While the Apple Watch dominates the smartwatch market and is arguably the best watch available for iPhone users, Android smartphone users have a host of capable watch options. Lately, we have seen some compelling offerings from Amazfit, Zepp, Samsung, and others. The new OnePlus Watch is designed as a seamless companion to OnePlus smartphones, and for the price, you would pay for a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra you can buy an OnePlus 9 Pro and an OnePlus Watch.
Prior to the announcement, there were rumors that the OnePlus Watch would run Google's Wear OS. I'm not the biggest fan of Wear OS, except for the Google Assistant capability, so it will be interesting to test drive the new watch from OnePlus. It runs its own RTOS (real-time operating system) like we see from Garmin, Amazfit, Zepp, and others. While these may have more limited applications, they can also be better optimized for battery life and focused experiences that the manufacturer wants to provide to its owners.
OnePlus didn't provide all of the details of the RTOS on the OnePlus Watch, but we do know that the watch supports more than 110 workout types (including automatic detection), supports phone calls handled on the watch, supports notifications from the phone, and lets you play music from your phone or stored directly in the available 2GB of storage (4GB total).
The 46mm case with 2.5D curved glass looks a lot like the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, which is great since that hardware is fantastic. It has a dust and water-resistant rating of 5 ATM and IP68 with integrated GPS, blood oxygen monitor, heart rate monitor, and 402 mAh battery that supports active use for a week and standard use for two weeks.
The OnePlus Watch will connect to your phone via the OnePlus Health app. At launch, the watch will connect to Android smartphones with an iOS app coming soon, too. So, the OnePlus Watch is a cross-platform watch, much like other RTOS, Tizen, and Google Wear watches. You can even use it as a smart remote control for your OnePlus TV.
The OnePlus Watch launches on 14 April for just $159 in a Midnight Black color. Stay tuned for more as we test out this new watch.