The TicWatch GTH is a health-centric budget smartwatch packed with sensors and running a custom OS (not Wear OS).
Purchase Date: 2021-08-10
Review Date: 2022-01-17
The TicWatch GTH jumped out at me because of the large number of health features it packs in. The only other real smartwatch features it supports are notifications from your phone, and changeable watchfaces. You won't be installing any custom apps here, so expect a basic Fitbit rather than an Apple Watch.
Skin temperature, blood oxygen level, heart rate, respiration rate, sleep tracking, step counter, workout detection (maybe more!). The sensors are where the GTH shines. I cannot speak to the accuracy of the sensors, but they record data at a frequent rate, and don't drain the battery. This is the reason you would buy this watch and it does deliver in this department. Through the companion app you can sync this data to a number of health services including both Google and Apple health.
The watch also has a moderate amount of built in exercise types you can choose from and while the watch does not support GPS, you can start a GPS track from the companion app on your phone if you will be bringing that along on your run/ride. While the number of exercise types supported is less than a Fitbit, my wife actually prefers how the GTH handles exercise tracking to that of the Fitbit Inspire.
Smart Watch Features
You can pick from a small set of predefined watch-faces. The selection is decent and changes with the season.
You can see notifications from your phone, but not respond to them. The font used by the watch is an atrocious monospaced font that doesn't allow much text to fit on the screen. It's difficult to overstate how much the font detracts from the rest of the watch. This is one of the main areas that I wish Mobvoi would push out an update for. There's no reason for the font to be as bad as it is.
That's about it smartwatch-wise. There are a few built in apps for things like the weather, but don't buy this watch if you're looking for a full-featured smartwatch. It's much closer to a Fitbit Tracker in terms of smartwatch features.
Expect several days of battery life, potentially up to a week. There is a battery-saver feature, but it limits the functionality of the watch so much that I find it not very useful. Unfortunately I do not believe you can prevent it from turning on automatically when the battery gets low.
Look and Feel
The screen is 360 x 320px, which does let you see the pixels, but is still crisper than many other watches, especially in this price range. The screen can also be a bit dim in the sunlight and there is a pretty thick bezel around the edges. However in this price range these are definitely acceptable trade-offs.
The overall watch design looks good and well-made, but it only comes in one color, so I hope you wanted it in black. Picking up a decent 3rd party watch band will really improve the look beyond the basic black rubberized one it comes with.
Connectivity and Companion App
This is where the TicWatch GTH falls flat. The Mobvoi companion app is worse than the terrible font the watch uses. The watch does not stay connected to the phone app for very long meaning your health data will stop syncing. You won't get any notice that the connection isn't working either. Using either the phone or the app to attempt to reconnect is a fool's errand as they provide no help or insight into how you might resolve the issue. The most recent time this happened to me I had to factory reset the watch AND uninstall/reinstall the phone app before it would re-pair. This is a deal-breaker for this watch unfortunately.
There have been no software updates released by Mobvoi since purchasing this watch.
Despite delivering a great package with all the health sensors you would want, the lack of care that Mobvoi has put into resolving the issues there are is a deal-breaker here. As a standalone health watch, the GTH is a great device, especially for the money, but the utter failure of Mobvoi to improve notifications or fix basic syncing functionality shows that the company has moved on from this device, and you probably should too.
If Mobvoi pushed out an update improving the notification font and fixing the connectivity issues I would heartily recommend this watch to those primarily looking for health features in their watch.
My Purchase Price (including tax and shipping): $55.99
View the official Ticwatch GTH site: https://www.mobvoi.com/us/pages/ticwatchgth