19 inch screen.
But remember that you can’t take the TicWatch Pro on a swim. That is a major downside of the watch.
Overall, you just can’t beat the value and functionality you get with the Fossil Sport.