Size, hardware and price differentiate these two entry-level watches apart along with minor differences in hardware and software.
I remembered when I first got my hands on the Fossil Sport Smartwatch. It was one of the first few smartwatches that I reviewed and it impressed me.
Time has given me a better overview of what people want in a smartwatch and I am really happy to be writing this review. The Ticwatch S2 and the Fossil Sport Smartwatch are both neck-and-neck in terms of hardware.
They speak to the same type of consumer — either folks looking for an entry-level smartwatch or people looking for something they can wear while doing sports.
If you happen to be a sportsperson, then durability will likely be important for you.
Both watches have a plastic watch case and a silicone strap. Both watches can be taken into the swimming pool. The Sport’s screen is flush with the top of the watch while the Ticwatch S2 has a thick bezel where the screen is recessed into.
Now, if you expect to bump the watch around, having a bezel really helps reduce contact between the screen and hard surfaces.
The Ticwatch S2 goes further as it has a US Military Standard 810G rating which means the S2 is operational between -20ºC to 55ºC; resistant to humidity, dust, and salt fog.
The TIcwatch S2 has only one button while the Fossil Sport Smartwatch has two buttons and one crown. While it’s easier to navigate with the Sport because of its crown, the Ticwatch S2’s buttons definitely look studier.
It’s pretty telling that Ticwatch S2’s website also features many images of people doing mountaineering, surfing and other more hardcore sports (as opposed to its “city” sports watch, the Ticwatch E2).
Winner: Ticwatch S2
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Size and comfort
Overall, the S2 is a bigger watch, with a screen size of 1.4 inches. The Sport has a 1.2 inch screen.
I haven’t found the Ticwatch S2 to be a very comfortable watch and certainly not in comparison with the Fossil Sport Smartwatch.
The Sport is a very lightweight watch and very comfortable too. It’s hardly noticeable when you wear it.
The Ticwatch S2 is less comfortable. One thing I noticed is how thick the strap is. When I type, it puts my wrist on an awkward angle to my keyboard. No such problem with the Fossil Sport Smartwatch.
Overall, if you’d ask me to choose a watch which I’d wear all day, I’d go for the Fossil Sport Smartwatch.
Winner: Fossil Sport Smartwatch
Yes, I’d wear the Sport all day long until it becomes a spoilsport with its battery life.
It can be a challenge to get the Sport to last all day, especially if you use the more energy-intensive functions such as continuous heart rate reading, always-on screen or the integrated GPS.
Whereas the Ticwatch S2 surges ahead with a battery life that can last up to two days. This is really great because that means you would always have enough juice if you charge it daily.
Winner: TIcwatch S2
Both watches use Google’s smartwatch operating system, the Wear OS.
I have become a really big fan of the Wear OS because it is very capable of doing many things and has some great features that Samsung, Polar, Fitbit or Garmin can’t beat. Only Apple’s Watch OS comes close.
Wear OS devices have access to Google Pay, as long as they have an NFC chip, which only the Fossil Sport Smartwatch has.
One of the best features of the Wear OS is its voice assistant.
Google Assistant can accomplish a lot on your wrist which really makes it very convenient. Before I started using smartwatches, I had to find my phone in order to start a timer. Now, I can just activate Google Assistant on my wrist (activated by long-pressing a button) and give it some instructions.
Google Assistant is also very accurate in its prediction of words and that really makes it very effective. I’ve used inferior voice assistants and I can say that they really get on your nerves. Instead of reducing tedium of tasks like activating timers, they increase it. Quite counterproductive. Luckily, this is not the case with Google Assistant.
Email and text
Before smartwatches, I would have to pull out my smartphone to check my messages and such. Not anymore.
Bot the Ticwatch S2 and the Fossil Sport Smartwatch will push notifications from your phone to your smartwatch.
You can then read a snippet of the email, message or other notification.
You can reply to these messages and text if you are paired to an Android phone (i.e. no dice on iPhones).
Wear OS has the best suite of text input methods. The speech-to-text system is reliably good and is my preferred method because of its speed and accuracy.
You can also input text via a 26-alphabet keyboard or by handwriting letters. They’re fine when you can’t use the voice system but are ultimately slower and more tedious.
If these watches are to be for the sportsperson, then how does one choose between one or the other?
What’s great is that these watches can be brought swimming and they also come with an internal GPS, so you can get location data without bringing your phone along.
But remember that the Sport has poor battery life. If you are planning to go all day without bringing your charger, then be prepared for the battery to go into power saving mode where it loses all smartphone-smartwatch interfacing and becomes purely a timepiece.
Both watches come with the Google Fit suite of workout and lifestyle apps. The Ticwatch S2 also comes with the TIcHealth/TicPulse/TicExercise suite of exercise apps. Both apps track your workouts and daily activity.
The two app suites are overlapping more severely and that’s a problem for Mobvoi (the manufacturer of Ticwatches). I have a strong preference for Google Fit but used to be able to see the benefit of TicHealth because of its step tracker. With the new update to Fit, TicHealth has lost its advantage.
Some advantages that the Ticwatch’s health suite has is a Pool Swim app that allows you to track your swims and also an inactivity reminder that will encourage you to take some steps if it detects you have been idle.
These apps are a good way to monitor your exercise stats and equally important is to stick to one suite rather than using both at once to keep data consistently on one platform.
In essence, there really isn’t too much of a difference.
Both smartwatches have their advantages but I prefer the Ticwatch S2 over the Fossil Sport Smartwatch. It all comes down to battery life. I don’t want a smartwatch to lose all its smart functionality before my day is over.
I have never had this problem with the Ticwatch S2, and that’s a pity, because I really prefer the Fossil Sport Smartwatch’s comfortable strap and size. I also like how it has a crown and more buttons.
Certainly, if I were a hardcore sportsperson, I’d put my trust in the S2 because of its US Military durability rating.
The Fossil Sport is generally cheaper than the Ticwatch S2, so that could be a factor that tilts the scales in the Sport’s favour, since the Ticwatch S2 and Fossil Sport aren’t that different software-wise.