TicWatch E3 vs Fossil Gen 5 Comparison: What Should You Buy?
Before we compare these wearables, TicWatch E3 and Fossil Gen 5, let us dive into the history of their manufacturers to put things into context.
The Fossil Group is famous for introducing style and class to smartwatches and has made a point with its lineup of WearOS powered devices: fashion-focused smartwatches can be sold at a premium price. Fossil Gen 5, the flagship model by the company, has many variants that include the Carlyle the Julianna, and the Garrett model. Plus, it has the cheaper 5E, Hybrid, and the latest standalone LTE variant (our review unit). They fall in the price bracket of $200-350.
On the other hand, Mobvoi is a Chinese-based technology company that first ventured into the smartwatch arena back in 2015. The company has been credited with manufacturing the cheapest Android-powered smartwatch (Ticwatch E). Over the years, it has launched a flurry of powerful products (under the banner of Ticwatch) in the market priced mainly in the bracket of $100-300. Ticwatch E3 is the latest in the Low-End E Series by Mobvoi that undercuts its high-end sibling, Ticwatch Pro 3.
Interestingly, both companies have been staunch champions of Google’s WearOS platform (previously known as Android Wear). Google has been neglectful of its wearable OS for almost 2 years, and both Mobvoi and Fossil paid the cost of it. Now that, Samsung and Google are joining forces for updating the Wear OS, the old devices by Fossil and Mobvoi would be left in the lurch.
Fossil executives have been upfront and issued a statement that none of their current-gen smartwatches will be updated to the new unified Wear OS (dubbed as Wear OS 3.0). So game over for Fossil Gen 5, 4, and all their variants. Whereas, Mobvoi is yet to release a statement about this matter. A major leak by GSM arena reported that Ticwatch E3 and Ticwatch Pro 3 would get the update.
Before reading this Fossil Gen 5 vsTicwatch E3 comparison, you should take into account the fact that if you bet your money on Ticwatch E3, you would not only be future-proof but also would have to pay nearly half the price. Fossil Gen 5 might reign superior in style and class for now, but sooner or later you might want to upgrade to the upcoming Fossil Gen 6.
Now, without further ado, let’s put these mid-range wearables against each other.
|Fossil Gen 5 LTE
|Fossil Gen 4
|Android & IOS
|Android & IOS
|Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, HD PPG Heart Rate Sensor, SpO2 Sensor, Low Latency Off-Body Sensor
|Accelerometer, Altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Off-body IR, PPG Heart Rate
- Fossil Gen 5 (LTE) vs. Ticwatch E3: Design & Display
- Fossil Gen 5(LTE) vs. Ticwatch E3: Fitness and Health Tracking
- Fossil Gen 5 (LTE) vs. Ticwatch E3: Smartwatch Features
- Fossil Gen 5 (LTE) vs. Ticwatch E3: Battery Life & Charging
- Fossil Gen 5 LTE vs. Ticwatch E3: What Should You Choose?
Fossil Gen 5 (LTE) vs. Ticwatch E3: Design & Display
- Fossil Gen 5 has a stainless steel body, comes in a variety of colors and finishes. If aesthetics and build quality are your top priority, this watch is all you need.
- Ticwatch E3 comes in a single color option, has a plastic built, and lacks significantly in aesthetic appeal.
- Both watches are significantly large, marketed towards the masculine crowd (in simple words, suitable for large wrists).
- The silicone band is the standard straps these watches use, but the sizes differ. Interestingly, both come with a quick-release mechanism.
- The crisp and sharp AMOLED display of Fossil Gen 5 beats the unimpressive LCD in Ticwatch E3.
- These smartwatches are suitable for pool swimming, but you need to be extra careful with Fossil Gen 5
|Fossil Gen 5 LTE
|44 x 47 x 12.6
|45 x 13mm
|Black, Blush, and More
|Rotating home button + 2 additional pushers
|Polycarbonate and glass fiber
|Silicone rubber (interchangeable/removable), 20mm, Black
Stap Color: Black, Neon Yellow, and Ash Blue
|Solid Silicone /Removable Straps (22mm)
IP68, Pool swimming
|1.3″ High Density Display TFT (360 x 360 px)
416 x 416 resolution
|Tempered Glass Protection
Ticwatch E3 has made a lot of trade-offs in the design department (as well as in display) to get that price tag under $200. By no means, it can rub shoulders with Fossil Gen 5.
With its whole body made of stainless steel, Gen 5 feels a little heavy on the wrist similar to what it feels like to wear a traditional watch. It has a big casing that protrudes significantly from the wrist so much so that you might get your sleeves stuck in it (13mm thick). You get a variety of colors to choose from, plus the watches under Fossil Gen 5 banner have something for everyone’s taste. You get a silicone strap, the standard interchangeable one, which you can swap for any 22mm band lying around.
There are three programmable buttons on the right side — the middle of which is a rotatable crown. Buttons are easy to press, spinning crown navigates flawlessly through the menu.
Obviously, with this weight and size, Fossil Gen 5 might not be the right fitness companion for you or look a little chunky, but one thing you can’t resist but appreciate is its aesthetic appeal. For some, the looks alone justify the investment in this smartwatch.
Ticwatch E3 has few to offer in the design department. Its plastic construction is at best acceptable, pretty baseline what we get in this price bracket. The colors and finishes variety, a stronghold of Apple and Fossil, is absent. And on top of that, the watch is significantly thick. However, its lightweight design makes it suitable for fitness and sports tracking. Like the Fossil Gen 5, this watch is suitable for shallow water swimming.
By comparing just the specs you can get a clear idea of which smartwatch is superior. Fossil Gen 5 has an AMOLED 1.28-inch display with 416 x 416 resolution and a high 328 pixel per inch density. In layman terms, the display is vibrant, crisp with great viewing angles and rich colors. Plus, the high resolution means it can fit more items in a single view so you won’t have to put up effort to get to your favorite metrics.
It stands side by side with the Retina AMOLED display in the Apple Watch, considered the gold standard in the industry. The brightness level is suitable for outdoor and indoor settings with an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust screen power. The always-on display mode is yet another welcomed feature.
Ticwatch E3 also offers Always-on Display, but the similarities just end there. The screen technology reminds us that Mobvoi has prioritized performance over aesthetics. The LCD, though offering high resolution, doesn’t make an impression, at least on us.
Fossil Gen 5(LTE) vs. Ticwatch E3: Fitness and Health Tracking
- Ticwatch E3 has SpO2 or oxygen sensor
- There are 21 additional exercise/sports modes in the Ticwatch
- You can download third-party apps for sports/fitness tracking on both watches
- Apart from heart rate and sleep tracking found on Fossil Gen 5, you can also track stress and noise level on Ticwatch E3.
|Fossil Gen 5 LTE
|21 that includes
Mountain climbing, swimming,
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
|Google Fit (Scores of workout and sports modes)
|Heart Rate Monitoring
|Yes (Light, Deep, REM Detection)
|SpO2 or Blood Oxygen Tracking
|Yes (24-hour monitoring)
|Noise Level Detection
Ticwatch E3 strikes the right balance of fitness and smartwatch features. In addition to the exercise and sports tracking you find in the Google Fit, Mobvoi has added 21 new modes as a bonus. These include options such as run, walk, cycle, freestyle, swimming, elliptical, rowing, yoga, pilates, football, skating, body mechanics, and mountaineering.
Mobvoi has also included its suite of Tic-apps to cover health-related metrics. For instance, it has TicPulse for measuring heart rate, TicSleep for sleep monitoring, TicOxygen to keep tabs on blood oxygen level, TicZen&TicBreathe to manage your stress & breathing respectively, TicHearing to monitor the ambient noise, and TicCare to share these results with others so they may keep tabs on your wellness.
For both heart rate and blood oxygen, you can do both on-spot checks and continuous monitoring. The data for these metrics is comprehensive and spot-on. The sleep tracking though isn’t up to the mark, and you should take the data with a pinch of salt.
Fossil Gen 5, in sharp contrast, has failed to level up its fitness tracking game. Other than the basic heart rate, steps, and sleep tracking, the watch has very limited to offer. Though it has a standalone satellite navigation system like the Ticwatch E3, the data from the watch is a little off and therefore unreliable. To be a serious contender, Fossil would have to catch up on a lot of features in its upcoming Gen 6 lineup.
Fossil Gen 5 (LTE) vs. Ticwatch E3: Smartwatch Features
- Fossil Gen 5 comes with LTE connectivity
- Ticwatch E3 features the latest Snapdragon Wear 4100 chip
- Both have equal storage and memory
- The apps run fast on Ticwatch E3
- You would have access to the Google wearable suite and thousands of third-party apps in both these watches
|Fossil Gen 5 LTE
|Wear OS by Google
|Wear OS by Google
|Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 4100 Platform (1.7 Ghz)
|Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 3100 Platform
|RAM: 1GB / ROM: 8GB
|1GB RAM + 8GB ROM
|Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi:802.11b/g/n, GPS (Plus GLONASS / BEIDOU)
|Bluetooth 4.2 LE, Wi-Fi:802.11b/g/n, GPS (Plus GLONASS / BEIDOU / GALLILEO), Cellular Connectivity (Verizon)
|Yes (Google Pay)
|Yes (Google Pay)
|Speaker, Mic & Vibrator
|Yes (Google Assistant)
|Yes (Google Assistant)
As a smartwatch, both these watches delivers an almost similar experience. Ticwatch E3 has 2 big improvements: it has a better chip and the latest Bluetooth technology.
Thanks mainly to the Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor, Ticwatch E3 seamlessly runs third-party apps as well as the Google wearable suite. The navigation is comparatively faster than the Fossil Gen 5 which is still powered by a 3 years old chip (Wear 3100). As both watches have Wi-Fi, the better Bluetooth tech in Ticwatch E3 isn’t that big of an advantage.
You can text and call on both watches when they are connected to your phone via Bluetooth. However, Fossil has a slight edge in connectivity. It features LTE support (by Verizon), and so can be used as a standalone device. You can text, call or stream music on the watch without having your phone nearby.
Google Assistant and Google Pay are two highlight features. The powerful chip in Ticwatch makes sure that the voice assistant responds fast and you make contactless payments with ease.
The smartwatch experience doesn’t differ as much as the one we witnessed in the fitness and health tracking space.
Fossil Gen 5 (LTE) vs. Ticwatch E3: Battery Life & Charging
- Fossil Gen 5 supports fast charging.
- In battery performance, Ticwatch E3 lasts a little longer.
- Fossil Gen 5 charges via magnetic pad thus making the whole process a lot more convenient.
|Fossil Gen 5 LTE
|Expected Battery Life
|1 day with heavy usage, Always-on Display enabled, GPS, Bluetooth Calling (30 days on Essential mode)
|Small USB cable that magnetically attaches to the back of the watch, Same as that of Ticwatch Pro 3
|Almost 1.5 hours
|Takes 50 minute to charge from empty to 80%
Wear OS is notorious for its poor battery performance. The operating system put a lot of compatible watches into troubled waters. However, both Mobvoi and Fossil have tried to patch this up the best they could. The former uses the latest processor and a big battery, whereas the latter introduced different modes to allow you to turn off battery killer features.
Let’s start with the Ticwatch E3, the smartwatch as mentioned earlier features the rarest breed of chips. Snapdragon Wear 4100 chips have significantly improved on their predecessor in many aspects, of which the most prominent is the battery life. You get about a 25% performance boost with this chip, and Mobvoi has taken full advantage of it. Plus it featured a large battery size for this watch. Mobvoi’s overall approach has been centered on hardware improvement to make for the lacking of software.
One single charge the watch can make it to the end of the day pretty easily when you prefer to use the battery killer features all at once. On essential mode that reduces the smartwatch to a basic time-telling feature, it can extend the battery performance to 30 days. The charging however is pretty slow and the charging puck couldn’t be worse.
In contrast, Fossil Gen 5 has mainly focused on software fixes. In 2020, it introduced several modes in all its Gen 5 smartwatches through a software upgrade. The dailymode makes Gen 5 a ‘one-day smartwatch’, the battery drain is like a knife on butter. The extended battery mode which turns off some of the features including the always-on screen, lasts more than two days between charges, while the time-only mode lasts much longer still (a week in some cases).
Additionally, there is a custom mode that as the name suggests can turn on or off anything you like. The LTE version of Fossil Gen 5 is yet another advantage, it charges pretty fast (faster than most smartwatches in the market). The charging is a hassle-free process, as the magnetic USB puck attaches seamlessly to the ring on the back of the watch.
Fossil Gen 5 LTE vs. Ticwatch E3: What Should You Choose?
It all boils down to your preference. Fossil Gen 5 lineup offers you a range of different smartwatches to choose from. It doesn’t end there, you can have a great variety of colors and finishes like the Apple Watch. Plus, it offers better connectivity and a superior display.
Whereas, Ticwatch E3 offers telling hardware improvements and an attractive price point. Also, it has a level up in sports and fitness tracking. If you can live with the bland design of the Ticwatch E3, the watch offers great value for the money. You would get the fastest wearable processor, solid hardware specs overall, and a host of health and fitness tracking capabilities found only in premium watches.
As far as access to Google Wearable Suite is concerned, both of them offer an almost similar experience.