The battery life of TicWatch Pro 3 is impressive. Even when the battery is on the verge of exhaustion, after the system is shut down, the upper LCD secondary screen can continue to display the time. Its hardware configuration makes the Chinese version of Wear OS “smooth”. It is smooth enough and worry-free enough, and battery life is not a problem-it is just the lack of third-party applications that still does not reflect the biggest advantage of Wear OS.
The Wear OS smart watch operating system officially launched by Google is very ambitious, hoping to unify the user experience and application ecosystem of watches from all manufacturers and hardware configurations. However, until this year, the hardware performance of smart watches on the market could hardly drive such a huge dream.
A smart watch is first of all a watch, its most basic requirement is to “watch something”, the time display can be stable for a long time, and then nothing else. Even the importance of waterproofing is greater than the processor and memory space. However, many watches that use Wear OS just turn endlessly when opening an application, and flash back at every turn. Also, like other Android systems, they need to push OTA security updates frequently, which makes it difficult for people to be satisfied with such watches. .
On September 24 this year, when Chinese manufacturers went out to ask about the launch of the TicWatch Pro 3 watch in Europe and the United States, many reviewers on YouTube were surprised to find that they ushered in a piece of Wear OS smart that can be called “usable”. The watch, the forced retreat or lag that plagued the user at the beginning was solved, and the system finally played its due level.
Moreover, under the premise of maintaining high performance, the use time of TicWatch Pro 3 will not be greatly reduced to the extent that it has to be charged twice a day, for example, and it can even be used for a longer time through a superimposed LCD screen layer. Power-saving battery life, the official nominal limit battery life can reach 45 days. This watch also achieves a comprehensive health monitoring capability through a complete detector including blood oxygen, which is almost an ECG next to it. Therefore, foreign watch review bloggers gave it a high evaluation.
Here is a piece of background information, that is, in the overseas smart watch market, Chinese manufacturers are very active. Like going out to ask the previous generation Wear OS watch TicWatch Pro, it has always been a “sacred machine” circulating in various civil forums and Reddit discussion groups. OPPO and Xiaomi, which released new watches this year, have also received heated discussions, and they will even study the children’s watches of Xiaotiancai and 360, which contrasts with the situation of domestic users who mainly focused on Moto, Samsung and LG in the earlier years.
However, for non-Wear OS Chinese watches, third-party applications need to undergo a lot of localization and customization, which may not be very practical for foreign users. Therefore, Google officially takes the lead in unifying the ecology and making smart watches move toward a competition between hardware configuration and industrial design. This is a benign direction.
The biggest problem with Wear OS is that due to well-known reasons, it can’t perform its full power in China. Even before going out to ask if it can become the official partner of the system in China, it is a question of whether it can enter China. After the official announcement of the cooperation in 2015, Google Assistant replaced Google Assistant and became the default voice assistant for Wear OS watches sold in China. Google Maps was replaced by Sogou Maps. After that, it has undergone a long period of development. This year, marked by Xiaomi, OPPO, etc., the number of manufacturers joining the Wear OS camp has increased significantly, and Wear OS is no longer monopolized by high-priced models, and has begun to reflect a relatively rich price grade. The ecological construction in China has revealed the dawn.
At this time, I went out and asked to launch the National Bank version of TicWatch Pro 3, with the same configuration, but localized adjustments in the operating system, but retained system applications such as health monitoring, and the ability to openly install third-party APKs.
In this article, we want to use the actual hands of TicWatch Pro 3 to help you understand a problem-using Wear OS abroad is no problem, Google Family Bucket is also a perfect experience, the app store can be set up with Apple Watch The same ecosystem; in China,Is it possible to make up for the ecological shortcomings in some way, so that the powerful chip used in this watch can exert its maximum effect？
Appearance and hardware configuration
TicWatch Pro 3 is compatible with 22mm straps. The round dial frame reflects the sporty characteristics and takes into account the solemnity and elegance. Changing the dial will show a different style. Its volume, thickness and total weight are the same as those of common mechanical watches, and may be slightly larger for petite women, teenagers, etc. I wear it myself.
The watch uses the Snapdragon 4100, which is the latest chip developed by Qualcomm for the watch. It is the first to be assembled on the latest version of the legendary Xiaotiancai watch in China, but Xiaotiancai uses a self-made system. So TicWatch Pro 3 is the first model in Wear OS with this chip.
The watch matches this powerful chip with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage space. The watch has no exposed interface and is charged wirelessly, so the connection with the computer also needs to be done wirelessly.
Especially worth mentioning is its screen. The screen is actually divided into two layers. On top of the standard full-color touch screen, a layer of LCD monochrome screen is also superimposed with a beautiful light blue backlight.
When the watch is in an inactive state, the LCD screen first assumes the function of watching the time. Therefore, the standard wrist-lifting screen is disabled. Only when the right physical button is pressed or when a new notification occurs, the wrist-lifting will activate the full-color screen below, which can effectively save power.
If you press the one under the two physical keys on the right for more than 3 seconds, you can choose to shut down, restart or enter the power saving mode, that is, only use the monochrome LCD screen, which allows the watch to reach a maximum of 45 days of battery life.
We actually don’t need to test whether this watch can really reach 45 days standby with this extreme power saving mode, because in most cases we still need to turn on the screen, and the actual use time will definitely be discounted. Just understand that even if you use the pure color screen below, you can charge it every 2-3 days.
In order to experience the power change in a completely natural scene, I started charging the watch at 11:03 on Saturday, when the remaining power of the watch was 62%. Charge to 69% after 20 minutes, and 95% after 50 minutes. It takes one hour to fully charge.thenPut it all night, Take it out at 10:15 on Sunday morningDropped to 75%，During the period, the WiFi connection of the watch was turned on, It turns off automatically after a period of time.
After that, I left the watch in place until Tuesday(Day 4)11:03 view,13% battery remaining.What’s impressive is that another day was placed after that, which is Wednesday(The fifth day)At 11:00,The upper LCD dial is still moving, and the lower Wear OS system has been shut down.
This is enough for me at least. My habit of using smart watches is to take them off and charge them at night, or to wear them only when I go out, because it is uncomfortable to wear them to sleep. But even if you need to wear a watch to sleep to use the sleep monitoring function, I believe it can last longer than previous models.
It should be pointed out that the model sent for testing is a development version, and there may be some differences in similar tests on the physical products, but I believe the gap will not be too large.
Operating system and software
Next we finally talk about the system. Although the Chinese version of Wear OS castrated off the full set of Google services such as the Play Store, Google Assistant, and Google Maps, the rest remained. So the process of activating the watch is basically the same as the overseas version.
On the Android phone paired with the watch, install the Wear OS client and the watch manufacturer’s own client (here is the “Go out and ask” App). Only the Wear OS client is required. If you are afraid of making mistakes, just follow the instructions and scan the QR code to pair; then grant various permissions for the watch and mobile app. Click on the eye-catching banner ad on the Wear OS client to jump to the download page of the “Go Ask” App, which is used to control Xiaowen’s voice assistant and synchronize blood oxygen and other exclusive exercise data.
It should be noted that the mobile phone will ask for some permissions that you may not have seen before. In addition to reading files, obtaining location information, and obtaining IMEI, it also reads contacts, call records, text messages, and requests to send text messages. And recording basically lists all the permissions that can be given in the phone. Every time you have to take the trouble to agree to grant permissions, so that you can use 100% complete functions; if you refuse part of the authorization, it will not affect the use of other capabilities.
Let’s test the system applications and third-party applications next. Due to the short-term use, it is difficult to give a sufficiently objective evaluation of the accuracy of the various sensors of the watch, so health-related application test results will not be provided here. Judging from the experience of long-term wear by foreign video broadcasters, the wide variety of sensors built into the watch are indeed conducive to providing more comprehensive physical health data.
Here is just one point, that is, when measuring blood oxygen, the following posture (that is, facing the back of the hand instead of the palm of the hand) may cause the measurement to fail. You can turn the watch so that the back sensor is close to the pulse position.
Domestic Wear OS watches, even other brands such as Moto 360, use voice assistants that go out to ask questions, except for Xiaomi, which has developed voice assistants. The assistant uses double wake-up words, one is Google’s “Hey, Xiaoan” (replacing the previous “Hello, Android”), and the other is “Hello, Xiaoan”.
If you want to open the application on the watch, you must say the complete full name and cannot be omitted. In-app function jump is not supported, such as sending a message to a WeChat contact, which is currently impossible. In addition, if you use the headset for asking questions (such as the TicPods 2 Pro we reviewed before) with the watch, it is recommended to use headphones instead of the watch to wake up the question. The reason is that the headset on the mobile phone has more voice assistant settings in the App, and the headset and the watch work independently.
The built-in applications of the system include: phone calls, text messages, eSIM card assistant, watch face, health, exercise, heart rate, sleep, breathing, pressure, blood oxygen, noise monitoring, notes, recording, calculator, schedule, alarm clock, stopwatch, timer, Weather, address book, shop, payment, reminder, flashlight, find mobile phone, hand washing timer, etc. The audio recorder used by the system provides voice-to-text function, but this is chargeable. New users have a time experience card as a gift, and they can go out and ask the App to activate on their mobile phones.
The note application that comes with the watch and the WeChat of the watch only have voice input and do not provide options for keyboard input. The reason is also obvious, the small dial of the watch makes the input process extremely painful. Fortunately, for Chinese, we have three input methods with different mechanisms to choose from. To switch the input method, go to Settings-“Personalization” to find.
Wear OS’s default Google Pinyin input method uses Swipe swipe input. Keep your finger on the letter you want to enter, don’t leave, slide to the next letter; after writing one word, continue to the next word until you have entered a complete phrase Or short sentences. Surprisingly, its recognition accuracy is quite high, exceeding my expectations.
Sogou input method provides 9-key input for Chinese characters. We are familiar with it, but of course it is a bit cramped.
Another is the TouchPal input method, which insists on providing traditional full-key input-some key positions on the circular dial will often make mistakes, which is extremely inefficient. But TouchPal’s full keyboard can be very useful in one situation, which is to enter URLs, passwords, and so on. It may be the only input method that allows you to enter accurate information on the watch, despite all the hardships.
Next we look at the official app store. Compared with other watch systems, Wear OS has strong playability. The applications contributed by domestic and foreign developers provide good flexibility for the watch, making the function of the watch not limited to the part preset by the manufacturer, which is also attractive The player’s place.
Because it is inconvenient to input information on the watch, the application is organized in the form of topics. Among them, the necessary topics for installation can be quickly downloaded to WeChat, Alipay, Sogou Maps, Didi, NetEase Cloud Music, Himalaya, etc. Basically must be installed application. If you often fly by plane, you can also consider installing Air Travel to display your boarding pass on your watch.
There are not many games on the watch at present, such as Alice Running (scroll game), Birdie Wear (ported version of Flappy Bird), 2048, etc., which can be said to give full play to the layout characteristics of the small dial.
We can see free and paid apps in the official store. Because the software resources related to watches on the Internet are not very rich, the only way to obtain some applications is to pay for them in the store, and there has not yet been a large number of “cracked versions”.
It is worth noting that among the nearly 1,000 apps available on the official store, 80% or even 90% are watch faces. The watch face of Wear OS is actually an APK, which is mixed with other tool apps in the same store. When you search for a keyword of a software, there will be a bunch of more watch face results below, not all The app you actually want to search. In all paid applications, watch faces account for more. For example, the search results for “Zhihu”:
Even the paid dials are “difficult to describe”, and there is really nothing that fits my aesthetics (personal opinion). I think it would be better to just use the ones that come with it. If you are a fan of digital clocks, I recommend using this dial “Zoran”.
Compared with other domestic manufacturers, the application stores that go out to ask are relatively friendly to third-party developers and respond faster, allowing domestic Wear OS enthusiasts to develop applications as early as possible. For example, almost everyone in the watch industry knows “Beep on the wrist”, you can watch the B station video with barrage on the watch. The developer said that the progress was slow when it was launched on another store, and it was not given to it for a long time; but the app store that was first launched was the app store that asked.
Speaking of enthusiasts, the TicWatch series has always been a test machine that is very popular among domestic Wear OS players. This time, the new model equipped with Snapdragon 4100 will surely make enthusiasts who like “toss” a lot of fun.
The following briefly introduces how to open the advanced operation of ADB to connect to the computer. For example, as of press time, watch QQ has not been included in the official store, but you can use the method described below to download to the APK and install it on your watch.
First, enter the setting interface of the watch, find the “version number” column in the “system”-“about” interface, and click repeatedly until the prompt to enter the developer mode appears on the screen. Back to the previous screen, you will find “Developer Options” under “System”. Open “ADB debugging” and “Debug via WLAN” here, and return to the previous screen.
At this time, you can connect the watch to the wireless network at home. Enter the “Network Connection”-“WLAN” of the settings, turn on the switch and select “Add WLAN”, click the hotspot name, select “Enter on the phone” and open the Wear OS App on the phone at the same time, wait for the password input box to pop up.
Some routers have the anti-scratch network function turned on, or after public WiFi is connected, an authentication page may pop up. The watch cannot connect to such a network because it does not have a browser and cannot access web pages. Routers with anti-rubbing network need to manually authenticate the watch. Please find the hardware identified as “Simcom Smart Device” in the background of the router and release it manually.
Back to Settings-“Developer Options”, you can find the internal network IP address and port number of the watch under “Debug via WLAN” (the default port number is 5555). At this time, you can download a software called “Wear OS Toolbox” on your computer, select “WiFi connection”, and enter the above IP and port number.
After the connection is successful, the toolbox will display the specific parameters of the watch. At this point, you can use the toolbox functions to push APK installation packages to the watch, manage and uninstall applications, and remotely access the file manager.
The watch can only connect to a WiFi network of 2.4G instead of 5G. In addition, turning on WiFi for the watch consumes more power. After debugging, you can return to the dial interface in time and slide it down from top to bottom. Use the switch to turn off the WiFi connection. The watch is usually connected to your phone’s network via Bluetooth.
Finally, I will say a little regret. Since the Play Store is still not available (and of course you cannot switch to the US), there are actually two different types of applications in Wear OS. We can only experience one of them, which is installed independently on the watch.butOthers require the mobile phone to install the “companion app” synchronously, Such as Google Maps, Google Keep Notepad, AccuWeather, American Airlines, etc. We have no way to use these watch apps that require “companion apps”; and overall, the process of installing third-party APKs outside the store is still too cumbersome.
How to describe the first “Wear OS + Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100” combination of TicWatch Pro 3 in one sentence?
It will most likely be the first watch that will not get stuck and will not be forced to retire even after watching full-screen video. If you install a browser for it, it should be able to do it too-although how to control it may be a problem.
Every smart watch is made, condensing the manufacturer’s desire to expand the intelligent “friend circle” and improve the entire application scenario. The simple interactive interface of the watch and the convenient voice assistant call as earphones make it very suitable for controlling home appliances and automobiles. But the problem here is the same as other smart hardware, you will find yourself trapped in a certain ecosystem to some extent.
We once wrote about this question-you only respond to Xiao Ai when you buy Xiaomi’s ecological chain products; when you buy Huawei’s smart home, it is the best match with Huawei watches. It may take a long time to wait for the interconnection between different ecological chains, but the equipment of Wear OS means that one day, other voice assistants can be transplanted to your current watch, just like you can see it on any mobile phone. Pretend to be the extracted classmate Xiao Ai or Breeno.
Many YouTube reviews say that TicWatch Pro 3 is the first timeWear OS becomes available and practical“Because the application of Wear OS abroad is very close to life, just wait for a good enough hardware to make it “not stuck”. In China, we can only talk about the hardware configuration of TicWatch Pro 3.Let the Chinese version of Wear OS become “smooth”, It is smooth enough and worry-free enough, and battery life is not a problem-it is just the lack of third-party applications, and it does not reflect the biggest advantage of Wear OS over other proprietary embedded watch systems.
Just like the ancient Symbian and Android that relied on 91 assistants and pea pods in the early years, the current Wear OS is still the rising sun and is in a very advanced stage of development; however, there has been a small The group of people connected and developed a “watch-playing” community. They worked hard to transplant and introduce domestic overseas applications that were waiting to be put on the shelves, as well as to develop practical applications in line with national conditions, which continued to broaden the boundaries of Wear OS.
There are still very few official applications for Wear OS. It is similar to the Windows Phone ecosystem to some extent. Of course, it also faces the same danger of death. Overseas, Google relies on the strong appeal of the Play Store and the convenience of the “companion app”, so that many manufacturers without a special development plan can simply design a dial interface by the way to put the watch on the shelf. Like Apple Watch, the overseas Wear OS ecosystem has been quickly built, and its usability is significantly better than that in China.
Assuming that we cannot introduce a “companion application” mechanism, this means that the watch application must be developed separately, rather than as an additional function of the Android version of the application, which is not attractive to many manufacturers.
I think the application ecology of Wear OS can be created only when the system is extremely popular. If we say that the kind of watch we could buy before will freeze or flash back at every turn, but even so, it is still a watch running Wear OS, and the price can be reduced to two or three hundred yuan or even lower. If such a copycat watch is more expensive , The script that was once performed on Android phones may be repeated on the wrist. It’s just that what you can buy in Shenzhen now is a watch that runs a full version of Android and can plug in a SIM card…Although it is to avoid the embarrassment of too few Wear OS applications, mobile applications that are not adapted at all The screen is even more unavailable.
Therefore, domestic manufacturers of Wear OS may seriously consider the developer incentive mechanism, or develop more excellent first-party applications, so that TicWatch Pro 3 has such a high hardware configuration and excellent industrial design. Spring of Wear OS.
The above evaluation content and conclusion are the author’s personal experience point of view. The test machine is provided by Q&A. It is a development version and may be different from the official market version.
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