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Ticwatch S2 vs Apple Watch Series 5 (Bang-for-buck vs the BEST)

It's hard to beat the king of smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 5. However, you can get really good bang-for-buck with the Ticwatch S2.

ticwatch s2 vs apple watch series 5 main screen


How does any watch compete with the Apple Watch Series 5?

It’s the most excellent watch out there… as long as you are using an iPhone. It won’t pair with Android phones.

So, if I were an iPhone user, which smartwatch should I buy?

Related: Ticwatch C2 vs Apple Watch Series 5 | Ticwatch E2 vs Apple Watch Series 5 | Apple Watch Series 5 vs TicWatch ProApple Watch Series 6 Review

What’s your budget?

Certainly, look at your budget before even thinking about going further. The Apple Watch Series 5 is an expensive watch and it gets even more expensive if you want the bling-bling upgraded versions with a nicer strap, larger watch case or even LTE.

But truth be told, when it comes to looking good, even Apple’’s base watch is modern and elegant with its rounded corners and beveled edges. What I particularly liked about the Apple Watch is how it’s a full-feature watch in a very small package. I haven’t reviewed another watch with so many features and such a small size. Generally, watches of this size drop premium features such as NFC, a speaker and a long-lasting battery life. Not the Apple Watch.

The Ticwatch S2 is a great budget watch that is unfortunately hampered from its full potential when paired to an iPhone. It still offers many great features, though. Placed side-by-side against the Apple Watch, though, the Ticwatch S2’s design makes it seem like an amateur toy.

Winner: Tie

ticwatch s2 vs apple watch series 5 emails

Notifications, emails and text

One of the best features of wearing a smartwatch is being able to read your messages and emails on your wrist. 

When paired with the Ticwatch S2 and Apple Watch, you will be able to get your notifications. Whatever you get on your smartphone, you will see on your smartwatch.

The Apple Watch Series 5 has one major advantage over the Ticwatch S2 and all other non-Apple Watches — you can reply to your messages on the Apple Watch Series 5.

Replying to messages on the Apple Watch Series 5 is made really simple because the speech-to-text system is excellent. You can also use Scribble, which is a fancy name for a handwriting function, or you could reply with a pre-composed reply.

The Ticwatch S2 does also have a great speech-to-text system, a handwriting input and dynamically generated replies. It has a 26-alphabet keyboard which the Apple Watch does not. But you won’t be using these much if you are pairing the smartwatch with an Apple iPhone.

Just a little aside here: I feel that Apple has really put some effort into their vibration notifications. When you receive a message, the Apple Watch will vibrate strong at first and then slowly soften up. It feels very elegant. The Ticwatch S2 has a more constant hard vibration.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5

ticwatch s2 vs apple watch series 5 apps


Both systems offer some of the widest range of apps and that’s a great feature regardless of which watch you buy.

The Wear OS opens up new possibilities with its Google Play Store. You can download many apps from it including games, grocery list apps and some unique Google apps such as Translate and Maps.

The Apple App Store has many apps that parallel what the Google Play Store has to offer. A direct competitor to Google Maps? Apple Maps.

Certainly, each OS also comes with interesting apps such as the Hand Washing Timer on the Wear OS, or the noise monitoring app on the Apple Watch.

On the topic of performance, The Ticwatch S2’s entry-level hardware can’t compete with the smoothness of the Apple Watch Series 5. I can’t remember the last time I had to deal with a slowdown on the Apple Watch Series 5 but on the Ticwatch S2, it happens once in a while, particularly when you activate Google Assistant.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5

ticwatch s2 vs apple watch series 5 google assistant siri

Voice assistant

Activating Google Assistant on the Ticwatch S2 does sometimes requires you to have some patience. You activate it by long-pressing the sole button on the S2 and sometimes when it says “Speak now”, it really isn’t ready to hear what you’re going to say.

Nonetheless, Google Assistant is a really, really good voice assistant. It is reliable, can understand your query and if it has no idea what you’re saying, will search the web for an answer.

Pitifully, because there is no speaker on the Ticwatch S2, anything you say will have to be read off the screen.

That’s not the case with the Apple Watch Series 5. Siri will gladly read off its findings of whatever you asked for. It also sometimes gives you sass, with an attitude, which Google Assistant does not. Really, it reminds me of the Mac vs PC ads of the mid-2000s.

You can use both for similar tasks from starting a timer to asking for directions. Unlike voice assistants from Fitbit (employing Amazon’s Alexa) or Samsung’s Bixby, there really isn’t a major noticeable difference in quality between the two. It’s just a matter of whether you’re more attracted to Mac Guy or PC Guy.

Winner: Tie

Battery Life

The Apple Watch Series 5 lasts for 36 hours in my tests while the Ticwatch S2 can last for two full days.

Winner: Ticwatch S2

Apple Watch Series 5 calls


You can’t make phone calls with the Ticwatch S2 because it does not have a speaker, whereas this is possible with the Apple Watch Series 5.

When you receive a call, the Ticwatch S2 will ask if you want to accept or decline the call. If you accept, you will have to speak on the phone. Whereas on the Apple Watch Series 5, you can chat directly on the smartwatch. This is a great convenience that I like to have and call quality is good.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5

ticwatch s2 vs apple watch series 5 tichealth activity


The Apple Watch Series 5 and the Ticwatch S2 have an integrated GPS and are also capable of being used in a swimming pool, so that’s a great start.

The Ticwatch S2 goes a little further by having a US Military Standard 810G rating which means the S2 is operational between -20ºC to 55ºC; resistant to humidity, dust, and salt fog.

The great thing about having an integrated GPS is that you can go exercising without bringing your phone with you for location data.

The Apple Watch comes with the Workout app which helps you track data about your exercises and also an Activity app that tracks your exercise minutes, movement minutes and also has an inactivity warning that tries to get you standing up when you have been idle for too long.

The Ticwatch S2 has two suites of fitness apps comprising Mobvoi’s TicHealth, TicExercise and TicPulse or Google Fit.

As Google Fit gets updated, the overlap between the two suites has increased. Both apps have a step count tracker, for example. Both apps can also track your workouts. Luckily, one difference between them is that Google Fit has a breathing app while TicHealth will remind you to take some steps if you have been idle for too long.

I much prefer the Apple Watch Series 5’s workout apps because they are much better integrated into the smartphone app and they don’t present the dilemma of two 

Winner: Apple Watch Series 5

ticwatch s2 vs apple watch series 5 watch face


If you are an Apple iPhone user, buy the Apple Watch Series 5. The seamless integration with the Apple iPhone cannot be beaten. 

In addition, you will get fantastic features such as the ability to reply to messages, read full emails and make phone calls on the Apple Watch Series 5.

The Ticwatch S2 has a place for more price-conscious people who want a simpler watch. There are no bells and whistles with the Ticwatch S2. It’s a great entry-level watch, although if you don’t care for the US Military durability rating, the Ticwatch E2 is even cheaper and offers the same features.