We finally have a new king of smart watch!

I have been working on sleep tracking tech for the last 13 years and since 2010 I have integrated many different wearable devices and platforms with Sleep as Android (our pioneer sleep tracking app).

We integrated nearly every wearable with an open API…

Starting with the king of smartwatches the Pebble and the early Android Wear devices, moving over to Garmin, Samsung’s Tizen-based Gear and then Galaxy devices, FitBit, Xiaomi Mi Bands + Amazfit, and then Zepp devices (via Tools & Mi Band / Amazfit or Notify & Fitness apps), the open source PineTime, some Polar heart rate trackers or BerryMed oximeters and many more…

Over those years I got really frustrated with the Wearable space, especially over its proprietary or non-existent APIs, terrible battery life, restricted access to sensors, and general closeness.

Pebble was perfect…

And it looked so bright in 2013 when the first Pebble came out, nearly a perfect smartwatch with open APIs, the perfect e-ink screen (still missing from most wearables today, apart from Garmin), a fantastic price tag, and most importantly, at least 7 days of battery life, even when doing sleep tracking with Sleep as Android every night. We haven’t seen such a great combination of features, durability and price since 2016 when Pebble, unfortunately, closed down and sold its business to FitBit.   

The king is dead, no smartwatch to recommend…

Now that the King has died, people have been asking me what wearable I would recommend, and I have ended up with a canned answer that goes over the list of all the wearables on the market, and I really can’t honestly recommend any of the devices on that list. Until now, when I bought and tested the new Mobvoi TicWatch 5 Pro.


TicWatch 5 is IMHO the new king we have been waiting for the last 7 years…

The game changer for TicWatch 5 is IMHO the new Snapdragon W5+ Gen1 chip combined with Mobvoi’s unique dual display technology. No other Wear OS device on the market can match this.

My daily battery consumption with TW5 is 15% with ~8 hours of Sleep as Android sleep tracking. I collect SPO2 and RR intervals once every second during the entire time of the sleep!

Those missing 15% battery gets charged in the morning in less than 10 minutes.   

Get HR, HRV, and SPO2 during the entire sleep…

Mobvoi is to my knowledge the only Wear OS vendor that has decided to open up all the sensors through a standard Android sensor API, making TW5 the first Wear OS device where Sleep as Android can track all the 3 important body sensor metrics: HR, HRV, and SPO2. So in the morning you can see how efficient your sleep was in resting your body through increased HRV and we will check for any respiratory disturbances that may indicate some serious respiratory issues. 

Same battery life like Pebble but finally better at features…

To conclude, with TicWatch 5 you get the same battery life as you got with a Pebble 10 years ago, but in a package with a modern operating system that is easy to develop apps for, with new sensors able to find out more about your body and sleep and last but definitely not least — like the first Pebble — you get an always-on time display (thanks to their Ultra-low-power display layer) with no impact on battery. Believe it or not, you can even use your smartwatch, well, like a regular watch telling you what time it is!

No melatonin disrupting blue light for better sleep…

The ability to change the backlight of the Ultra-low-power display may seem like icing on the cake. But not so when you are familiar with the negative effect of blue light on your sleep through its melatonin-suppressing effect. Of course I have mine set to RED! You can even install my app Twilight on your TW5 which will further filter out blue light from all the other screens on your watch (and phone).

All of these features give the Tic Watch 5 a real edge over any other wearable on the market, making it the perfect choice for anyone interested in sleep.

There is no Wear OS like a Wear OS…

Unfortunately, you won’t get the same experience from other Wear OS devices at the moment. They lack the dual-layer display and always-on OLED makes them battery-hungry even with the latest Qualcomm chips.

Also, other Wear OS vendors tend not to open up the sensors and their sensors are not as battery efficient. For instance, on the Galaxy Watch (4,5,6) you need to implement Samsung’s proprietary API the “Privileged Health SDK” and reading SPO2 every second like I do on the TW5 will eat 100% battery in less than ~7 hours (where TW5 only consumes 10%). This is why we are not doing SPO2 or HRV tracking on the Galaxy Watch line. 

In case of Pixel Watch 1 and 2, unfortunately Google did not make either SPO2 or RRI sensors available for the 3rd party devs. 

It’s not perfect but it’s really close…

Don’t get me wrong here, the TW5 is not perfect, it also has a few CONS. It is Wear OS 3 based, where Google has already released Wear OS 4 and at the moment Google Assistant does not work on the watch.

Still, for me TW5 is the light at the end of the tunnel, it shows that we can have a modern Smartwatch with great battery life without sacrificing features. It also means a lot for the Wear OS platform.

This makes Wear OS the most interesting wearable platform into the future…

Finally, the hardware has caught up with Wear OS! Even Google doesn’t seem to care too much about Wear OS and we have all these bugs, still, TW5 makes Wear OS the most interesting platform into the future to bet on.  I believe TW5 is just the start and we will see more such capable devices hopefully even from other vendors soon…








5 thoughts on “We finally have a new king of smart watch!

  1. Thanks. Just in case my Pebble Time stops breathing! And I really like integrated HR, HRV, and oxygen saturation. Plus APPS!

    I will check the price and if it has a quick release band.

    The King is in a coma, but he’s not forgotten! 😍

    All the best,
    Robin in California

  2. One more thing. It would have been too expensive for me now, but I got it practically free from TEMU! 🙏 My first attempt at Temu. I don’t trust them, but I didn’t really lose much. Had to buy a LOT of towels and stuff. LOL

    I need a new band on my Pebble Time and the battery life is very meh, so okay. If it’s a dud, I still have MY KING! 😉

    You gotta have a SONG play! Neil Young’s (I forget the title) “The King is gone but he’s not forgotten/This Is A Story of A Johnny Rotten/it’s better To burn Out Cause Rust Never Sleeps/Out of The Blue and Into The Black”

    Weirdest album anybody ever made ever.

    Like Elvis, my Pebble didn’t RUST. It’s just in difficulty, and I fear a battery replacement might work as well as “Dr Nick.” LOL

    And my Pebble Time will always be the King to me. ❤️

    Worth a try, though. Thanks.


  3. Hello @Robin, nice to hear from you again! Lots of greetings, you are absolutely right! Pebble Time was the best smart watch I ever had.. Unfortunately mine broke down few years ago. It just surprised me after testing so many smartwatches over the years for sleep tracking with Sleep as Android that TicWatch 5 is finally getting quite close to the Pebble experience IMHO :).. All the best!

  4. Hello!
    this is great news!
    i was just wondering why you didnt mention garmin in the open apis …
    isnt connectIQ easy to implement?
    or is it because the watches are too expensive?
    Some of them even have the double display technology!
    i would even say that garmin is a good competitor for the best watch, even when compared to the pebble. its just very expensive!

    1. Hello Nico, ConnectIQ has a bug whcih we reported maybe 5 years ago that if you sue their messaging system sooner or later the message queues break down and you cannot send messages anymore, this is why we needed to create a parallel messaging system using HTTP requests and a simulated webserver on your phone… yes Garin has a Bluetooth API which would be super easy to use and integrate the features we need for sleep tracking even without a companion app, we asked Garmin if we could use it for the good of Garmin and Sleep as Android users, but they only give access to that API for a limited time if you either agree to purchase a big batch of Garmin devices or pay the same amount to Garmin, which of course is a no go for us. Also battery life when using the workarounds and the sensors isn’t nearly as good as what I see on the TicWatch.. Did that answer your question? Many thanks for your feedback!

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