Winner: TicWatch S2
Despite its disappointing software performance, the number of features packed on the S2 easily makes it a better smartwatch compared to the GTX.
TicWatch GTX vs. TicWatch S2
Mobvoi is mostly known for its high-end TicWatch smartwatches. They stand at the forefront of innovation and are a company that is known for always introducing innovative features such as the TicWatch Pro’s dual-display.
But this time around, Mobvoi is looking to extend their smartwatch reach in the budget market by offering the TicWatch GTX and S2. The GTX is a competitively priced entry-level smartwatch that delivers basic features, while the S2 is a full-fledged Wear OS smartwatch.
In this article, we will be helping you decide which one better fits your needs. We’ll go through the build quality, features, and software performance. And hopefully, by the end of our comparison, you’ll walk away with the best smartwatch for you.
Please note, we purchased the TicWatch GTX and S2 directly from mobvoi.com, click here to check their current prices.
TicWatch Brand Overview
Mobvoi Information Technology Company Limited is a tech company based in Beijing, China. They were founded in 2012 by Google AI experts, Nokia employees, and researchers from top universities such as Harvard and Cambridge. The primary goal of this company is the integration and advancement of voice AI communication.
It was in 2014 when Mobvoi started venturing into the consumer electronics market. They developed an Android-based smartwatch operating system called TicWear OS. And soon after, they worked together with Frog Design to release the TicWatch.
The TicWatch brand differentiated itself from other smartwatches by having a strong integration with their AI technology. Its launch was very successful and only trails behind the Apple Watch in the domestic Chinese market.
Today, Mobvoi continues to bring its expertise to the smartwatch market with the newer versions of the TicWatch. And with each new iteration, TicWatch gets one step closer to fulfilling its dream of ushering in the next generation of human and computer interaction.
Packaging and Unboxing Experience
Winner: TicWatch S2
As we always mention, the unboxing experience is mostly irrelevant to the value proposition of the product. However, we highly value them since they give the users a first look at their product. And in this case, the packaging alone makes it clear that one of these products is superior.
The extremely budget-priced TicWatch GTX does a great job given its price constraints. It has the same general design philosophy as the higher-end TicWatch models. It sports an all-black finish with a relatively clean design. The interior part of the packaging is less impressive but still gets the job done.
The TicWatch S2, on the other hand, comes in a small and compact box that houses all the goods. Everything from the font used to the box art is very professional, which makes the unboxing experience feel very premium. But unlike the GTX, the interior of the S2’s box is just as good as the exterior. And overall, it makes you even more excited to try out the smartwatch.
Both have a great initial presentation but we would give the slight edge to the S2.
Design and Build Quality
Overall Winner: TicWatch S2
The TicWatch GTX has a very impressive design that is almost reminiscent of Huawei’s premium Watch GT 2. It is based on the classic wristwatch look and even sports engravings on the watch face. Of course, these aren’t quite as authentic as the Watch GT 2, but they are a welcome addition to the GTX.
Additionally, the TicWatch GTX has two side buttons. This was a pleasant surprise considering the TicWatch E2 and S2 only had a single side button. And in terms of materials, the GTX is made with a combination of metal and plastic.
The overall build is very impressive for a budget smartwatch, and we believe that it will survive most users’ daily routines. However, when compared to the higher-priced GT 2, the limitations of the GTX start to show.
The Ticwatch S2’s design and build quality is a step up from the GTX. However, its overall build is quite lackluster compared to its competitors.
Its build is more basic and not as daring as the budget-priced GTX. The entire watch is made of plastic which doesn’t look as great as watches made of aluminum. And while It does have a US Military Standard 810G Rating, it doesn’t feel very solid.
Additionally, the TicWatch E2 only has a single side button. This is odd since even the GTX has more buttons than the E2. And this does have a significant effect on the S2’s usability since having a second button helps speed up UI navigation.
And as a sports watch, that second button could have been assigned to quickly access health and fitness apps. After all, the S2 is intended for fitness enthusiasts.
In terms of its design, Mobvoi has added some flair to the TicWatch S2’s design. The bezel has some markings, and the watch case is bulkier, giving it that sports watch aesthetic. The strap also has some interesting patterns that give it more texture.
But overall, the TicWatch S2’s design is pretty lackluster. It is more solid than the entry-level GTX, but it feels like you still aren’t reaching the quality that high-end TicWatch models offer.
Winner: TicWatch S2
The TicWatch S2 has a clear edge, given that it utilizes an AMOLED display. It is very well implemented and is capable of displaying sharp and vibrant images. Throughout our testing, we found that the S2 gets very bright and can easily be seen both in indoor and bright outdoor environments.
Additionally, the TicWatch S2 utilizes Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect its screen. This means that minor bumps and drops shouldn’t damage the watch and thus gives you the confidence to use it outdoors.
The TicWatch GTX, on the other hand, only uses a TFT LCD display. This isn’t usually a problem since a lot of TFT displays can still look good with proper implementation. But sadly, the GTX’s display doesn’t get very bright and only has three brightness levels.
And of course, it is no match when it is directly compared to the sharpness and vibrance of the S2’s display. It does its job, but it isn’t capable of doing any miracles.
Winner: TicWatch S2
The TicWatch GTX has an excellent feature set for its price. But with that said, the TicWatch S2 easily beats it when it comes to its features. In fact, the S2 beats most basic watches in the sub $200 price range.
The GTX covers most of the basic features. It has limited notification support that is only capable of showing notifications from allowed apps. There is no option to respond to them.
It also has an optical heart rate sensor as well as a built-in accelerometer. The GTX also has basic features such as a stopwatch, timer, weather, flashlight, and find my phone. It also has music control which is nice to have but a feature that I often do not find useful. It has no internal storage and cannot connect to Bluetooth headphones.
That’s pretty much it. It is enough for users coming from smart bands/fitness trackers or users with basic needs.
The TicWatch S2, on the other hand, is much more powerful thanks to its Google Wear OS operating system. For a full list of features, you can check out our review. But in a nutshell, this smartwatch is basically a miniature Android device.
Just like with modern Android smartphones, the S2 gives you the option to respond to notifications via text input, voice, or on-screen gestures. Additionally, the TicWatch S2 has access to the Google Play Store, giving it the ability to install apps.
The only possible edge that the GTX has over the S2 is the built-in sleep tracking feature. However, we think that the GTX’s sleep tracking feature isn’t on par with higher-end watches as we noted in our review of the Huawei Watch GT 2
Health and Fitness Tracking
Winner: TicWatch S2
The TicWatch S2 easily takes the cake when it comes to health and fitness tracking. Not only does it give excellent health tracking and fitness activities via Mobvoi and Google’s first-party software, but it also gives you the ability to install third-party apps that offer even more workout routines. Additionally, the TicWatch S2 has built-in GPS, meaning you can leave your smartphone behind during runs.
The health and tracking features of the GTX, on the other hand. Is very well implemented. It has a heart rate sensor as well as support for fitness tracking activities. However, it only has 14 workout modes. It covers the basics, but even a more basic fitness tracker has more activities available.
Watch Software Performance
Overall Winner: TicWatch S2
Surprisingly, the TicWatch GTX pulls ahead of the S2 when it comes to performance. However, due to the lack of features, it still isn’t enough to beat the TicWatch S2.
The TicWatch GTX utilizes proprietary software that is very similar to the GT 2’s Light OS. Navigation is very simple and easy to get used to. There are some design elements that are similar to the icons used on the Wear OS TicWatch models, which certainly help give the OS some flair.
Navigation is very smooth, and during our testing, the watch was free from random crashes. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said with the TicWatch S2.
The TicWatch utilizes the older Snapdragon 2100 processor and only pairs it with 500 MB of RAM. These aren’t enough to run Wear OS smoothly. And as a result, the OS is very sluggish.
And by sluggish, we mean frame drops and slowdowns during regular use. Also, opening apps is quite slow. And worst of all, opening apps such as the Google Play Store sometimes leads to a crash.
The watch is still usable. And there are even some ways to potentially speed up the Wear OS experience. You can go to developer options to adjust animations. However, we believe that a good product should be ready to go out of the box and should not need user modifications to make it usable.
Winner: TicWatch S2
The watch face section is another area where the TicWatch S2 proves that it is a much better watch than the GTX. The S2 already offers great options right out of the box. But through third-party apps found on the Play Store, you can truly customize the watch to fit your aesthetics.
Lots of apps such as A/D Watch Faces, Facer, and the Pixel Watch Face offer plenty of options. Facer, in particular, has a wide variety of options, including simple and elegant watch faces to flashy and futuristic-looking watch faces.
Of course, we don’t recommend watch faces that have too many on-screen elements since it can slow down the watch. But again, simply having the option beats out any of the GTX’s watch faces.
And speaking of the GTX, not only does it lack custom watch faces, but it even lacks a dedicated watch face store. What you get right out of the box are the only watch faces that you can apply.
And the worst part is that syncing watch faces could take several minutes. This long process has discouraged us from even trying out every watch face that the GTX has to offer.
Winner: TicWatch GTX
The one area where the GTX truly outshines the TicWatch S2 is the battery life. The GTX can easily last up to a week. This means that you won’t be carrying another device that has to be constantly recharged. Of course, this is a given since the GTX doesn’t have too many features.
The Ticwatch S2, on the other hand, only lasts for a maximum of two days. This may seem acceptable given that it is a Wear OS watch. However, a lot of users may find the constant need to recharge the watch to be very annoying. And since the watch’s performance isn’t very fast either, we wish that the battery life would be extended a bit.
In terms of their chargers, both the GTX and S2’s chargers aren’t great. They both feature non-removable cables, which makes them a pain to carry around.
Another thing to take note of is that the magnets on the GTX aren’t very strong. However, this isn’t an issue for the GTX, considering that you only ever see it once a week.
Comparison Winner: TicWatch S2
The TicWatch GTX is a very good basic entry-level smartwatch. Compared to its competitors, the aesthetics and the overall value that the GTX brings to the table are simply unbeatable. However, when compared to Mobvoi’s entry-level Wear OS watch, the GTX simply falls flat.
The only features where it beats the S2 are with its snappy OS and battery life. However, if functionality is what you are looking for, the S2 easily beats the GTX.
If you are looking for a basic smartwatch that is capable of matching the S2, we highly recommend checking out the Huawei Watch GT 2e or Huawei Watch GT 2 for a direct comparison to the Ticwatch S2.
|Mobvoi TicWatch GTX
|Mobvoi TicWatch S2
|Model||TicWatch GTX||TicWatch S2|
|Screen Size||1.28” TFT LCD||1.39” AMOLED Display|
|Screen Protection||No Official Certification||Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|Screen Resolution||240 x 240 pixel||400 x 400 pixel|
|Pixel Density||–||407 PPI|
|Input Type||2 Physical Buttons||1 physical button/Touch Screen|
|Watch Dimensions||48.7 x 48.7 x 11mm||46.6 x 51.8 x 12.9mm|
|Weight||57.6 grams||53.2 grams|
|Watch Case Material||Stainless Steel||Polyamide & glass fiber|
|Bezel Material||Stainless Steel||Polycarbonate|
|Watch Design||Circular, Curved||Circular, Curved|
|Strap Size||20 mm||22 mm|
|Watch Colors||Black||Midnight(black), Glacier(white)|
|Water Resistance||IP68||Waterproof (5ATM)|
|Swim-proof||Not recommended||Yes, recommended|
|NFC||Not Supported||Not Supported|
|Heart Rate Monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Menstrual cycle tracking||No||No|
| Underwater heart rate
|On-screen workout modes||No||No|
|Preloaded sport modes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery Life||Regular: up to 7 days
Battery Saver Mode: 10 days
|Standby: 2 days+; Mixed usage: 1 day+|
|Charging Time||About 1-2 Hours||About 1-2 Hours|
|Charging Type||USB based charging dock||USB based charging dock|
|OTHER FUNCTIONS Control camera||No||Yes|
|Text Response||No||Yes(Android Only)|
|Companion App||Mobvoi App||Mobvoi App|
|Customizable watch face||Yes||Yes|
|Internal Storage||16 MB||4 GB|
|Operating system||Proprietary OS||Wear OS by Google™|