Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE is now available in the US, with the LTE network on Verizon set to be enabled a month from now. The company had been prepping to launch the $299 Wear OS smartwatch today, but “due to new compliance matters”, the LTE network activation has been delayed until early August. Mobvoi is discounting the watch to $279 during this duration, in hopes that people will buy the watch and use it with a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection until the LTE network is activated. It’s bold to bank on customers’ willingness to buy a watch that doesn’t offer the main functionality upon purchase, but maybe some people out there will be swayed by the 6.5% discount.
The new Wear OS smartwatch is supposed to add cellular connectivity to the original TicWatch Pro, which launched last summer, so you can make VoLTE calls and send SMS messages without tethering to a smartphone. Cloud synchronization will allow users to get their app notifications on the Ticwatch Pro LTE without the need to download separate smartwatch apps like Gmail, WhatsApp, and Hangouts.
Besides the wireless connectivity, it keeps much of the same specs as the TicWatch Pro. It’s still powered by a Snapdragon Wear 2100, and it has NFC so you can use Google Pay. There’s Google Assistant, an IP68 water-resistance rating (so it’s suitable for swimming), and the dual-layer screen that layers a transparent LCD display on top of an OLED display so you can save on battery life. When it’s in “essential mode,” which shuts down the Wear OS portion of the watch and just leaves on the LCD display, the battery life can be extended to 30 days.
The TicWatch Pro also has a feature called TicMotion, which can detect when the user starts walking or running and automatically start tracking distance, time, and pace. The built-in heart rate monitor can continue to work even in essential mode.
Update July 10th, 12:31PM ET: Updated to reflect LTE network activation time.