Have you heard about the Ticwatch? They’re a Chinese voice assistant company, Mobvoi, which brought their smart watches to Kickstarter last year. The watches were well designed, reasonably affordable, but the problem was their voice assistant and a forked version of Android. The first iteration of the Ticwatch raised over $2 million on Kickstarter, but users had a lot of feedback on the Ticwatch. Owners wanted Android, GPS, water resistance, and the ability to track sleep. Mobvoi listened and has launched a new Kickstarter campaign for the Ticwatch S&E, addressing all the feedback.
The Ticwatch S&E are two different watches; the S stands for Sport, and the E stands for Express. The two watches are similar with the only difference being the price, size, and where the GPS is. On the Sports edition, the GPS built into a non-replaceable watch band. The Express version has the GPS built into the watch case. The Sport is 13mm thick while the Express is 13.55mm thick, so a minor difference. The same goes for the weight, with the Sport being 45.5g and the Express being 41.5g. Otherwise, the Ticwatches are the same with Android 2.0, 48hrs+ of battery life, heart rate monitor, accelerometer, e-Compass, IP67 water resistance, and a 1.4 inch OLED display.
I’ve backed the campaign, choosing the Ticwatch E, Early Bird offer. I pledged $126 to get the Ticwatch E, saving 25% off retail. There are still 500 or more spots open to pledge to redeem that reward. Once that reward is sold out there are other rewards that you can snag with a slightly higher price tag, but you do get a pair of Bluetooth headphones that work with the watch for free.
The Ticwatch is following the path Pebble took
A lot of what the Ticwatch tried to do with the first watch felt similar to Pebble. At the time Pebble created a new watch OS, tried to get developers to build apps and watch faces, and they launched on Kickstarter. While Pebble ultimately raised millions and had a thriving developer community, they failed and had to sell to Fitbit. When the Ticwatch came to my attention I was still upset about the Pebble; I still wanted to hold onto my Pebble. I’ve thought about buying an Android Wear watch but they’re either outrageously priced, or they’re lousy devices.
$119 for the Express version is a deal. The watch offers everything I want, and from what The Verge says, the Express version is a little more ergonomic on the wrist. The Sport has a stiff watch band which doesn’t fit on larger or smaller wrist. I’m also not a fan of the Sports watch look with the integrated watch band. I’d rather have the option to swap out my watch band. I have broken watch bands countless times, and if it weren’t removable, I would have lost a watch.
With the Ticwatch making a return on Kickstarter to launch another watch they feel like they’re copying the model of Pebble. They’re listening to the community, offering community perks, and still building great devices. While they failed to get developers on board with the first watch, they now have a huge pool of Android Wear developers who can create for this watch and hundreds of other Android Wear watches on the market.
Ticwatch is rebuilding a community that Pebble left behind. All of the Pebble enthusiasts may not jump over, but many of them have started talking about this new “start-up” watch brand. The Ticwatch S&E should ship in October of this year – an aggressive goal. They’ve shipped watches before, and all the parts should be available, so they should be able to meet the target.
Let me know what you think about the Ticwatch S&E. Tell me in the comments below which one you are getting and what color you’re going to snag!