Android Wear / Wear OS Watch Comparison Shopping Guide Spring 2018

I am on the lookout for a new Android Wear (now Wear OS) watch so I’ve been looking at quite a few and thought it would be helpful for myself and you to have an easy to follow comparison guide of some of the most popular Android Wear / Wear OS watches out there right now.  Just know that I focused on non-LTE versions and only 3 on this list are upgrading to Wear OS from Android Wear 2.0. I’ll be discussing the Ticwatch E & S, Huawei Watch 2, Misfit Vapor, and Asus Zenwatch 3.

Ticwatch E & Ticwatch S

The Ticwatch E and Ticwatch S from Mobvoi are the most affordable Wear OS watches available right now.  Their best selling point is their affordable price tag with the full retail of the Ticwatch E at $159 US and the Ticwatch S at $199 US. The difference between the E and S is that the E has a less sporty design and the bands are easily changeable. The S has a strap with a GPS antenna built into it so the strap can’t be changed.

The S is supposed to have a more accurate GPS because the antenna is larger, though I haven’t found any tests to confirm that is truly the case.

Ticwatch E on Amazon Ticwatch S on Amazon

 

Ticwatch E & S Specs

Diameter: 45 mm (S); 44 mm (E)
Thickness: 13 mm (S); 13.55 mm (E)
Weight: 45.5 g (S); 41.5 g (E)
Operating System: Wear OS
Glass: Anti-scratch
Display: Touch, 1.4″ OLED, 400×400, 287 dpi
Bluetooth & Wifi
GPS: GPS + GLONASS + Beidou, Agps supported
Mic: Yes
Speaker: Yes
Sensors: Heart rate, proximity, accelerometer, gyroscope, e-compass
Waterproof Rating: IP67
Battery Life 48 hrs (with normal usage about 24-28 hrs)

Huawei Watch 2

The Huawei Watch 2 is a step up from the Ticwatch E & S in build quality and specs.  It is available in several different styles.  It is available in an all plastic version and a more classy stainless steel version.  Prices vary quite a bit depending upon which seller you choose and style.

The Huawei Watch 2 has many of the same features as the Ticwatch E & S but is an upgrade in build quality with Gorilla Glass for the display, a higher IP68 waterproof rating,  and NFC support.  The classic version also features stainless steel for a more premium look and feel.

Huawei Watch 2 Classic Black, Leather Strap, Ceramic Bezel on Amazon Huawei Watch Stainless Steel on Amazon

 

Huawei Watch 2 Specs

Diameter: 45 mm
Thickness: 12.66 mm
Weight: 40 g (Sport); 47 g (Classic)
Operating System: Wear OS
Glass: Corning Gorilla Glass
Display: Touch, 1.2″ AMOLED, 390×390, 326 ppi
Bluetooth & Wifi
GPS: GPS + GLONASS
Mic: Yes
Speaker: Yes
Sensors: 6 axis A + G sensor, 3-axis compass, heart rate, barometer, capacitive sensor, ambient light display sensor
Waterproof Rating: IP68
Battery Life: Abt 1.5 days

Misfit Vapor

This is a Wear OS watch that has caught my eye because of its looks.  While I love using my Ticwatch E, sometimes I’d prefer a more traditional build quality.  I’m talking metal here and the Misfit Vapor features a brushed stainless steel watch casing in several different colors.

While the Vapor has a lot going for it, it is missing some key features that I prefer such as built-in GPS (it uses connected GPS) and a speaker.  It does have a mic but no speaker.  However, it does have a very good waterproof rating, 5 ATM (up to 50 meters) and a nice look to it.

Misfit Vapor in Black on Amazon Misfit Vapor in Rose Gold on Amazon
Misfit Vapor Specs

Diameter: 44 mm
Thickness: 13.5 mm
Weight: ? I looked and looked and haven’t found this info yet but it is a heavier watch than your typical plastic ones
Operating System: Wear OS
Glass: Not sure what type but I have read reviews recommending a screen protector
Display: 1.3″ AMOLED, 326 ppi
Bluetooth & Wifi
GPS: Connected
Mic: Yes
Speaker: No
Sensors: Acceleromter, altimeter, gyroscope, heart rate sensor
Waterproof Rating: 5 ATM
Battery Life: 24 hours or so

My Recommendations

Right now, I’ll be sticking with my Ticwatch E.  For one, I already own it and it’s paid for and the other watches just don’t offer tons more features to convince me I should make a switch right now.

Still, the Huawei Watch 2 is a very good option and it has many positive reviews and a better build quality than the Ticwatch, so if you don’t already have a Wear OS watch I’d look closely between the Ticwatch E & S due to their affordability and the Huawei Watch 2.

Just know that a Huawei Watch 3 is probably in the works and might be released later this year but I can’t say for certain when.

I love the looks of both the Misfit Vapor and Zenwatch 3 but both are missing key features I would prefer any smartwatch to have.  The Vapor lacks a speaker and only has connected GPS and the Zenwatch 3 lacks a heart rate sensor and also built-in GPS.

If you’re just wanting a smartwatch that supports Google Play apps then I’d take a look at those refurbished units of Asus.  The Zenwatch 2 is still a cool watch if you don’t need fitness tracking.

What I’m really waiting for is the Ticwatch 3, assuming one is coming.  I sure hope one is coming!  If it has a better HR sensor, more accurate built-in GPS, better battery life and runs Wear OS to boot, it’ll be exactly what I’m wanting in a new Wear OS watch.  My Ticwatch E is fun and reliable but I still prefer the build quality and looks of the Ticwatch 2, even though it doesn’t support Wear OS.