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The TicWatch E3 is a smartwatch from Mobvoi powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 SoC and a 380 mAh cell. It was released mid 2021. Model: WH12068

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Boot loop every time on pressing power button after pool swim

After a pool swim, the smartwatch was stuck in a bootloop for days. After it dried off and I was open to open it and leave it to dry off and disconnect the buttons from the motherboard, it started working. I connected the buttons and out of back together and it works but every time I click the main button to access apps, the watch reboots and gets stuck in a loop until I hit the button again a few times after which it works until I click the button again. Everything else works just fine. Not sure what to do, whether replacing the button would fix it and where I can even find a replacement.

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Hi @abhishekdhingra

The impurities in the water causes corrosion and provides circuit paths for the electricity which were not in the watch's operating design and could damage the components. The corrosion starts immediately and is ongoing until it is completely cleaned away

First do not try to charge or to turn on your watch and then remove the battery as soon as possible from the watch to minimize any further damage.

Then you need to dis-assemble the rest of the watch and clean all the affected parts using Isopropyl Alcohol 99%+ (available at electronics parts stores) to remove all traces of corrosion and water. If possible do not use "rubbing alcohol" as in some cases this is only 70% IPA or less, can contain additives and is not as effective. If you do have to use it check the label to verify the amount of IPA. The higher the percentage of IPA the better

Here is a link that describes the process Electronics Water Damage

As always with electronics, especially surface mounted pcb be gentle when handling and especially when brushing away the corrosion. You do not want to remove any components from the board. The ends of any flex cables and their connectors need to be cleaned as well

Hopefully after you have done all this the watch might possibly work correctly again.

Here is the ifixit TicWatch E3 guide that may help.

If this process seems too daunting, take your watch to a reputable, professional electronics repair service, experienced in liquid damage repair and ask for a quote for a repair. If you decide to do this, do it sooner than later.

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I had the same problem. To fix it I used the opening technique described on this website and disconnected the button assembly from the motherboard as the watch was starting but before the watch went into the bootloader screen. This was to test whether or not it was the buttons that were at fault. As it turned out the watch started working perfectly and could perform all functions without the buttons being connected. So for me it was the case that the buttons were malfunctioning. These are also the component that is closest to the easiest point of ingress for the water which is the microphone hole or via the gap around the buttons themselves. I then powered down the watch using the settings menu and disconnected the battery and sensors using the method described by this site. I then removed the motherboard, as described by this site, and I removed the two black rubber covers that sit on the buttons on the motherboard. Although there was no noticeable water damage, I left the motherboard out for 24 hours in a nice well-ventilated area at about 25 degrees to dry off. I then cleaned the button surfaces and the male and female connections that connect the button assembly to the motherboard with isopropyl alcohol as suggested by the earlier post. I reconnected everything and tested it. At, this point I determined I had fixed the power button as I was able to see options scrolling at the top of the bootloader screen and I could select power off successfully. I repeated the procedure twice more focussing on the secondary button and I was finally able to get the watch to boot normally with the buttons selected. Everything now works fine, except the secondary button is still a little unpredictable. It is crazy that the button assembly causes the watch to be unusable if it is broken, as the watch can operate normally without buttons at all. The problem appears to be that when the button assembly breaks in this way it sends a constant on signal from one or both buttons which results in the bootloader being constantly loaded and then start being immediately selected. I would be great if mobvoi could sell the button assembly as a spare part given that it can cause a major problem to the watch operation and would be reasonably easy to replace.

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Thank you, that was a great answer and indeed I had to do the same thing to fix my watch too. Unfortunately, I had to figure it out myself as your response came later but I should have taken the time to post an update so you and perhaps others could have benefited from it. ☹️


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Abhishek Dhingra sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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