Despite high expectations, the first wearable OnePlus is a big fall. The forward-thinking ideas and attention to detail that have come to define the company’s smartphones are nowhere to be found here. There’s a lot better wearability for a fraction of the price, while a slight breakout in the balance can cost you as much as a Coros Pace 2 or even an Apple Watch 3, all you need to consider before going anywhere near the OnePlus Watch.
- Fantastic battery life
- Massive and bright screen
- Uninspiring conception
- Only 14-workouts can be tracked
- Very basic app functionality
- You can get better fitness trackers for menus
- United KingdomRRP: £ 149
- USARRP: $ 159
- EuropeRRP: € 150
- CanadaRRP: CA $ 219
- AustraliaRRP: AU $ 210
1.39-inch AMOLED screen
Up to 14 days battery life
Heart rate monitor
After countless rumors, a lot of losses and an unfortunate amount of battery life, the OnePlus Watch has finally seen the light of day, but this is a wearable one that should probably stay in the dark.
Starting with Apple, it was set the precedent that if you are a smartphone manufacturer, you should also sell your own smartwatch. This has been the case for Samsung, Huawei, Honor, Xiaomi and even more. Even Google is rumored to launch one Pixel Watch at some point this year.
As something of an underdog, OnePlus has brought some great ideas to the table on its smartphones, and of course it was assumed that if the company branched out into wearable clothing, then the occasion would deserve something really special. Well, OnePlus Watch is here, and all those assumptions can be put to rest.
Design and screen
- Manimalistic but on the verge of boredom
- The large 1.39-inch display is bright and easy to read
- The OnePlus Watch design is unlikely to attract anyone’s attention
- The included guard strap is comfortable to wear and great for workouts
Unlike the general consensus of critics, I don’t mind the appearance of OnePlus Watch. It’s by no means the most boring smartwatch I’ve ever seen (which goes to the TicWatch C2 Plus), but there is a certain casual elegance that does not feel justified by what is offered here.
There’s no rotating crown to speak of as the only physical input are two buttons on the right hand side of the clock, one of which has the OnePlus name engraved on it. The included fluororelastomer power belt is almost identical to that of the Apple Watch, but the outer side features some minor texturing to distinguish the two.
What really sets it apart from the OnePlus Watch’s design is its massive screen. The 1.39-inch AMOLED display may seem too big for some, especially those with small wrists, but I found that the larger-than-average sales space meant that more vibrant dials were really welcome. Trust me, you won’t need to make a double take with such large text.
Despite its large size, the OnePlus Watch doesn’t feel heavy on the wrist, nor has it ever felt intrusive. What I will say, though, is that except for the screen, nothing in the OnePlus Watch design attracts you. It’s as if OnePlus pretended that it already had several iterations in its smartwatch series, and so thought the general public didn’t need to be surprised. It’s not what I would expect from a first generation product.
Features and performance
- The step away from Wear OS has been wasted
- The operation of the day is fast and without slowdown
- No third-party app stores, with mostly basic features included
- Sleep tracking does a great job of breaking down information
A lot of buzz has been forming around the news that OnePlus Watch is not using Wear OS. Given Wear OS has been stagnant for some time and that Samsung has had a lot of success with Tizen, I was curious to see what OnePlus might present as an alternative. After several weeks of testing, I haven’t been disappointed in so long.
What you have here is a system that doesn’t use third-party apps like Wear OS or watchOS do, but instead features a slew of native apps for controlling music, weather updates, breathing exercises, timers and even no longer. These are useful things to have, but it is a feature almost identical to a Honor Watch UK fitness tracker, which sells at a much lower price. The only two things that really distinguish the OnePlus Watch are its use as a TV remote control – a feature made instantly useless without a OnePlus TV – and the ability to store music locally for offline playback (don’t wait for integration Spotify or Deezer here).
Don’t expect OnePlus Watch to surprise you even with its dials, since the collection is pretty much deaf. Some of the designs rely so heavily on the minimalist concept that you have to squirm to see the dials. It’s not as blatant as when a fashion brand fails to provide a decent watch (cue memories of the Skagen Falster 3), but I would have expected more from OnePlus than this.
Fortunately, the OnePlus Watch holds its own when sleep tracking is concerned. Using the data provided by the watch, the OnePlus Health app provides a written assessment to detail it in clear English if you’re sleeping well, and the benefits or repercussions depend on your gait. It also collects information during the sleep phases, to understand how well you performed at each stage and whether your waking time remained in line with previous data. It does a nice job of breaking down the slang into an easy-to-understand format, so point to OnePlus for that.
Performance wise, the OnePlus Watch works well. Running through the menus is a breeze and I never noticed any slowdown that would mark the experience. I received a small performance update during my tests that made the tilt feature take off noticeably more responsive, but it’s also worth noting that the always-on feature wasn’t yet to appear (although it will come soon).
- More of a fumble than a photo finish
- A poorly low amount of workouts can be tracked
- Heart rate and GPS tracking do not provide accurate results
- There are better fitness trackers for a lower price
Once I realized that the OnePlus Watch looked more closely at Honor’s fitness trackers, I (mistakenly) assumed that the laptop could impress in the fitness track arena. After all, the button at the bottom right, by default, takes you to a list of tracked workouts so you can launch things without rushing.
Let’s start with the workouts on offer – all 14. Honestly I had to check out two additional workouts that weren’t hidden behind a menu somewhere – common activities like strength training and HIIT are nothing to look forward to. Similarly, there are only two sports available to be tracked: cricket and badminton. I’ll admit with pleasure that I’m not a fan of sports, but I’m pretty sure there are more popular sports that deserve attention.
Heart rate monitoring was also a mixed task. For example, on a 35-minute external clock, OnePlus Watch tracks an average heart rate of 142BPM and a maximum of 178BPM, while a dedicated chest strap sensor comes back with 145BPM and 183BPM, respectively. This is not a terrible discrepancy, but the results are very different during a 25-minute rowing session, with the OnePlus Watch taking a maximum of 167BPM for what should be 175BPM. It should sound like a broken disc, but the Honor Watch ES got better results than that.
Unfortunately, untethered GPS tracking has not gone much better. With an accompaniment Apple Watch SE (and the fact that I did enough Park Runs to know the length of the ride), OnePlus Watch dropped my 5.8k run to just 4.14k. Maybe the laptop secretly tries to make me run more – however, I can’t say I really appreciated the difference.
- The only triumph for the OnePlus Watch
- You can easily get 10+ days of battery life on a single charge
- Recharging is fast, giving you 80% more in an hour less
If there’s one immediate advantage of OnePlus running away from Wear OS, it’s in battery life. From a full battery, the OnePlus Watch also dropped 17% after 10 days, and the only reason it needed charging was to proceed with a firmware update. Otherwise, I’m sure OnePlus Watch could last at least another two days.
OnePlus cites up to 14-days of battery life, which I’m sure could come in handy in some use cases – so don’t go overboard with GPS and fitness tracking. The recharge also works brilliantly, which I was able to get back to 100% (up from 17%) in less than an hour. This should allow a lot of longevity from a quick charge of 10 minutes.
It would be too easy to miss the OnePlus Watch to completely miss the mark, but most of all it is disappointing such a product exists in the first place. I’m a big fan of the OnePlus smartphones, and the company’s work has helped spark innovation, but for whatever reason, that OnePlus style isn’t seen anywhere here. I’ll be happy to say that the battery life is long and the screen is nice and bright, but other than that I can’t think of a single reason to buy the OnePlus Watch for the Honor Watch ES, or even for the Band of honor 5. If you want a richer smartwatch experience, u Apple Watch 3 can be had for just £ 50 more.
Content of the Best Offer
Do you have to buy it?
Only if you want a massive screen on an outfit: there isn’t much to like about the OnePlus Watch, but its massive screen is easy on the eyes and makes everything comfortable to read.
Want a competent fitness tracker / smartwatch: the OnePlus Watch doesn’t stand out in any particular way, and is easily surpassed by cheaper wearables.
Despite high expectations, the first wearable OnePlus is a big fall. The forward thinking ideas and attention to detail that have come to define the company’s smartphones are not found here. There are much better wearables for a fraction of the price, while a slight breakdown in the balance can net you like a Coros Pace 2 or even an Apple Watch 3, all you need to consider before going anywhere near the OnePlus Watch.
No, the watch uses its own operating system.