The OnePlus Watch 2 is what redemption looks like

On the finish of February, a big package deal arrived on my doorstep. Inside had been 11 packing containers containing the identical model of the $299.99 OnePlus Watch 2. My eyes watered and I whispered, “Not once more.”

This was a transport accident. My field had 10 extra watches than I wanted for a overview. It occurs and usually doesn’t maintain any bigger that means. However I used to be nervous as a result of the unique OnePlus Watch was by far the worst smartwatch I’ve ever had the misfortune of reviewing. Every thing that might go fallacious did. The health and well being monitoring deserved the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Troubleshooting the buggy software program was a nightmare. That entire abysmal expertise was seared into my reminiscence. So when OnePlus reached out to say it was making a second watch — and that this one was markedly higher — I used to be hopeful. After which a field of 11 smartwatches arrived on my doorstep.

How we fee and overview merchandise

Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be honest to let previous errors colour my opinions of a brand new watch. I took my time to get to know the OnePlus Watch 2 by itself deserves. So once I say this watch just isn’t solely competent but in addition fairly good, I actually imply it. 

It really works!

The bar for the OnePlus Watch 2 was low. All it needed to do was be higher than its craptacular predecessor. It’s been some time, so I reread my authentic overview to refresh my reminiscence. To beat the unique watch, this one solely needed to:

  • Report moderately correct exercise and well being knowledge. Final time, it recorded 15,314 further steps in comparison with a management smartwatch. 
  • Precisely sync knowledge between the telephone and watch. If I took a mile-long stroll, it wanted to log one mile on my watch and telephone. The info for steps, coronary heart fee, distance, and many others., needed to additionally match. The final OnePlus Watch repeatedly gaslit me by displaying radically completely different metrics on the telephone versus the wrist.
  • View historic sleep knowledge within the app and never simply on the wrist. The final one couldn’t do that.
  • Ship push notifications in a well timed method. Not 40 notifications 4 hours later, .

The OnePlus Watch 2 has a novel twin chip and twin OS construction.

I’m genuinely happy to say carrying the watch these previous few weeks was a therapeutic expertise. OnePlus did all of that after which some. Whereas the unique watch was principally a health tracker, this can be a real smartwatch with a dual-processor structure, together with the newest Put on OS chip and a novel twin OS to lengthen battery life.

By upgrading from a proprietary OS to Put on OS 4, the watch delivers a a lot richer total expertise. I can now entry third-party apps from the Play Retailer. There are a number of music apps to select from, together with Spotify and YouTube Music! There’s contactless funds! I can flip off my good lights with Google Assistant. That’s big contemplating virtually no third-party Android smartwatches have launched with Google Assistant because the swap to Put on OS 3. That is the stuff you’d count on from a correct flagship.

Construct high quality can also be higher. The unique watch was a reasonably display with chintzy, plasticky supplies. This has stainless-steel and sapphire crystal. The silicone strap is way thicker. The 1.43-inch OLED show is pleasant to have a look at. Scrolling by way of screens is clean, and colours are crisp. I want display brightness went above 600 nits — it may well look washed out in direct daylight — however that’s a quibble.

I don’t have any complaints with well being, exercise, and sleep monitoring, both. I wore the OnePlus Watch 2 alongside the Oura Ring, the Garmin Forerunner 165 Music, the Apple Watch Extremely 2, and some different good rings. I noticed some regular minor discrepancies however nothing to put in writing house about. The OnePlus Watch 2 additionally provides dual-frequency GPS. It’s a standard addition to extra premium or rugged smartwatches lately however principally interprets to barely extra correct GPS knowledge in difficult environments. My ends in testing had been fairly much like the Extremely 2 and my telephone, which each have dual-frequency GPS. Good things when you’re the outdoorsy sort. 

There’s a brand new shortcut button that launches exercises, together with a digital crown.

However whereas these are large enhancements, it’s not good. Whereas I favored the addition of a brand new shortcut button, the “digital crown” isn’t actually a crown. It seems to be like one and spins like one, however it doesn’t really scroll. It’s functionally a button. The watch, like many more moderen Put on OS watches, helps Android solely. There’s no mobile functionality, both, which stinks if you wish to depart your telephone at house for a run. Likewise, the OnePlus Watch 2 doesn’t have fall detection, EKGs, native interval monitoring (you could possibly obtain a third-party app), or physique temperature monitoring. Most of those omissions aren’t the tip of the world if all you need is fundamental exercise monitoring. It simply means this isn’t a watch the place you possibly can comfortably depart your telephone at house. 

Multiday battery life

The OnePlus Watch 2 has some fancy stuff occurring underneath the hood that interprets to wonderful battery life. The gist is you’ve bought two processors — the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 and the BES2700 MCU. The W5 handles the power-guzzling duties and runs Put on OS 4. The BES2700 runs background duties utilizing a proprietary OS. Stuff will get handed off between the 2, and the result’s lengthy battery life. It helps that there’s a 500mAh battery, too.

I wasn’t capable of view historic sleep knowledge within the app with the unique OnePlus Watch. Not an issue right here.

I used to be so happy to see that my knowledge really synced correctly. The bar was low.

How lengthy depends upon your utilization. When you flip the always-on show off, hold notifications to a minimal, and train about half-hour with GPS on, you will get a number of days. Essentially the most I bought was about 4 days earlier than an influence saving mode kicked on after which about another day after that mode kicked in. That’s very good and it’s longer than what you’ll get on an Apple, Samsung, or Google smartwatch. With the always-on show turned on, I bought nearer to 1.5 to 2 days. That’s normal, although not too shabby. 

In energy saving mode, the watch loses Put on OS, however you continue to can obtain notifications and observe well being / actions. OnePlus says you will get round 12 days. I by no means used the watch in energy saving mode solely. That form of defeats the aim of getting a flagship smartwatch, however it’s good to have when you overlook your charger at house.

To get wonderful battery life, OnePlus made one massive design tradeoff. This watch solely is available in a single 47mm dimension.

The 47mm watch does look fairly beefy on my wrist.

That 47mm watch case is why you possibly can stuff in a 500mAh battery. However it bumps the load to 80g with the strap. I’ve bought petite wrists. I felt gravity’s pull on the watch every time I ran. I actually felt it once I wore my leather-based jacket. The watch was so chunky, I virtually didn’t have sufficient area to drag my wrist by way of the cuff. 

When you’ve bought greater wrists, this gained’t be a difficulty. However there’s no different possibility for everybody else. That’s a bummer. Most flagship smartwatch makers supply no less than a small and large dimension. They’re making the identical tradeoffs — the smaller ones are normally extra comfy, however the greater ones have higher battery life. Customers perceive that, and most are completely satisfied to decide on the tradeoff that most closely fits them. Right here, that selection has been made for you.

Filling a void

OnePlus has an actual alternative right here to take over because the “default various.” It’s the primary Put on OS 4 watch that isn’t made by Samsung or Google, and it trounces them each in battery life. Not like its predecessor, it nails the fundamentals. At $300, it’s competitively priced. Whereas there’s room for enchancment, it’s properly suited to people who need one thing trendy with out too many bells and whistles. 

I really held onto the ten further OnePlus Watch 2 smartwatches throughout testing. A part of me was afraid that the one I opened can be riddled with bugs. This manner, I wouldn’t need to request alternate models. I’d have the ability to definitively inform if one unit was flawed — or if the watch was yet one more unmitigated catastrophe. However I by no means wanted to open a second watch. Now that my overview is completed, I can see how foolish I used to be being. This watch is the precise reverse of its predecessor. For as soon as, that’s an excellent factor.  

Correction, April seventeenth, 2024, 5:08PM ET: A earlier model of this overview famous the facet button wasn’t customizable. It’s. We remorse the error.


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