Technology

Five Things You Need to Know About the OnePlus Watch 2


Three years is a really long time in consumer technology. OnePlus launched its first smartwatch in 2021 and while it was not a success story, it finally had on offer a wearable from the brand. Indeed, the OnePlus Watch felt like a clumsy attempt to close the ecosystem circle, while building the foundations to properly compete with Samsung. It did not offer a full-fledged operating system, was not capable of running third-party apps, and functioned more like a fitness band than a smartwatch. In early 2023, OnePlus then launched a budget smartwatch called the Nord Watch. It was marketed as a budget fitness tracker, and obviously lacked a number of features that would make it a smartwatch; reducing its usefulness to a fitness band. It ran a version of RTOS as its operating system (just like the previous model) and offered the basics when it came to fitness tracking, making it a decent choice for buyers of its Nord sub-brand.

Lately, OnePlus has been serious about delving deeper into the premium products category. We saw the brand launch its first tablet, called the OnePlus Pad, which was launched as a premium product (along with optional accessories) and more recently, the OnePlus Open, the company’s first book-style foldable. With OnePlus’ push in India for the premium smartphone category, the brand desperately needed a smartwatch, and three years in, we have OnePlus’s latest attempt at designing a smartwatch.

Going purely by its specifications there’s plenty to brag about when it comes to hardware (like OnePlus’ smartphones) but the Chinese brand (now under Oppo) is now attempting to ride the wave stirred up by Samsung and its long-standing line of Galaxy smartwatches, just like the OnePlus Open foldable which dropped out of nowhere to compete with the Galaxy Z Fold 5. So, what is OnePlus’s new contender all about? Does it have what it takes (both in terms of software and hardware) to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 series? Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 details that make the OnePlus Watch 2 special.

The OnePlus Watch 2 has a 47mm case made from stainless steel

 

Sturdy design that appears elegant

While its odd but classy-looking design surely stands out with two oddly placed pushers on the left of the stainless steel case, the watch also goes big on durability. According to OnePlus the Watch 2 can withstand pressures of 5 ATM underwater, which is good for about 50 metres. It is also IP68-certified for dust and water resistance and OnePlus also claims that the Watch 2 is built to meet MIL-STD-810H US military standards, meaning you can take it for a swim, up in the mountains, and expose it to extreme weather as well. The watch has a 1.43-inch AMOLED round display with a standard 60Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 466 x 466 making it quite sharp. This circular display is set under a 2.5D sapphire crystal face, making the overall design quite sturdy.

It’s got two processors

One of the things that makes the OnePlus Watch 2 unique is its Dual-Engine Architecture. The watch has two independent chipsets which work together, switching between the two operating systems in a seamless manner. According to OnePlus, this switching does not affect the user experience and happens automatically. The wearable has a BES2700 chipset which is used to operate the RTOS part of the software experience, while the Wear OS part of the software is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 platform. OnePlus claims to have done this to extend battery life.

OnePlus Watch 2 software ndtv OnePlusWatch2  OnePlus

The OnePlus Watch 2 runs Google Wear OS 4 along with RTOS and supports third-party apps

 

There’s two operating systems as well

OnePlus claims that its RTOS software (found on cheaper budget wearables, including the now discontinued Nord Watch) is used to handle background activities like daily tasks and fitness tracking. The smarter Wear OS 4 wakes up only when needed to run apps, conserving power in the process. This is similar to a fused software experience which was available on the Oppo Watch that launched around 2020 and offered a mix of Color OS and Wear OS.

The OHealth companion app (only available on Android) also syncs with Google’s Health Connect service, meaning that your data can be shared or taken elsewhere and is not locked up to the OnePlus ecosystem. Despite building a dual OS smartwatch, running RTOS, it’s a bit of shame that OnePlus has chosen to avoid building an iOS app for the same.

Aims for above average battery life

The OnePlus Watch 2’s biggest claim is indeed its advertised “market-beating” battery life. OnePlus claims that its Dual-Engine Architecture using two chipsets and seamless software switching will let its users use the watch for up to 12 days without charging in Power Saver Mode. While power saver modes are available on other smartwatches, they do cut down on fitness tracking features. OnePlus claims that its unique hardware and software setup will deliver the above claim with health tracking, which is something we can’t wait to test out in our review. The wearable also has a bigger battery with a 500mAh capacity to fall back on, which as we have seen from previous leaks is bigger than the average battery powering most Wear OS wearables today.

OnePlus Watch 2 design case ndtv OnePlusWatch2  OnePlus

The OnePlus Watch 2 has 5ATM water resistance and is MIL-STD-810H certified for durability

 

OnePlus Watch 2 Connectivity

The OnePlus Watch 2 seems to be big on bragging rights from what we have seen so far. In terms of connectivity there’s dual-frequency GPS positioning, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi. However, this watch lacks any sort of cellular connectivity or eSIM. Hence one will need a compatible Android smartphone around when it’s out in the wild with no Wi-Fi connectivity around. In short, it’s still not a standalone device like the Galaxy Watch 6 or an Apple Watch Series 9 both of which do pack in cellular connectivity. According to the OnePlus team, it is said that user and community feedback stated that there’s no need for the same, which is why it was not included. What’s also missing for users in India is NFC payments for Google Pay.

We will be putting the OnePlus 2 through our rigorous testing process. So, stay tuned for our detailed review, which will be out soon to find out if this smartwatch lives up to its tall claims and hopefully brings OnePlus that much closer to closing its ecosystem circle.


OnePlus recently launched its first tablet in India, the OnePlus Pad, which is only sold in a Halo Green colour option. With this tablet, OnePlus has stepped into a new territory that’s dominated by Apple’s iPad. We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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For details of the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2024 hub.



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