Three years is a really long time in consumer technology. OnePlus launched its first smartwatch in 2021, and although it wasn’t a success story, it finally offered a wearable device from the brand. Indeed, the OnePlus Watch seemed like a clumsy attempt to close the loop on the ecosystem while building the foundations to properly compete with Samsung. It didn’t offer a full-fledged operating system, couldn’t run third-party apps, and functioned more like a fitness band than a smartwatch. In early 2023, OnePlus launched a budget smartwatch called the Nord Watch. It was advertised as a budget fitness tracker and clearly lacked a number of features that would have made 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.

Recently, OnePlus has been seriously delving into the premium product category. We saw the brand launch its first tablet called the OnePlus Pad, which was released as a premium product (along with additional accessories) and more recently the OnePlus Open, the company’s first book-style foldable. With OnePlus pushing India into the premium smartphone category, the brand was in desperate need of a smartwatch, and three years later, we have OnePlus’ latest attempt at designing a smartwatch.

Going by the specs alone, there’s a lot to brag about when it comes to hardware (like OnePlus smartphones), but the Chinese brand (now under Oppo) is now trying to ride the wave propelled by Samsung and its long-running Galaxy line of smartwatches , just like the OnePlus Open foldable that came out of nowhere to compete with the Galaxy Z Fold 5. So what is OnePlus’ new challenger? 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 47 mm body made of stainless steel

A robust design that looks elegant

While its quirky yet elegant design certainly stands out with two oddly placed pushers on the left of the stainless steel case, the watch is also very durable. According to the OnePlus Watch 2, it can withstand a pressure of 5 ATM underwater, which is good for about 50 meters. It’s also IP68 certified for dust and water resistance, and OnePlus also claims that the Watch 2 is built to meet US military MIL-STD-810H standards, meaning you can take it swimming, hiking and expose it to as well as extreme weather. The watch has a 1.43-inch AMOLED circular display with a standard 60Hz refresh rate and 466 x 466 resolution, making it quite sharp. This circular display is placed under a 2.5D sapphire crystal face, which makes the overall design quite sturdy.

It has two processors

One of the things that makes the OnePlus Watch 2 unique is its dual-engine architecture. The watch has two independent chipsets that work together, switching between the two operating systems in a seamless manner. According to OnePlus, this switch does not affect the user experience and happens automatically. The wearable has a BES2700 chipset, which is used to run 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 it did this to extend battery life.

OnePlus Watch 2 ndtv software OnePlusWatch2 OnePlus

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

There are also two operating systems

OnePlus claims that its RTOS software (found in 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 launch apps, saving power in the process. This is similar to the merged software experience that was available on the Oppo Watch, which launched around 2020 and offered a combination of Color OS and Wear OS.

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

Aim for above average battery life

The OnePlus Watch 2’s biggest claim is really its advertised market-beating battery life. OnePlus claims that its Dual-Engine architecture, using two chipsets and seamless software switching, will allow users to use the watch for up to 12 days without charging in Power Saver Mode. Although power-saving modes are available on other smartwatches, they reduce fitness tracking features. OnePlus claims its unique hardware and software setup will deliver on the above claim with health tracking, which is something we can’t wait to test in our review. The wearable also has a larger 500mAh battery, which as we’ve seen from previous leaks is larger than the average battery powering most Wear OS wearables today.

OnePlus Watch 2 designer case ndtv OnePlusWatch2 OnePlus

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

Connecting the OnePlus Watch 2

The OnePlus Watch 2 looks to be big on bragging rights from what we’ve seen so far. In terms of connectivity, there is dual-frequency GPS positioning, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi. However, this watch does not have any cellular connectivity or eSIM. Therefore, one will need a compatible Android smartphone when out in the wild without a Wi-Fi connection. In short, it’s still not a stand-alone device like the Galaxy Watch 6 or Apple Watch Series 9, both of which feature cellular connectivity. According to the OnePlus team, it is said that feedback from users and the community has stated that there is no need for the same, hence it has not been included. What is also missing for users in India is NFC payments for Google Pay.

We will put the OnePlus 2 through our rigorous testing process. So, stay tuned for our detailed review coming soon to find out if this smartwatch lives up to its lofty 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 sold only in Halo Green color. With this tablet, OnePlus has entered new territory dominated by Apple’s iPad. We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available at Spotify, Ghana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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