OnePlus Watch – review: OnePlus’ first smartwatch is elegantly designed
Make no mistake, this is a big moment for OnePlus. The company has built a loyal legion of fans – especially in India, with smartphones that have almost always delivered on their brand promise. One of the vital ingredients in the OnePlus success has been a brilliant blend of hardware and the UI. That was the first thing I spotted after unboxing the OnePlus Watch that transfers some of the key OnePlus attributes to a whole new category.
The first big win for the OnePlus Watch is design. OnePlus keeps things remarkably simple – a 46mm case finished in high-quality stainless steel (there’s also a limited edition that features Cobalt alloy that will release soon in India) with a 2.5D curved glass and a vibrant display. The silicone strap is quite refined (we checked out the Moonlight Silver option with a grey strap). If the idea was to mimic a conventional watch, OnePlus has succeeded. Colours are brilliant on the 1.39-inch AMOLED display (454 x 454 pixels / 326 PPI). You can tweak the brightness but we think OnePlus might have missed a trick by not opting for an always-on display. It’s back to shaking that wrist each time you need to check the time. Also, there’s only one size option – 46 mm, that might be too large for the occasional petite wrist.
Set up is mighty simple. This watch only pairs with Android devices, all you need to do is to grab the OnePlus health App. The UI is clean, you also get a ton of watch faces to choose from. There’s no support for third party watch faces though. But you should find one that works for you within the app. It also opens up the whole debate around the watch’s smartwatch functionality. This is essentially a standalone App unlike rivals from Fossil that can lean on Google’s Wear OS or Samsung or Fitbit smartwatches that can leverage a more seasoned UI with quite a few third party apps. These apps usually include Spotify that is not an option here. You can move your music playlist to the watch’s internal storage (about 4GB) and hook up the watch with your Bluetooth headphones.
OnePlus has loaded this device with wellness features. The sleep tracking feature worked quite well during our tests and I was impressed with the ‘no fuss’ SpO2 readings on this watch that got it right in just one go. This is a contrast to many smartwatches that I’ve checked out during the past one year where I’ve needed multiple attempts to measure the Blood Oxygen saturation levels. You get heaps of workout tracking modes and the in-built GPS is a great add-on at this price point. It’s 5ATM IPS68 certified – yes, this one’s pool proof.
While the user interface is clean, there’s no bezel for navigation. You can use the two keys (located on the right spine) – I like the OnePlus branding etched on the upper key, to get around the menu. It’s not just the clean UI that OnePlus transfers to the Watch, it’s also the battery charging solution. This is insanely fast, just like the Warp Charge feature that we totally dig on OnePlus smartphones. You can get a day’s power with a 5-minute charge or a week’s battery backup with a 20-minute charge. OnePlus claims an impressive 14-day battery life and our tests over three days validate that claim.
The OnePlus Watch is a good looking wearable; it’s elegant, looks every inch premium and the display is quite gorgeous. If you’re an Android user looking for a fitness-focused wearable, the OnePlus Watch brings a lot to the table including in-built GPS, a water proof form factor, multiple exercise modes and SpO2 tracking, making it a serious contender in this price segment.
The OnePlus Watch is currently available in Moonlight Silver and Midnight Black and costs Rs 14,999