Despite the fact there are now tons of superb Wear OS smartwatches to pick from, it's still pretty likely that the TicWatch Pro 5 and Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro are close to the top of your wishlist.
Along with Samsung's latest generation of watches, these two lineups offer the best blend of smart design, processing power, and affordability for those with Android phones.
And while this is all well and good, it also makes picking between them an extremely tough task.
So, what are the key differences to consider - and what do they have in common? Well, below, we explain everything you need to know when choosing between Xiaomi and Mobvoi's latest and greatest smartwatches.
Prices, versions, and availability
While there are plenty of Wear OS smartwatches available in a range of different case sizes and styles, both Xiaomi and Mobvoi have kept things simple with their latest generation.
They do differ very slightly, though - and, depending on your needs, this could actually prove to be the first big dealbreaker.
While Xiaomi offers an LTE version of the Watch 2 Pro, Mobvoi doesn't for the TicWatch Pro 5. We suspect this may arrive later down the line (as we saw with the late arrival of the TicWatch Pro 3 LTE), but, for now, it's limited to Bluetooth connectivity.
If that doesn't bother you, the options on offer are fairly comparable. Both afford you two different case colors to pick between, but there's only one case size for each. With the Watch 2 Pro, that would be black or silver, while the TicWatch is available in black or sand.
We should note that availability is also a factor here, though. Xiaomi currently has no timeline for release in the US, which should naturally make the TicWatch a bit of an easier pickup by comparison - even if it's still likely to pop up via third-party retailers.
TicWatch Pro 5 vs. Watch 2 Pro: Base model pricing
- TicWatch Pro 5: $349.99 / £279.99
- Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro: £229.99 (around $285)
- Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro LTE: £279.99 (around $345)
Design and display
At first glance, these two watches can appear pretty similar. Both are relatively masculine designs with chunky bezels, and, even on the wrist, feel very similar despite the difference in case size.
The TicWatch Pro 5 clocks in at 50mm, compared to the Watch 2 Pro's 46mm design, and we think both are really only an option for those with larger wrists.
Both have their strengths, though, and there are still some obvious differences.
We think Xiaomi's device is the classier, more formal of the two, with interesting design details in the form of those larger buttons and crown. With the option of a leather or 'fluororubber' band, too, it doesn't feel as cheap as Mobvoi's watch.
With that said, there's a simplicity to the TicWatch Pro 5 that's easy to get on with - and we prefer the concave bezel to the Xiaomi's flattened edge (which is a fingerprint magnet). It's also 10g lighter (without the strap, at least) despite being the larger watch, and this is very noticeable during things like outdoor workouts.
Really, though, the display is the key distinguishing factor between these two.
Mobvoi's signature dual-display technology is one of the TicWatch Pro 5's biggest selling points, allowing you to enjoy an always-on display without sacrificing the same battery life as rival watches demand.
Thanks to the rotating crown, this can be cycled through to provide plenty more information than in previous generations, and there are also plenty of neat tricks - like its ability to change background color to correspond with different heart rate zones during exercise - to enjoy, as well.
When it is time to pop the full-color screen, it also performs pretty identically to Xiaomi's device. On account of both watches featuring 1.43-inch AMOLED displays with 466 x 466 pixels (326 pixels per inch), there's virtually nothing to split them here.
Because of that dual display, though, we think Mobvoi's watch just about edges this area.
Wear OS and smart features
At least at the time of writing, the TicWatch Pro 5 and Watch 2 Pro are the only two watches to offer both Wear OS 3 (and above) and run on the latest Qualcomm wearable platform, the Snapdragon W5+.
It means that performance is, like the full-color display, fairly identical. We found things to be extremely smooth during our hands-on time with both, and this architecture should mean they're also able to make the leap to Wear OS 4 at a later date.
When that happens will likely depend on the individual manufacturer, though, so keep that in mind.
Otherwise, the full suite of Google's own apps (Wallet, Maps, Home, and more) and the Play Store's best options - things like Spotify, WhatsApp, and Strava - are all available to download, while integration with Android phones for notifications has never been tighter.
As we mentioned above, only Xiaomi's watch is able to untether from a smartphone and run off its own cellular connection, but, generally speaking, you're getting the same smart experience here.
We should note that the bloatware is dialed up to the max with Mobvoi's watch, however. And there's also the lack of Google Assistant, which is available on the Watch 2 Pro.
We consider these minor details, but they are still things - combined with the LTE issue - that ensure the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro is the slightly better option in this area.
Health and fitness tracking
With both devices running the same software through the same chip, you can expect a broadly similar health and tracking experience with both of these watches.
And while we haven't managed to put the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro through its paces just yet - and can't really speak to the accuracy of features like HR monitoring - it does have a couple of features over the TicWatch.
Body composition analysis is one - and something we've previously only seen on Samsung's Galaxy Watches - while it also becomes the first device to offer dual-band GNSS support.
The latter isn't something that performed well on the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro, we should say - but, even so, we expect it to at least perform comparably to the TicWatch Pro 5 during further testing.
There's also the odd thing that is exclusive to the Pro 5, such as the one-tap measurements that provide an instant look at all your key health metrics, but nothing that we think really stands out against the Xiaomi.
Workout tracking - and, specifically, the heart rate monitoring accuracy - was a strong point of the Mobvoi watch during our tests, however, so the bar is still pretty high for the Watch 2 Pro to reach.
And, of course, you can expect all the usual features on both: sleep tracking, blood oxygen saturation readings, stress monitoring, and specific profiles for more workouts than you can shake a stick at.
We'll reserve judgment in this area for when our wider testing is complete, but, if it can match the TicWatch Pro 5's accuracy, the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro is certainly the better tracker on paper.
Like with tracking, the TicWatch Pro 5 is currently the standard setter for the rest of the Wear OS market.
It's comfortably the longest-lasting Android watch we've ever tested, with a daily battery drain that generally sits somewhere between 20-30%, and therefore provides around 4-5 days even with moderate-to-heavy use.
This multi-day battery life does naturally diminish if you opt not to use that dual-display and instead want the full-color display as your always-on screen, but, even still, it easily manages 2-3 days.
Alternatively, you can also eke even more juice out of it if you cut back on a few settings.
For reference, the Google Pixel Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series will need daily charging.
And Xiaomi, for what it's worth, estimates that the Watch 2 Pro will be able to last around 65 hours.
We haven't had the chance to test this area completely just yet, but this would be a pretty solid showing that compares well to the Pro 5 - providing it accounts for the display being always on.
The dual display on the Pro 5 does mean that Mobvoi's device is likely to remain the battery champion regardless, however.
Which is best?
We currently rank the TicWatch Pro 5 as the best Wear OS smartwatch on the market, which means the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro will have to perform extremely well during full testing to dislodge it.
On paper, though, it does have the potential to do so - at least in a couple of areas.
The fitness and health tracking boasts features like dual-band GPS and body composition analysis, while the option of cellular support and smart features like Google Assistant are also exclusives in its favor.
If it clears the hurdles relating to tracking accuracy, there's still the TicWatch's multi-day battery life to contend with, and the uniqueness of the dual-display design.
For those who want to spend a little less, though, the Watch 2 Pro is already a very solid proposition. Stay tuned for our upcoming in-depth review for our full judgment.
How we test