OnePlus does have a smartwatch. Launched in April 2021, it’s called the OnePlus Watch and it’s available from the OnePlus Store for $159 in the US and €150 in Europe. You probably shouldn’t buy it though: The device is missing crucial features that make it hard to recommend, namely an always-on mode for the screen.
To deliver on the incredible two-week battery life promise OnePlus made when it announced the OnePlus Watch, it had to do away with power-intensive features like an always-on screen — something both the Apple Watch Series 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, and even the cheaper and older Fitbit Inspire 2, offer.
We can’t quite understand why OnePlus didn’t develop the feature and leave the user to decide whether they want to use it. After all, excessive use of other features like GPS can knock a couple of hours off the fourteen-day battery life OnePlus is raving about. Fortunately, this is something OnePlus says it’s working on now.
But the shortcomings don’t stop there. According to Wired, the OnePlus Watch isn’t as accurate in the fitness-tracking department as one would hope, with GPS tracking on outdoor exercise recording a shorter distance than a specialist Garmin sports watch. It also doesn’t play nice with water, stopping swim-tracking early.
Most frustrating of all is how locked down the OnePlus Watch is. There’s no option to download applications, and it doesn’t come with a mobile payments system on board. This means that, unlike the Apple Watch, it can’t be used for contactless payment on the move. It doesn’t have NFC, so the feature can’t be added later.