"A simple but essential performance upgrade makes the TicWatch C2 Plus an affordable, attractive smartwatch."
Durable, attractive design
Two straps included
No automatic brightness
Do not worry. They didn't accidentally stumble into a time slot and ended up in 2018. This is really a review of a brand new Mobvoi TicWatch C2 model, although it looks identical to the C2 released more than 18 months ago. It is the TicWatch C2 Plus, and although it looks the same on the outside, there is a significant change inside – a RAM increase to 1 GB.
Is this enough to recommend buying a smartwatch that is otherwise quite old? If we only talk about performance, the answer is a resounding yes. However, we have to go deeper.
Place the C2 Plus next to the C2 and they are identical. It has a glass fiber housing and a stainless steel bezel, either made of the onyx shown here, platinum or rose gold.
The onyx and platinum models have a case size of 42.8 mm and a 20 mm bracelet, while the rose gold version comes with a finer, shorter 18 mm bracelet. Otherwise, the dimensions appear to be the same. The 20mm strap is quite short. Adjusted to my 6.5 inch wrist, there were only four holes left on the strap.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
What is welcome is a selection of straps in the box. You can use the quick release pins to put on a leather strap for the evening and a silicone strap to exercise. The silicone version was my preference. It is soft, easy to grip and does not get too hot, although the closure is a bit sharp at the edges. The leather version is deep blue, very stiff and, annoyingly, the watch rarely stayed in the top center of my wrist. With the silicone strap, the TicWatch C2 Plus weighs 58 grams.
Pages 10 and 20 have two buttons on the side of the case. At the top is the app menu button, and at the bottom is access to Mobvoi's TicHealth feature. However, this feature can be changed to another app that may be more relevant to you. Press the buttons and you will immediately notice a lot of play before it clicks into place. If this is the case, the click will be accompanied by a hollow sound. Don't expect it to feel particularly high quality. The feeling of more expensive smartwatches like the Moto 360 surpasses this.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
I like the design. The 1.3-inch screen is just right, the depth of 12 mm is not intrusive, and the simple two-button look works in both casual and sporty situations, especially if you choose the more stealthy Onyx model. The bezel is angled to make wiping comfortable. While it's tempting to complain that Mobvoi isn't updating the design for the new Plus model, it's certainly the best looking watch the company has made. No change was necessary.
Screen and software
The 1.3-inch AMOLED screen on the front of the C2 Plus is larger than many current smartwatches, including the 1.2-inch Moto 360, but corresponds to Fossil's Gen 5 smartwatch. The resolution is 390 x 390 pixels, which corresponds to the Moto 360. If you look closely, there is a slight difference in text sharpness.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
Outside, you need to set the brightness correctly, but be careful when doing this. This shortens battery life. There is also no automatic brightness function that allows you to resume control when you go back inside. I'm ready to forgive the mediocre pixel density of the screens, but the lack of auto brightness is a pain.
Google's WearOS is the same as other similar smartwatches. The aging platform is navigated using swipe and tap. Swipe right to see the helpful Google Assistant screen and swipe up to see all of your notifications. Notifications are collected in a long list and the vast majority have interactive elements, e.g. For example, replying to messages or muting calls. WearOS runs smoothly on the C2 Pro and responds quickly enough so that it doesn't become frustrating.
TicWatch C2 Plus Revolution dial Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
TicWatch C2 Plus Gentleman dial Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
TicWatch C2 Plus Classic face Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
Google Assistant on the TicWatch C2 Plus Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
WearOS is still experiencing some speed issues and setting up takes too long. However, it is reliable in everyday use and can be used on the C2 Plus. I still find notification notifications annoying because the watch keeps delivering them until I clear the list. I've used the watch that is connected to various Android phones, and while WearOS works with iOS, you'll miss out on various features, including full message support.
Google Fit on the TicWatch C2 Plus Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
TicHealth tracks your exercises and includes defined plans for walking, running, training and swimming. Oddly enough, the watch asks if you want to track the swim, and if you answer yes, it adds a shortcut called Pool Swim to the app menu that leads directly to the TicExercise app. TicPulse corresponds to Google's fit heart rate. It measures your heart rate, stores the data and can be set up so that measured values are automatically recorded during the day. The watch has IP68 water resistance, so it can be immersed up to 1 meter or more.
I have found no reason to use TicHealth through Google Fit. You don't have to, but to switch, you have to close multiple notifications before the message is received. The heart rate sensor largely agrees with the results of my Apple Watch, although I've found that it can drastically overestimate a start before it calms down a few minutes after a workout.
Overall, the C2 Plus is a good fitness tracking smartwatch due to its silicone wristband, less elegant design and good fitness functions.
Battery and power
Yes, increasing RAM to 1 GB makes a big difference to the performance of the C2 Plus. It handles animated watch faces better and is easier to switch between screens and apps. Google Maps is fast and the watch is generally a more pleasant, user-friendly companion.
Although the C2 Plus has more RAM, the old Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor is still used, and this neglects many of the advantages of the Snapdragon Wear 3100. This includes a longer battery life.
Calls cannot be taken on the C2 Plus and there is no speaker for the Google Assistant. Fortunately, the C2 Plus has NFC and supports Google Pay.
TicWatch C2 Plus with the silicone strap Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
The battery has a capacity of 400 mAh and is terminated in a typical daily use (approx. 8 a.m. to midnight) with a single tracked training session with approx. 30% remaining power. This means that you are unlikely to get through a full second day even if you turn off the watch overnight.
Price and availability
The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 Plus costs $ 210 or £ 190 and can be purchased directly from Mobvoi. It is now available.
The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 Plus shows that the company did most things right with the C2 the first time. Therefore, only a small update was required to make it desirable in 2020. I like the attractive but understated design, the solid fitness tracking references and that doesn't cost a fortune.
Is there a better alternative?
Let's start with the big one. If you have an iPhone, buy an Apple Watch as this is the best smart watch available. The software, build quality, features and performance are far better than any WearOS smartwatch. It costs more than $ 400, but it's worth it, and you're welcome to buy a cheaper Series 4 Apple Watch without feeling like you're losing a lot against the latest Series 5 model.
The price of the TicWatch C2 Plus is very cheap. You'll have to spend $ 299 to get the Moto 360 or Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch, though both have the newer Snapdragon 3100 platform and are technically superior to the C2 Plus. We recommend the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 for $ 280 as a great alternative to a WearOS smartwatch because the software is better.
How long it will take?
The TicWatch C2 Plus is made of glass fiber and stainless steel and should therefore be robust enough for everyday use. It is also IP68 waterproof and can be used when swimming. The design has already proven to be permanent as Mobvoi has not changed it from the original and it will look fresh for a few more years.
Even with 1 GB of RAM, the presence of the Snapdragon 2100 processor makes the TicWatch C2 Plus "old" in that it has been technically replaced. This can affect the watch's ability to run future versions of WearOS, and it certainly prevents you from getting the latest features from the newer Snapdragon 3100 processor.
It's not the end of the world, especially at this price, but something to keep in mind if your purchase decision doesn't depend on the value.
Should you buy it
Yes. Forget that it doesn't contain the latest processor technology. The TicWatch C2 Plus offers everything you could want from a smartwatch at a good price.