The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 is still the only Wear OS watch with Qualcomm's 4100 chip, and it just picked up a new update. Rolling out now, the new firmware delivers a handful of improvements to things like touch screen response, better pairing speed, and faster tilt-to-wake, plus a handful of new features for the watch's unique power-saving "essential" mode.

The full changelog for this update (PYDA.200427.080.MRB.210114.001) is surprisingly chunky, and just below:

Features:
1. Support adjusting the essential screen's date format(DD-MM/MM-DD) through the Essential Mode app.
2. Support turning on the backlight through the power button in the essential mode.
3. Support turning off the essential screen's auto-backlight in the Essential Mode app.
4. Enable the notification sound (Can be adjusted in Settings --> Sound --> Ring volume).

Improvements:
1. Improved the speed of the Tilt-to-wake screen by about 1/4 second.
2. Solved the issue where sometimes the steps in the essential mode might be partially lost after restarting.
3. Improved the smoothness of sliding.
4. Optimized the responsive area at the edge of the screen.
5. Reduced the backlight brightness of the essential screen.
6. Improved pairing speed when pairing with Android phones.

Bug Fixes:
1. Solved the issue that the essential screen's backlight could not be lit up by Tilt-to wake under certain circumstances.
2. Fixed the issue that double-clicking the function key sometimes opens other apps instead of Google pay(if Google pay is available in your area).

Many of the changes adjust the behavior of the watch's power-saving "essential" mode, which pushes it into a low-power state that lasts up to 45 days on a charge — though you give up most of the smarts to do it. Some of the adjustments include reduced backlight brightness in that mode, backlight controls in essential mode via the power button, adjustments for the date format, and controls for the automatic backlight in the essential mode app, plus a fix for step counting and tilt-to-wake.

Tilt-to-wake itself is about a quarter second faster under this new update as well.

We adored the TicWatch Pro 3 in our review last year, and it's still the only Snapdragon Wear 4100-powered watch you can get. And in a way, it also kinda makes it the only Wear OS watch you should consider buying right now. These features may not sound like game-changing differences, but it's an impressive volume of tweaks, and both current and prospective device owners will be happy to see them.