Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Mobvoi TicWatch E3: Closer than you think

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

As the first Wear OS 3 smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 4 takes Google's wearable platform to the next level with its powerful and efficient chipset, sleek design, and impressive health tracking features.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Wear OS at its best

Improved Wear OS 3
Fast chipset
Pairs well with Galaxy smartphones
Body composition sensor
Capacitive bezel for easy navigation
No Google Assistant (yet)
Some health features are Galaxy exclusive
More expensive
OK battery life

Mobvoi TicWatch E3

Mobvoi TicWatch E3 Render

The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 runs Wear OS incredibly well thanks to the Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor and has many health features to take advantage of. It's also one of the more affordable "higher-end" Wear OS watches.

Mobvoi TicWatch E3

Powerfully affordable

Snappy performance
More affordable
Plenty of health features
Bulky design
No Wear OS 3 (yet)
OK battery life
Finicky sleep tracking

Putting the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 against the Mobvoi TicWatch E3 may seem like an unfair comparison, but the TicWatch E3 manages to hold its own thanks to its lower price and snappy processor. While the TicWatch runs the older Wear OS 2.5, it manages to make the best of a bad situation thanks to Mobvoi's bevy of health apps for 24-hour health tracking.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 4 runs the newer Wear OS 3 Powered by Samsung, so the OS runs faster and more efficiently. And like the TicWatch, Samsung managed to put its own touch on Wear OS with its own features and UI elements. On paper, the Galaxy Watch 4 may seem like the better bet, but don't sleep on the TicWatch E3.

Samsung Galaxy Watch: Power on two different levels

Side-by-side, the Galaxy Watch 4 and TicWatch E3 seem very different, and in many ways, they are. That said, both Wear OS watches are quite powerful thanks to their respective chipsets, and while Samsung may have an advantage with a newer software version, the Mobvoi isn't very far behind.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Samsung Galaxy Watch 4Mobvoi TicWatch E3
Size40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8mm
44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8mm
44 x 47 x 12.6mm
Display1.2-inch Super AMOLED
1.4-inch Super AMOLED
1.3-inch High Density
ProcessorExynos W920 (5nm)Snapdragon Wear 4100
Operating SystemWear OS 3 (One UI Watch)Wear OS 2.5
Ambient Light
BioActive Sensor (Heart Rate)
BIA (Body Composition)
Heart Rate Sensor
SpO2 Sensor
Low Latency Off-Body Sensor
ConnectivityBluetooth 5
LTE (optional)
Bluetooth 5
IP68+"Pool Swimming" suitable
ColorsBlack, Green, Silver, Pink GoldPanther Black
Band Size20mm20mm

The Galaxy Watch 4 has a bit of an advantage, spec-wise, over the TicWatch E3. As a premium Wear OS smartwatch, Samsung made sure to give its all into this wearable. That said, the Galaxy Watch 4 features the most internal storage of any of the best Wear OS watches with a whopping 16GB. That'll be more than enough to download offline playlists from Spotify, and with the new 5nm Exynos chip paired with 1.5GB of RAM, the device runs apps like butter.

Samsung equips the display with a high pixel-density AMOLED panel that looks fantastic and comes in two sizes. And for easy navigation, you'll be able to make use of the capacitive bezel to scroll through apps without your fingers getting in the way. And speaking of fingers, you're bound to enjoy the premium feel of the aluminum chassis.

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

One notable advantage of the Galaxy Watch 4 is the new Wear OS 3 Powered by Samsung. The update was developed along with Google to provide better performance and efficiency. Not only that but the watch pairs well with the best Android phones from Samsung thanks to the new One UI Watch that sits on top of Wear OS 3. This means many of the UI elements will mirror that of Galaxy smartphones like the settings app.

Additionally, compatible apps downloaded from the Play Store on a Galaxy smartphone will automatically download on the watch for a seamless experience. Other features will sync between the two devices, like the clock and contacts.

As far as device sensors go, you'll get the typical set of sensors you'd find on many of the best Android smartwatches like a heart rate sensor, sleep tracking, and SpO2. However, Samsung steps it up by including its new BIA sensor for body composition calculations like skeletal mass, basal metabolic rate, and body fat percentage. Built-in GPS and optional LTE connectivity make it an ideal watch for fitness, so you can take it out with you on a run without missing a beat.

Running all this is a battery that Samsung says should last about 40 hours on a single charge. And if you need a quick top-up, the watch offers fast charging, which can get you 10 hours of battery life after just a 30-minute charge.

Don't sleep on the TicWatch E3

Ticwatch E3 Lifestyle

Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central (Image credit: Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

The TicWatch E3 is no slouch thanks to the Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset and the 1GB of RAM. It's proven that it can keep up with even its more expensive sibling, the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS. And while it may be stuck with the aging Wear OS 2.5, it manages runs extremely well, and Google has ensured that it will be upgradeable to the new Wear OS 3 update in 2022. For the time being, the watch will continue to see some new experiences from apps like Google Messages and Spotify.

The TicWatch E3 is a good watch that will get better with Wear OS 3.

Mobvoi also provides its own set of apps for various health features like heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring, and even automatic workout detection. You'll also get a fuller Google experience on the TicWatch E3 with services like Google Assistant, which aren't available just yet on the Galaxy Watch 4 (you're stuck with Bixby for now).

It's not all rosy, though. Battery life lasts roughly a day and a half if you're running all the sensors. It's not bad but not amazing either. The display also isn't as high of a pixel density as the Galaxy Watch 4, nor is it an AMOLED panel. That said, it's still a good display, although it may be a bit hard to see outdoors. Then there's the build quality, which isn't anything to run home about. Mobvoi settles for a polycarbonate and glass fiber chassis, which offers a lighter build, but it feels fairly cheap. It also has a fairly bulky design that some may find unwieldy, especially with the rather large bezels around the display.

Also, while there's built-in GPS, there's no option for an LTE model, which means you're still somewhat tethered to your smartphone. But at a lower $200 starting price for the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi model, it's cheaper than the Galaxy Watch 4 and still worth considering.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Mobvoi TicWatch E3: Which should you buy?

These are both high-end smartwatches and at first, it might seem like the Galaxy Watch 4 easily takes this comparison. It may be more expensive, but it has the improved Wear OS 3, giving it access to the Google Play Store apps and helping the whole experience run smoothly. It also has more complex sensors that can monitor things like body composition, body fat percentage, and blood oxygen monitoring. It also comes in more colors and more sizes than the TicWatch E3. Sounds like a win, right?

Not so fast. The TicWatch E3 might be falling behind its newer competitor, but don't count it out just yet. It still runs extremely well despite the aging OS and you get features like Google Assistant. There's also the fact that a lot of health features on the Galaxy Watch 4 are exclusive only to Samsung Galaxy phones, so if you don't have one, the price tag might be tougher to stomach. And with a Wear OS 3 update incoming, the watch is only going to get better. Overall, we think the Galaxy Watch 4 is the more complete package, but the TicWatch E3 will also do just fine.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.