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Why Is OnePlus Watch A Good Buy Despite Shortcomings
OnePlus has gradually expanded its ecosystem in the Indian market. The brand now offers smartphones (mid-range and premium), Smart TVs, audio products (TWS & Neckbands), power banks, wearables, and even some lifestyle products. Notably, the latest gadget in the catalogue is the OnePlus Watch. Priced at Rs. 14,999, it is the first smartwatch from the house of OnePlus to receive mixed reviews. Some tech outlets even ranked it among the worst wearable in its category. Ouch!!
Well! Our personal experience with the OnePlus Watch has been good so far, especially after the recent update which added some much needed features. The wearable has performed consistently in our testing as a digital watch and as a fitness tracker. Here's why we think the OnePlus Watch is a good overall package despite some compromises.
Best-Looking Sub-15K Smartwatch
Among several sub-15K smartwatches we have tested previously, the OnePlus Watch stands out in terms of looks and built quality. Similar to its smartphones, the overall fit and finish of the OnePlus Watch are a notch above the competition. That curved display and chrome finish on the dial do make a noticeable style statement. The watch is easier to pair with both casuals and formals.
Stainless Steel, 5ATM & IP68 rated
Also, the material used (316L grade stainless steel) by OnePlus feels a bit more premium and feels long-lasting than what Xiaomi, Realme, and Huawei has to offer with their wearables. The strap quality is among the best in its respective price and makes the wearing experience quite comfortable despite the heavier footprint of the watch.
The OnePlus watch weighs 76 grams and is 5ATM, IP68 rated. Overall, if a good design and premium looks are your top priority, the OnePlus Watch is our pick.
Good Battery Life
The OnePlus Watch can easily last for a week and even more if used judiciously. In our testing, the 402mAh battery survived a week with continuous heart-rate tracking and sleep tracking enabled. We used the watch with display brightness set to medium and the wearable was connected to the device all day long. If you disable some features and go light on the display usage, a 10-day mark isn't difficult to achieve.
Robust Fitness Tracking Features
The premium-looking OnePlus Watch also gets the basics right in the form of accurate fitness tracking. Be it sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, SpO2, or daily activities such as the number of steps, calories burnt and workout duration, the OnePlus Watch offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand, and effective readings. Importantly, the watch even comes equipped with a built-in GPS, which means it can track your cycling and running routine without a smartphone.
We also did not encounter any performance-related issues on the OnePlus Watch. The display is very responsive, the wireless connection is stable (Bluetooth 5.0) and there are no lags whatsoever while navigating through the user interface. The performance is smooth and justified for a sub-15K smartwatch.
What Are The Compromises?
Now if you are wondering what holds the OnePlus Watch back, the wearable lacks iOS support for now and has very limited watch faces. If you are someone who likes to frequently change the watch dial's look and feel, you will feel a bit disappointed. I think OnePlus can easily upgrade the watch faces catalogue with future updates so this isn't a big concern.
Always-On Display Mode At The Cost Of Battery Life?
I am glad that OnePlus has added the much-needed Always-on-display feature; however, it is touted to come at a big cost of reducing the battery life to almost half. We are still testing the real-time effect on the wearable's battery life after the update, so stay tuned.
Moving on, the half-baked notification support is a big issue on most sub-15K smartwatches including the OnePlus Watch. Running on a custom RTOS, this wearable only lets you reply to certain notifications but only with presets. There's nothing much you can do about it since these custom wearable operating systems have restricted functionality.
Should You Buy The OnePlus Watch?
That said, if you can compromise on the aforementioned features, there's a lot to like about the OnePlus Watch that makes it a decent overall package, and among the likeable ones in the sub-15K price category. You can buy the OnePlus Watch from Amazon.in at Rs. 14,999.