OnePlus Watch 2 Review ; The Smartest Smart watch


After a hat trick of failures, OnePlus is back with its newest entrant in the wearable space. The OnePlus Watch 2 is by far the most sophisticated wearable device the company has come up with yet which, at least on paper, should make it more resistant to the fate that befell its predecessors.

Oneplus watch 2

The Watch 2 is a full-bore smartwatch running Google’s Android-based Wear OS. But the real trick up its sleeve is that it runs a second, secret OS, complete with its own chipset, which is meant to handle low-level tasks and prolong the battery life. But more on that later. First, let’s look at the design.

The OnePlus Watch 2 has received a significant overhaul in how it looks and feels on your wrist. Gone are some of the rounded edges in favor of flat sides, straight lines, and hardened edges. It’s a bulkier design that feels more purposeful and less generic than its plain-faced predecessor. The side buttons sit on a prominent shoulder that juts out the side of the casing. Whether or not it was intentional, this is a much more masculine design you would normally find on a men’s watch and may not have the unisex appeal of its predecessor.

Getting back to the side switches, there are two of them. The one on the top looks like a crown and even spins like a crown but it’s just a button that you press down. The same goes for the button below, which has a flat surface. Both buttons click with a satisfying feel with some resistance to avoid accidental presses.

Oneplus watch 2 display

Moving on, the Watch 2 has a 1.43-inch, 466×466 resolution, AMOLED display. The panel refreshes at a constant 60Hz and has a claimed high brightness mode of 1000 nits. The display has vibrant and slightly oversaturated colors, inky blacks, and good viewing angles that make it easy to see at a glance.

The software is the star of the show on the OnePlus Watch 2. Like some previous Oppo watches, the Watch 2 runs on a combination of Wear OS, which runs on the Snapdragon W5 chipset, and an RTOS, which runs on the BES 2700. The combination of RTOS and 2700 is running most of the show in the background, including low-level activities and things like connectivity, sleep and heart rate tracking, and fitness tracking. Then, when the user interacts with Wear OS-specific features and applications, the OS fires up the W5 chipset.

oneplus watch 2 battery life

The advantage of this hybrid approach is obvious; the Watch 2 can save a lot of power by keeping the W5 idle and running low-level activities on the low-power 2700 chipset while reserving the W5 chip only for things like running apps and third-party watch faces. That’s the default behavior for the watch under the Smart mode. OnePlus claims 48-100 hours of battery life in this mode.

There is also a Power Saver mode, which disables all Wear OS functionality and runs exclusively in RTOS mode. In this mode, all apps, third-party watch faces, and some communication features are disabled but you can still access all your fitness and tracking features. The upside to this mode? A claimed 12-day battery life.

On the connectivity front, the Watch 2 supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS. The GPS on the Watch 2 was reliable unlike on the original OnePlus Watch where it would often take several minutes to establish connection. The NFC functionality could not be tested, however, as the Google Pay function isn’t available in countries like India.

Oneplus watch

The watch has 32GB of internal storage, of which about 23GB was available for use. This should allow you to have a bunch of audio content at reasonable quality downloaded on the watch and you can then pair your wireless earbuds directly to the watch to listen. Unfortunately, there is no cellular connectivity option, so you are reliant on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for all data.

The Watch 2 features a sizable 500mAh battery, which OnePlus claims provides up to 100 hours in Smart mode and 12 days in Power Saving mode. In the time I had with the device, I only managed to drain the battery once after about four days of use in the Smart mode. Having said that, I don’t wear my watch all day and I certainly don’t wear it to sleep outside of testing sleep tracking.

Still, the combination of the hybrid chipset and OS, not to mention the large battery means the Watch 2 easily runs a day or two longer than most smartwatches on the market, and even heavy users can expect 2-3 days on a single charge.

Oneplus watch 2 review

Alright, time to wrap this one up for now. Aside from minor niggles here and there, there weren’t any standout issues with the OnePlus Watch 2 during my testing. It’s a good-looking watch with a good-quality display, a clever hybrid software design, and good battery life. It’s a huge leap forward from its predecessor, which was neither here nor there.

In the end, the OnePlus Watch 2 finds itself in a niche of its own with a fairly complete feature set and a more attractive price than its competitors.