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The new OnePlus Watch is terrible – here’s what reviewers are saying

This offering from OnePlus probably should have been delayed a bit.

oneplus smartwatch
Image: OnePlus

OnePlus has made a name for itself for “flagship-killer” smartphones, and more recently, a name for solid midprice devices that won’t break the bank. It’s now branching out into wearables, with the OnePlus Watch, its first-generation smartwatch.

Wearables are a difficult market even for established brands, so how does OnePlus’ first effort stack up? Well, we’re going to do things a little differently this time and lead with some quotes from the major tech outlets, before diving into why they felt that way.

  • Engadget – Just get a Fitbit instead
  • Mashable – Who thought releasing the OnePlus Watch like this was a good idea?
  • The Verge – Big, basic, and boring
  • Gizmodo – This Is the Worst Smartwatch I’ve Ever Used
  • PCMag – A first-generation smartwatch that acts like one

Oh, dear. It seems that OnePlus perhaps should have kept this one in internal tests for a little bit longer, as it seems unusable as an actual smartwatch. PCMag mentions the GPS fails to accurately test distance, making it useless for fitness tracking. Victoria Song at Gizmodo goes even further, saying the watch thought she was sleeping while she was awake, with step counts off by “more than 10,000 steps.” Sure, fitness tracking is difficult, with constant algorithm changes by the established brands, but that many steps wrong?

Part of the issues might stem from OnePlus eschewing Wear OS and creating their own operating system for their watch. Kind of. While it’s their own software, the UI looks very much like Wear OS, just without the swipe-right to get to Google Assistant. Engadget felt it was “unfinished,” with only some Android apps supported, and even then things like messaging can only be replied to by one of four canned responses that the user can’t customize. Oh, and it doesn’t work with iPhones, at all.

There is some good here still, under the pile of issues. The touchscreen doesn’t feel laggy, and “responsiveness is on par with the Apple Watch,” according to PCMag. That’s something that most fitness trackers suffer from, so kudos to OnePlus here. Charging is also a big plus, with OnePlus bringing its fast charging skills to the wearable, fully charging in 20 minutes or so. Most wearables are slow to juice up, making the user take them off for hours at a time, which is useless for 24/7 fitness tracking.

Look, we’re not going to sugarcoat this – if you still want the OnePlus Watch even after the collective tech world has said it’s mediocre, we’re not going to judge. Josiah‘s mediocre too and we love him still. Just know what you’re getting into, especially with that hefty $159 MSRP.

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