Are these two watches even comparable?
Both the Ticwatch E2 and the Garmin Fenix 6 that I am reviewing here can tell the time and have some basic smartwatch capabilities like telling the weather, receiving notifications, alarms, timers and heart rate sensing.
But the Ticwatch E2 is an entry-level, general-purpose smartwatch while the Garmin Fenix 6 is a premium, sports-focused smartwatch.
OK, so there’s a bit of the similarity here, but it really comes down to whether you have the money to afford the Garmin Fenix 6, need the sports-focused features of the Fenix 6 and whether you can give up all the convenient features of the Ticwatch E2.
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The previous paragraph gives us a great place to start. Are you a sportsperson who wants to be at their absolute best and need a data collector on your wrist?
Because that’s what a good portion of the Garmin Fenix 6 is. It collects data, crunches the numbers and then lets you know how to improve. It’s like an on-board diagnostics device that modern cars have that can tell you a lot about yourself.
The Garmin Fenix 6’s ability to track your workouts is class leading and especially so if you have complementary accessories that connect via ANT+ or Bluetooth, like for example, a chest strap heart rate sensor.
It’s also a watch that has specific features for runners. You can create a race training program on the Connect app, just as you can measure your VO2Max on your wrist. These are all high-end features only available on the most premium of watches. It will also monitor whether your exercise load is helping you get better or worse, and will also suggest areas of improvement. For example, my exercise generally lacks anaerobic depth, so the watch would remind me that I’m not within the optimal zone.
The Ticwatch E2 is a bit more basic in this regard, opting for much more basic and everyday measurements such as activity minutes, steps and active hours. You can also track a number of workouts such as cycling, running or swimming.
The confusing thing about the Ticwatch E2 is that the watches have two software lines that do the same thing. As a user, you are confronted with the dilemma on whether you want to use Mobvoi’s TicExercise/TicHealth and TicPulse software or Google Fit.
While there are some benefits to using both, as there are some features available on Mobvoi’s software and there are also some features unavailable on it that are available on Google Fit. For example, Google Fit provides more exercise options and a breathing timer while Mobvoi has a pool swim tracker.
So here’s the bottom line: the Ticwatch E2 offers you a good amount of workout tracking, but lacks the depth of the Garmin Fenix 6. You will become a better athlete with the more comprehensive analytics offered by the Fenix 6. However, you will also find yourself a bit confused as to the exact purpose of certain features and will have to read a manual. But most people will do just fine with the Ticwatch E2.
Winner: Garmin Fenix 6
The Garmin Fenix 6 is a bigger, heftier watch with a metal watch case. The Ticwatch E2 is a lightweight, medium-sized watch with a plastic case.
You will definitely feel the weight of the Garmin Fenix 6, and you will see marks all over your wrist after taking it off. Heavier watches require a tighter strapping down and as a result, this happens.
The Ticwatch E2 is light and there’s less discomfort associated with wearing the watch. One of the things that peeves me is how thick the silicone strap is. It almost feels like I’m typing from an elevated position when I have the E2 on my left wrist.
Did I also mention the Garmin Fenix 6 does not have a touchscreen? Like a cellphone from 2003, all your interaction is through buttons. Five of them, to be exact.
The Ticwatch E2 has one button and most of your interaction is done through the touchscreen.
Winner: Ticwatch E2
Both watches can receive texts and emails through notifications on your iPhone or Android.
You can read a snippet and even reply to them if you are on an Android. But the options for replying is a bit more limited on the Garmin Fenix 6. You can only use pre-composed replies.
Whereas on the Ticwatch E2, you can reply using the speech-to text function, type with a keyboard, handwrite letters or reply using a pre-composed reply.
Honestly, having a speech-to-text system is unbeatable and because any other interaction requires you to use a fat finger on a small 1.4-inch screen. It’s not optimal.
Winner: Ticwatch E2
The Garmin Fenix 6 does not have a microphone nor a speaker. Therefore it does not have the hardware to host a voice assistant.
The Ticwatch E2 does have a microphone, so it does have Google Assistant, and Google Assistant is excellent. It can help you find information, routes and tell you the weather.
Because it’s very good at transcribing speech, it is also very good at getting your instructions right.
Why is this important? In this case, since the Garmin Fenix 6 does not have a voice assistant, setting an alarm or timer means pressing a whole load of buttons. Really tedious and unproductive. Whereas on the Ticwatch E2, all you need to do is hold down the sole button and speak your instructions.
Winner: Ticwatch E2
The Ticwatch E2 has access to many apps through Google Play Store as compared to the Garmin Fenix 6’s Connect app.
You can download games, watch faces, grocery shopping lists. The best part is that you can use Google’s apps including Keep, Maps and Translate.
There’s none of that on the Garmin Fenix 6. However, if you buy the Pro or Sapphire version, you can get integrated maps and music.
Garmin’s maps is amazing. I used it a couple of times while bike commuting and the convenience of having your route displayed on your wrist is just so convenient. I really liked how it would also find bike routes. In the past, I would have to periodically stop riding to take my phone out to find my route. No longer.
And unlike Google Maps on the Ticwatch E2, the Fenix 6 is fully independent and does not require a phone nearby for a data connection.
Winner: Ticwatch E2
You can’t go wrong with the Ticwatch E2 if you need a basic watch that comes affordable and has great everyday functionality. It’s a productivity booster. No longer will you need to keep referring to your cellphone for time, messages and the weather.
The Garmin Fenix 6 is a performance booster. It’s a coach you wear on your wrist and the more it gets to know you, the better it can help you achieve your next personal best. It comes at a hefty price and a (literally) hefty package too, so it’s not my preferred everyday-wear watch. It really is a specialist tool.