Most smartwatches have relatively small batteries, because putting a big one in a watch would make it thick and heavy. Unfortunately that means while traditional watches can run for months or years without needing to swap batteries, most smartwatches need to be recharged every few days, if not sooner.
One method some smartwatches use to extend battery life is turning off the display when you’re not looking at it. But Movboi’s upcoming TicWatch Pro takes a different approach.
It does have a primary display that turns off when it’s not in use, to save power. But there’s a secondary transparent display on top of that. It’s the same kind of low-power display used on old school digital watches and clocks, and it can show the time and some other basic info when the primary screen is off.
According to The Verge, that transparent screen can show fitness stats, a battery meter, heart rate, and some other content when the main screen is off. But when you do press a button to enable the primary screen, the transparent display shuts off and you can see notifications, apps, and other content.
The TicWatch Pro rungs Google’s Wear OS, supports NFC mobile payments, and should go on sale this summer for around $300.
So what kind of battery savings can you expect from the secondary display? That depends on how you want to use the watch,
The Verge reports that Mobvoi estimates you’ll get around 2 days of run time when using it like a typical smartwatch. That’s… a little better than some watches, but not exactly spectacular.
On the other hand, you can disable all the smart features entirely and use the TicWatch Pro in “Essential Mode,” which basically turns the smartwatch into a dumb watch. in that mode you should be able to tell the time for up to 30 days on a single charge.