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Oppo Watch Review: More Than Just An Apple Watch Rip-Off
Oppo is largely known for its budget and mid-range smartphones in India but the brand is also actively working towards establishing an IoT ecosystem. We have tested some of the products from Oppo's Enco series audio line-up and they managed to impress us with their good overall performance and aggressive pricing. The latest product to join the company's IoT product portfolio is a smartwatch that harnesses the power of Google's Wear OS platform.
- Premium Aesthetics
- Vibrant AMOLED Display
- Smooth Performance
- Good Fitness Features
- Disappointing Battery Life
- Design Lacks Originality
Available in two sizes and multiple color variants, the Oppo Smartwatch puts a lot of attention to detailing. Its craftsmanship is bound to turn heads despite being unoriginal. The Oppo watch looks surprisingly familiar as it is built on the ever so popular Apple Watch-series platform and also named quite similarly as- Oppo Watch.
The wearable runs on Google's Wear OS platform and is powered by the Qualcomm's 2018 Snapdragon 3100 Wear chipset. It brings along a suite of fitness tracking features at an aggressive starting price of Rs. 14,990 for the 41mm variant. The brand shared the 46mm Oppo Smartwatch for review which costs Rs. 19,990. I included the fitness-centric wearable in my daily routine and spent a fair share of time to finally pass a judgment.
Oppo Watch Design
The Oppo Watch can be easily mistaken as an Apple Watch not just because of the identical design, but also because of its premium construction and minimal aesthetics. Oppo has used good quality material to construct the dial which looks no less than a miniaturized smartphone on your wrist.
The dial's frame has been made from a 6,000-series aluminium alloy and it does feel sturdy. The gentle curves and the glossy Gold and Black color finish add to the premium look and feel. The rear side of the 46mm Oppo Watch is made out of ceramic whereas the smaller and affordable 41mm version has a plastic back.
The square dial boasts a curved 1.91-inch AMOLED screen with narrow bezels. The curved OLED panel with minimal Gold color bezels is a head-turner. If you ignore the similarities with the Apple Watch for a second, the Oppo Watch easily comes across as the best looking mid-range smartwatch in the market.
Premium Aesthetics & Comfortable To Wear
Oppo offers a wide range of wrist strap colors and materials. By default, the wearable comes with a ‘one-button' press removable wrist strap that's made out of soft-touch silicone material. Oppo calls it Fluororubber. The watch is comfortable to wear throughout the day without any sweat issues, provided that you are not indulging in intense workout sessions.
No there's no crown on this mid-range watch king. Instead, the watch dial has two physical buttons on the right side and a speaker unit on the left. The dial is slightly bigger than Apple's watches but sits comfortably on my wrist. I would recommend trying both the sizes before purchasing the wearing fit will vary upon wrist sizes. As far as durability is concerned, the Oppo Watch offers 5ATM water resistance and the whole design feels pretty robust.
Overall, Oppo has successfully remodeled the Apple Watch design. It looks identical and also manages to give that premium fit and finish at a very aggressive price-point.
Oppo Watch Display- Vibrant 3D Curved AMOLED Screen
The Oppo Watch flaunts a rectangular AMOLED Dual Curved Display. The 46mm variant has a bigger 1.91-inch screen with 72.76% screen-to-body ratio which isn't groundbreaking but serves quite well in displaying content on the wrist. And thanks to the respectable 402x476 resolution and 326 ppi pixel density, the AMOLED dial feels vibrant and crisp. The 3D curved AMOLED screen is touted to cover 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. It does feel colorful. The icons, colored text and graphics look stunning on the Oppo Watch.
With 500 nits peak brightness and good pixel density, the AMOLED dial offers good outdoor visibility. I did not face any visibility issues while using this wearable in bright summer days in Delhi/NCR. Oppo has managed to offer one of the best OLED display on a smartwatch in the sub-20K price bracket.
Google Wear OS Works Seamlessly On Oppo Watch
My experience with the Google Wear OS-powered smartwatches has been pretty underwhelming. Even though it is feature-rich and intuitive software, the wearables largely failed to deliver a smooth software user experience, mostly because of hardware limitations. To my surprise, the Oppo Watch is not plagued by any performance issues, thanks to an old but capable chipset, ample RAM and good optimization done by Oppo.
Google's Wear OS' appearance has been slightly tweaked for the Oppo Watch. The app drawer, icons and the notification panel remind you of the latest Color OS. Most importantly, the software runs without any performance issues. The smooth animations, gestures and visual interactions are seamless and free of any lags.
Notifications And Apps Support
The Oppo Watch can also display WhatsApp texts, phone messages, Tweets and reminders with utmost consistency and also presents a quick reply option. Typing a text message on the tiny QWERTY keypad isn't comfortable experience but it comes handy when you don't have the device in the reach or just cannot take out the phone from the pocket. The Oppo Watch also comes with a plethora of apps.
You can install a variety of Wear OS apps from the pre-installed Play Store application; however, the watch offers several useful apps such as Timer, World clock, Recorder, Google Calendar, Google Translator, Google Reminders and Google Contacts and the Dialer app.
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear Chipset
The Oppo Watch is powered by the Qualcomm's 2018 Snapdragon 3100 Wear chipset. The two-year-old chipset is still a very capable CPU for wearables and it ensured smooth performance on the Oppo Watch. In addition to the screen interactions, you can also use the physical buttons to interact with the watch. The button at top opens the app drawer and also serves as the home button.
The second button which has a green accent is essentially a programmable shortcut key that can be customized to launch various functions such as Workouts, Agenda, Alarm, Contacts, Daily Activity, Find My Phone, etc. You can also use this button to switch off/on the wearable or to restart and enable the Power Saver mode. The buttons offer decent tactile feedback if not the best-in-class. Other gestures like Back, Swipe to left/ right, Up/down work wonderfully on the Oppo Watch and allow you to comfortably navigate throughout the Wear OS.
Health And Fitness
The Oppo watch comes packed with a plethora of fitness-tracking features. The wearable can track your steps, calories burnt, kilometres covered, heart rate, sleep quality and breathing. It also pushes get-up reminders if you are idle for too long and your body should indulge in some form of physical activity. The auto-tracking of steps taken, floors climbed, calories burned, distance covered, etc. worked without any issues. Additionally, there are five pre-installed workouts- Fitness run, Fat burn run, Outdoor walk, Outdoor cycling and Swimming.
The wearable also offers 5-minute workout modes with multiple sessions including Morning Energizer, Full-Body Workout, Fat Blaster, etc. The GPS-enabled Oppo watch can also track the route you cover while running or cycling. The heart-rate sensor on the Oppo Watch seems to be doing a good job. The readings were in sync with my Apple's Watch. I also installed Google Fit on the watch and it seamlessly synced my data in no time. Overall, the Oppo watch offers a wide set of fitness tracking features to help you lead a healthy lifestyle.
Battery Life & Connectivity
If battery life is your priority, the Oppo Watch isn't an ideal wearable for you. It can only deliver one full-day battery backup and that too with moderate usage. If you pair the watch with a smartphone to receive all the notifications from the companion device, it will only last for about 15 hours on one full charge. Switching off Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth and enabling the Power Saver Mode will extend the battery life to another 6 to 7 hours but at the cost of a full-fledged smartwatch user-experience. The Oppo Watch is backed by a 430 mAh battery unit that draws power from a magnetic-pin charge which refuels the battery from flat to 100% in about 75 minutes.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the Oppo Watch can be paired with both Android and Apple devices. I used it with several Android devices and did not face any connectivity issues. The Oppo smartwatch offers support for Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, NFC and LTE on the 46mm variant.
The Oppo Watch is a solid entry into the mid-range smartwatch market in India. The Apple Watch form-factor with Google Wear OS gives it a clear edge over competitors. The wearable comes across as a good lifestyle and fitness accessory for anyone looking for a good looking smartwatch with fluid software and plenty of fitness tracking features.
Battery life is rather disappointing, something we are used to now from the Google Wear OS-powered wearables. That said, if battery life is your priority, the Huawei Watch GT 2 and the GT 2e are good alternatives but if you are in the market for the best-looking smartwatch with good features, the Oppo Watch will not disappoint you.