Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Don’t wait for the Pixel Watch, get this $140 smartwatch instead

Prime Day 2022 has provided a great opportunity for anyone waiting to get a smartwatch with Google’s long-awaited WearOS 3 software in the near future without having to spend a fortune. The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 usually costs $200 but is available for $140 at the moment, and that’s a seriously tempting price.

Mobvoi TicWatch E3 face-on, on the wrist.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Google announced WearOS 3 in 2021, and the software brings a new design, new features, smoother animations, better battery life, and faster overall performance. But we’re still waiting for it to arrive on a smartwatch that’s not the $400 Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, and while we’re pleased the Montblanc Summit 3 smartwatch has been announced with it as standard, it costs $1,300. Sure, you could wait for the Google Pixel Watch, but there’s no official release date for it yet, and it’s expected to cost about the same as the Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch.

Step forward the Mobvoi TicWatch E3, one of the select few existing smartwatches that will receive an update to WearOS 3 later this year. At $200 it was a decent deal last year, but at $140 this year, it’s the cheapest entry point into owning a smartwatch that will eventually get the very latest software. It means the TicWatch E3 will last you longer than a smartwatch that won’t get WearOS 3, and is therefore a shrewd purchase for the knowledgable bargain hunter.

The TicWatch E3 is an advisable smartwatch purchase for another reason, too. Google has taken its time with WearOS 3’s release, and communication around it and any updates has been lacking. If you want a smartwatch, don’t spend more than necessary right now, because you may still be waiting a while for the software to arrive. There’s nothing worse than spending a lot of money on a smartwatch, only to be disappointed due to silence about an update from Google or the manufacturer. They’ve all be quiet about actual facts around WearOS 3 for at least a year already, after all.

Mobvoi TicWatch E3 on the wrist, seen from the side.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

What else do you need to know? The TicWatch E3 isn’t a luxury smartwatch. It’s made of plastic, has a simple silicone strap, an LCD screen, and two buttons on the side of the basic, circular case. It’s functional, but it’s definitely not a design superstar. Inside is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100 processor, and that’s what makes it compatible with Google’s WearOS 3. It has all the right health and fitness tracking features, too, again making it suitable for long-term ownership.

If you’ve got an Android phone and want a cheap smartwatch that will get WearOS 3, the Mobvoi TicWatch E3 is a solid Prime Day 2022 purchase. If you own an Apple iPhone, then we recommend buying an Apple Watch instead. There are some great Apple Watch deals on Prime Day 2022, and you may also find some deals on a new iPhone too, in case you want to upgrade your phone at the same time.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Why this luxury smartwatch isn’t out to beat the Apple Watch
The Montblanc Summit 3 on a mans wrist.

“When we decided to make a smartwatch, our inspiration was to take something from our history and give it smart technology. We’re trying to bring the story of watchmaking to smartwatches. Something that’s true to us”

This is how Felix Obschonka, category director of new technologies at Montblanc, described the company’s approach to its range of smartwatches, and how the new Summit 3 differs from models made by technology brands. However, the Summit 3 is also the first non-Samsung smartwatch to use Google’s Wear OS 3 software, so while it’s steeped in Montblanc’s history, it’s not lacking in tech credentials.

Read more
Google’s Pixel Watch is real and it’s coming soon
Render of the Google Pixel watch.

The Pixel Watch, a product rumored for some time, has made its first official appearance. The new Google-branded smartwatch is just one of the announcements made during Google I/O 2022, the annual developer conference held by the company, and it follows a series of leaks related to the watch leading up to the show.
What we know about the Pixel Watch
The Pixel Watch is the first smartwatch from Google, and it runs the very latest version of WearOS. We’re being promised a newly refreshed design for the user interface, interactive notifications, and all the apps you need through the Google Play Store. In addition, it supports Google Wallet for contactless payments, Google Maps for directions, and Google Assistant, plus the Pixel Watch will have an app to control your Google smart home products, too.

On the health and fitness side, Google has brought in Fitbit’s expertise, an expected but long-awaited move since the company purchased Fitbit in 2019. This means it tracks your activity, measures your heart rate, watches over your sleep patterns, and includes Active Zone Minutes data during your workouts.

Read more
Google needs to convince us WearOS isn’t dead (again)
Galaxy Watch 4 in white on the wrist.

If Google needs to achieve one thing during Google I/O this year, it’s to convince us that WearOS isn’t dead. To be saying this in 2022, a year after Google showed WearOS 3 to the world at Google I/O 2021, is hugely depressing. What was seen as a transformational moment, a moment of hope for Google’s wearable tech platform, has turned out to be nothing more than the status quo, as WearOS gets sidelined once again.
Where are you WearOS?
During the past 12 months, there’s been almost no evidence whatsoever that WearOS has been revitalized by the new version. You can still only use it on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 or Watch 4 Classic, a smartwatch released in August 2021. Samsung worked with Google to develop WearOS 3, and although nothing has ever been officially said, it’s assumed the company has enjoyed a period of exclusivity due to that.

Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Read more