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New TicWatch GTH is a super-cheap smartwatch with one big drawback

Mobvoi TicWatch GTH
(Image credit: Mobvoi)

Mobvoi has released a new budget smartwatch with an impressive raft of health monitoring features, but one big omission when it comes to fitness tracking. The TicWatch GTH is a successor to least year's TicWatch GTX, and is one of the most affordable smartwatches available today, but still lacks any form of GPS for tracking your location on runs, walks and bike rides.

The most obvious difference between the GTH and its predecessor is its shape. While last year's GTX had a round face, the TicWatch GTH is square, slim and much more closely resembles an Apple Watch or Amazfit GTS 2.

This is also the first TicWatch to monitor skin temperature. It's worth noting that while changes in skin temperature can be an indication of infection, skin temperature is also affected by the environment, physical activity and circulation, so it's not a substitute for a thermometer. Still, it can be a useful early indicator that's worth following up on.

Mobvoi TicWatch GTH

(Image credit: Mobvoi)

Despite the addition of this extra sensor, the TicWatch GTH has the same impressive battery life as its predecessor, and can keep running for between seven and 10 days on a single charge (depending on whether power-saving mode is enabled).

The TicWatch GTH is priced at  $79.99 / £69.99 (about AU$100), and is available now on Amazon and directly from Mobvoi. That makes it slightly more expensive than the TicWatch GTX, which was released last year for $59.99 / £54.99 / AU$89.99, but it's still one of the cheapest smartwatches around today.

Watching the competition

There's now more choice than ever when it comes to budget smartwatches, and the TicWatch GTH's price puts it in direct competition with the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini. Both feature a 1.55in display, 24/7 heart rate tracking, blood oxygen measurements, sleep tracking and stress monitoring, plus a range of dedicated workout modes.

Amazfit's device has slightly shorter battery life (up to a week), but it has the advantage of on-board GPS, which Mobvoi has chosen to forego in the interest of extending battery life and keeping the price down. Some low-cost fitness trackers and smartwatches keep things simple by 'piggybacking' off your phone's GPS receiver, but the TicWatch GTH doesn't do this either.

Mobvoi TicWatch GTH

(Image credit: Mobvoi)

This will dampen its appeal for anyone who enjoys regular cardio, but it's worth noting that its accelerometer will detect when you begin moving with purpose, and will log runs and walks automatically without you having to start tracking manually.

The TicWatch GTH is available now from Amazon and direct from Mobvoi, and we'll be bringing you a full review soon, so stay tuned.