Mobvoi’s new TicWatch Pro S seems like a smartwatch out of time

Following the TicWatch Pro 3, Mobvoi has announced the TicWatch Pro S, a smartwatch that carries over some of the hallmark TicWatch features like a “Dual Display” that layers an always-on LCD over an AMOLED screen for longer battery life, and some custom health apps, for a slightly more affordable $259.99 price. But the older internals of the device might not make it so appetizing.

The TicWatch Pro S costs $40 less than the Pro 3, but that price comes with pretty big tradeoffs. First and foremost, an old processor. As we highlighted in our review, the more expensive TicWatch Pro 3 has a new Snapdragon 4100 that brings more processing power and battery efficiency to address some long-standing Wear OS issues. But the TicWatch Pro S makes do with an old Snapdragon 2100 instead, a processor that’s been kicking around Wear OS devices since at least 2016.

And while the TicWatch Pro S is actually very slightly thicker than the Pro 3 (12.6mm vs 12.2mm) and only slightly narrower (45mm wide vs 47mm), it’s also saddled with a smaller battery. In comparison to the Pro 3’s 577mAh battery, the Pro S only has 415mAh to spare. In another circumstance it might be a negligible difference, but when battery life was an area in need of improvement for most Wear OS watches, it shouldn’t be ignored.

The slight change in size also doesn’t seem like it would make a big difference for anyone who would find the TicWatch Pro 3 too big.

The TicWatch Pro S’s always-on display option is neat and might provide more battery life than your average Wear OS device, but if the insides of a Wear OS watch from five years prior are powering it, it might be worth it to pause and reconsider how much that extra $40 is worth to you.

The TicWatch Pro S is available today in the US, UK, and Europe for $259.99 from Mobvoi’s site and Amazon.