We decided to review the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS off the back of already reviewing the TicWatch Pro 3, and the TicWatch Pro 2020 before that. Both the previous 2 models were superb, so as soon as the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS came out, I knew I wanted one!
Outwardly, the packaging of the watch was very similar to the previous versions, a high-quality box containing the watch, instructions, and charger, all packaged with care to ensure a flawless product on delivery.
As expected, this iteration of the Pro 3 series is stunning. The older Pro 3 was very good-looking, but this Ultra version excels with additions such as the slightly bevelled edge and almost flush glass, which is Gorilla Glass in this version – very handy and rugged. The materials of the watch feel very durable, which you would expect from the Military Standard 810G specification.
The black bezel still maintains a nice reflective quality, with numbers etched on it in 5-minute intervals. The bezel does not rotate, but this is expected as neither did the previous model.
The side buttons both feel robust and are unobtrusive even when bending the wrist (if you wear it on your left wrist as I do, some watch buttons can get pressed when bending the wrist). The watch seems the same thickness as the earlier Pro 3 model but does come in approximately 7g heavier at a total of 68g. That said, it still feels light and is very comfortable.
TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS Review
The supplied strap is a 22mm quick-release band, which is made of Fluoro Rubber and is super soft to the touch. It has a decent amount of flex, without feeling floppy, and at the same time, it feels very durable.
This is where the Ticwatch shines. Using the clever 1.4” dual display, the majority of the time the watch will be using the low-power always-on LCD screen. This screen shows the essential information like Time, Date, Step count, and battery. By either clicking a button or tilting your wrist, this activates the AMOLED display which then allows the full smartwatch functionality, with a responsive touch screen and a host of apps at your disposal.
The LCD is great for viewing in light areas and is perfectly readable in direct sunlight, which a lot of smartwatches cannot do. In a change to the previous version. the LCD can utilise a coloured backlight mode, which is a nice addition. The full AMOLED display is bright and vibrant with excellent viewing angles and dark blacks.
Most of the apps are fairly standard from a Google Watch OS standpoint. All the regulars are there like Google Fit, Phone, Memo, Calc, Alarm, Stopwatch/Timer, Weather etc. With the benefit of access to the Google Play store to download thousands of other apps.
My most used apps such as Google Keep, Strava, and Spotify all worked flawlessly.
TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS Review
Another big plus is Google Pay, which is fully supported on this watch. I programmed the bottom hardware button to be a single press to Google Pay (though by default the double click also does this), and I have made numerous purchases using it, as it is SO convenient. In case you’re worried about security, if using Google Pay you must set up a PIN or pattern, which activates every time you put on the watch. Therefore, if the watch was taken from you, Google Pay would not function without it. In terms of the Tic built-in apps:
- TicSleep monitoring my sleep, as the watch is comfortable enough to wear to bed
- TicZen and TicBreath can help de-stress
- TicHearing can be used to measure the volume of an area
- TicPulse is used to monitor my heart rate, which I have set to do 24/7 monitoring. Accuracy seems consistent with the Pro 3 and Pro 2020 models.
- TicOxygen measures blood oxygen levels. I also have this running 24/7.
- TicExercise has all the modes you would expect from an exercise tracking app – Run, Walk, Treadmill, Cycling, Freestyle, and many more including Swimming due to the IP68 water resistant rating. It can also upload to Strava, which is my exercise hub of choice.
A new addition to the Tic apps is Hearth Health, which can 24/7 monitor your heart activity to detect Irregular Heart Beats such as AFib.
All of this gets pulled into the TicHealth app which gives a nice overview of all the above functions.
The screen is responsive to touch, I would say more responsive than the previous models. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100 platform, which is a powerful applications processor and ultra-low power co-processor, performs admirably and combined with the 1GB RAM and 8GB ROM it never seems to slow down or show any signs of lagging.
The usual connectivity that you’d expect such as Bluetooth 5 and 802.11b/g/n Wireless, and a whole host of GNSS technology (GPS+Beidou+Glonass+Galileo+QZSS)
I was pleased to see that the battery life of this new model was as good as if not better than the previous one, even when I was using the watch with so many features running, such as the 24/7hr and blood oxygen, and also wearing it to monitor sleep. From the first charge, I was able to eek out 3 days, including 2 nights. I haven’t used it in essential mode, which shuts down all smart performance, limits you to the LCD screen and only monitors steps, but this mode should allow up to 45 days!
The UI on this feels buttery smooth, with no lag that I can detect. All touches are recognised, and no delays between presses and apps opening.
The watch includes a discreet magnetic charging clip. It clicks into place effortlessly and allows the watch to sit at a slight angle, which would be nice for a bedside if you’re not wearing it to bed along with TicSleep.
Overall, the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS is a superb and very comfortable smartwatch that I can see myself wearing for years to come…Or at least until the next model comes out!