A Chinese startup called Mobvoi — which has successfully closed three rounds of funding, the latest led by Google — has decided to bring an Android-powered smartwatch out of China.
The Ticwatch 2 technically isn’t even an Android Wear watch — it’s a watch that runs a skinned version of Android with something more like Tizen in mind. The watch, running Ticwear OS, is compatible with smartphones running iOS 8.0 and Android 4.3 and fills the typical bill for notifications, media control, watchfaces, voice interactions, Android Wear apps, gestures etc., but the interface is set up similarly to how a Gear S2 does.
Mobvoi is mainly focused on AI, which means that its voice-powered assistant should pack a punch. You can ask “Tico” to call up an Uber, ask Yelp about a restaurant and help you find your phone. Developers also have access to proprietary Ticwear app APIs.
Depending on how much you’re willing to pay, you might get an anodized aluminium watch case or a stainless steel one; a glass screen or a sapphire crystal one; a polycarbonate band or a leather one. Regardless of material, the circular OLED screen is 1.4 inches in diameter and the case is 42mm wide, a tad under 12mm thick and rated IP65.
One side of the watch case is touch-sensitive, allowing users to interact with the software on the device — a feature called “Tickle”. Finally, Ticwatch 2’s 300mAh battery is charged magnetically.
As of this post, the project has 29 days to go and has more than $130,000 of its $50,000 goal. The lowest tier perk currently available is the $139 level early bird for the basic “Charcoal” and “Snow” variants. The Onyx version is priced on Kickstarter at $209, $90 off its final retail price.
Funding ends August 25 at 9:01am Eastern. Perks start shipping out in the months of September and October.