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OnePlus Watch 2: Unboxing and hands-on review – Is it a hit or miss?

5 min read
OnePlus Watch 2: Unboxing and hands-on review – Is it a hit or miss?
OnePlus Watch 2 review

OnePlus Watch 2 reviewIBT

OnePlus Watch 2 comes as a successor to the OG model after a gap of almost three years, forgoing the tradition of annual upgrades seen in other products within the company’s product portfolio. But it looks like the Watch 2 is worth every bit of the wait.

OnePlus launched the Watch 2 for Rs 24,999, with sales starting in India on March 4. OnePlus sent us the review unit for testing the smartwatch, and here are our observations from having used the Watch 2 as a daily driver.

OnePlus Watch 2: Key specs

  1. Display: 1.43-inch AMOLED, 2.5D Sapphire Crystal
  2. CPU: Snapdragon W5 Gen 1
  3. OS: Wear OS 4 + RTOS
  4. RAM: 2GB RAM + 32GB ROM
  5. Dimensions: Length 47mm, width 46.6mmx12.1mm
  6. Weight: 80g with wrist strap
  7. Battery: 500mAh (Up to 100 hours in Smart Mode) with fast charge
  8. Health features: sleep, heart rate, SpO2, stress monitoring
  9. Fitness: 100+ sports modes
  10. Durability: IP68, 5ATM
  11. Colors: Radiant Steel and Black Steel
  12. Price: Rs 24,999

Unboxing OnePlus Watch 2

OnePlus Watch 2 comes in the company’s signature minimalistic packaging, sans any plastic use. As you lift the box lid, you’re welcomed by the watch, securely tucked with its display facing upwards. Inside the box, you get the charging dock and USB Type-C cable, user manual and safety information cards.

Hands-on review:

OnePlus Watch 2 sent to us is the Radiant Steel, which has a sea-green strap complimenting the steel frame and the beautiful display. Putting on the watch, it wraps around the wrist quite remarkably, without leaving any odd gaps around the edges. I don’t think it will fit just as well on small wrists.

OnePlus Watch 2 review

OnePlus Watch 2 reviewIBT

The straps are made of fluororubber, it’s skin friendly and sweat resistance. Wearing it for long hours, even during workouts and showers, doesn’t cause irritation, but it is recommended to dry the straps for a much comfortable wear. Though OnePlus won’t be launching any straps, they are interchangeable, so you can switch them for any 22mm straps.

The watch itself is big and tips the scale on the heavier side. It weighs 80grams with the straps, and 49 grams without the straps. So yes, it’s one of the biggest watches that’ll sit on your wrist, but boy, does it look good.

I love just how meticulously OnePlus has designed the watch, complete with fine cuts and corners. The circular dial may be the same, but there’s so much to it – all in the details. For instance, the bezel has nice circular lines outlining the display, giving it a refined look as though it is part of the display.

The shiny steel casing is as premium as it gets, though it is likely to pick up smudges along the way. The rotating crown sits at the top right, which functions as Home and the other button at the bottom is the shortcut for workout feature. Both the physical buttons are customisable so you can assign any function you’d like, which is a boon for many.

OnePlus Watch 2 review

OnePlus Watch 2 reviewIBT

The Home button carries multiple functions, like press and hold to turn on Google Assistant, press once to wake up and double press to launch the most recent app. Same for the bottom one, pressing it twice launches Google wallet, and press and hold to power on the watch / open power menu. Both these buttons stand out prominently in an extended pill-shaped pillar on the side. It may well become one of OnePlus’ signature looks.

OnePlus Watch 2 review

OnePlus Watch 2 reviewIBT

As much as I like how the buttons are placed, I’m confused as to why OnePlus didn’t add any function to the rotation of the crown. Call it a habit from using Apple Watch or even Samsung Galaxy Watch, rotating the crown should at least let you easily navigate around the watch menus. Alas.

But the fit and feel of the watch are absolutely premium and easily one of my favourites, despite being large.

The display takes up the most space, but OnePlus made sure it is well justified. The 2.5D sapphire crystal glass gives a subtle curvature. The 1.430-inch round AMOLED display with 466×466 resolution is bright and has good viewing angles. The colours are vibrant and the blacks are deep. The display glass seems quite durable too and hasn’t picked up any scratches. The default max brightness is 600 nits but the peak brightness is 1000 nits, which makes readability under sunlight possible. The touch is smooth and responds very well. OnePlus is so confident of its display that a pattern lock is also an option, so you can just slide your fingers to unlock rather than tap the PIN.

OnePlus Watch 2 review

OnePlus Watch 2 reviewIBT

But my favourite part besides the way how the watch looks and feels is watch face. There are plenty of options out there and each on is better than the next. The first day I set up the watch, I was scrolling through the different watch faces in the Health app and loving each and every one. Want an open-face traditional watch look? You got it. Fancy a sporty look? It’s there. One thing’s for sure, your watch won’t look boring to you any given day.

OnePlus Watch 2 review

OnePlus Watch 2 reviewIBT

Another interesting aspect of the watch that took me by surprise is the battery. OnePlus claims it can run 100 hours on a single charge if you’re using it in Smart Mode. But even in normal mode, it still gets you two days, which is impressive. This is made possible with two chips inside—yes, two! There’s a Snapdragon W5 chip for Google’s WearOS and a BES 2700 to run RTOS. The latter is for low power activities like connectivity, sleep tracking, heart rate tracking, etc. The W5 chips is active when interacting with the user, for things like running apps, watch faces etc. That’s a really smart way to address one of the biggest pain points of smartwatches, so kudos to OnePlus for that.

OnePlus Watch 2 review

OnePlus Watch 2 reviewIBT

We’ll be testing the watch’s capabilities in the fitness tracking arena and if the battery is as good as OnePlus claims. So stay tuned for a full review soon. 

Conclusion

OnePlus Watch 2 is a fantastic product that brings the best of smartwatch design and tech together. The performance, so far, has been excellent, the display is great, and the battery is outstanding. Yes, the watch is a bit too large and heavy for some users’ taste, but if you try it on, there’s a good chance you’ll love it.

There are a few setbacks, like a lack of fall detection, a one-size offering, and only two years of software updates, but the rest of the watch is built to give strong competition the wearable industry at large.

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