OnePlus Watch 2

OnePlus' new watch is a quantum leap from the old one.

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A few years ago, I bought the first OnePlus Watch for my better half. It was a mix of wanting basic smartwatch functionality like an alarm and the fitness features, as well as wanting to be able to find a gadget you can receive calls without needing your phone nearby. But there was something missing, especially when it came to messaging and phone mirroring, which is often the case with cheaper smartwatches.

OnePlus has made up for that with the new Watch 2, which is a full-blooded smartwatch of a higher build quality that's made with stainless steel and a 2.5D sapphire crystal face, combined with perhaps the most comfortable strap I've ever tried. It comes in two colours: Black Steel or Radiant Steel. Since OnePlus wants to keep it elegant, it makes sense that there aren't too many neon-coloured options. Although we haven't tested the watch for diving, the watch has a resistance of 8 Mohs, which is quite high, but we wouldn't recommend using it as a dive watch, despite it being made to military standards, as there's still "only" a 5 ATM and IP68 rating - although keep in mind that it's measured in fresh water, not salt or chlorinated water.

This has also had an impact on the price. We are now up to £270, and even with an "early bird" discount, you still have to pay more than double the price of the first watch. But it's also a much more complete product with a completely different level of functionality. I had actually feared that the price would be even higher, so no minus points on that account. And to further motivate you, they include a set of OnePlus Buds 3 on top of the that.

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OnePlus Watch 2

It weighs 49 grams, has a 1.43" AMOLED screen that's really nice and bright - 1000 nits in maximum mode according to OnePlus - with a 60Hz refresh rate and 466x466 pixels. That doesn't sound like much on paper, but since the screen is so small, it's more than enough to view pictures sent on Messenger or SMS.

On the inside, they've taken a completely new approach and now use Google's smartwatch platform combined with the OHealth app. Normally, I wouldn't install an app from a company called "Bravo Unicorn", but it's the official health app for both OnePlus and Oppo products, and it shows. Everything is kept in bright colours, the interface is simple and clear, and I quite like the visual presentation. There's also a dual integrated GPS module, each with its own antenna running on a different frequency, which means you can see your runs and walks pretty accurately at street level. It does everything I expect from a modern fitness app, with a lot of options for different workouts and programmes that can even tell me, like every other app, that I'm sleeping too little, moving too little and that I should be ashamed of myself for how much I've eaten. The only complaint is that I've become so used to 10,000 steps a day as the default that I was a little surprised to see it had 5,000 instead, but I guess that aligns pretty well with the latest research. It's possible to track your movement in real-time with 30 cm accuracy. It sounds very impressive, but it's also quite scary, however, I choose to be positive and see it as a major step forward for the precision of running, especially when combined with Google Maps, so I can say with certainty to several decimal places how far I've travelled around my local town.

Somewhat unconventionally, a dual-chip system, or "Dual Engine Architecture", is used, where an RTOS operating system in a BES2700 Chipset takes care of real-time applications, while a Snapdragon W5 runs Google's Wear OS 4. A bit like how your laptop divides tasks and load between the CPU and dedicated GPU. It also means that OnePlus firmly believe they have the best tracking of your activities and that the battery efficiency with this dual system means that the watch can last up to 12 days if you keep it in power-saver mode. Unfortunately, we haven't had the watch long enough to confirm or deny this claim.

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OnePlus Watch 2

OnePlus claims 100 hours of battery life, and that's pretty good. Charging is done through a proprietary charger. It wins points for having a standard removable USB-C cable, and it charges at 7.5 Watts - so it's fast, even though a 500 mAh battery is quite large for a smartwatch. The watch itself is one of the few to have a reasonable amount of space built in, with 32GB of storage and 2 GB of RAM.

There are quite a few native apps and settings, perhaps too many. You can customise ringtones and volume on most things instead of just having a master volume control. With Google Wear OS, you also get natural access to the full range of smartwatch features: Maps, Assistant, Calendar, and especially Wallet and extensions through Google Play. The watch comes standard with 100 watch faces, 20 of which are built-in from the start, and of course there is a synergy effect if you have a newer OnePlus mobile phone, so there is total synchronisation between all devices.

09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
overall score
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OnePlus Watch 2

OnePlus Watch 2

HARDWARE. Written by Kim Olsen

OnePlus' new watch is a quantum leap from the old one.

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