OnePlus Watch vs Apple Watch Series 6: which should you buy?

The OnePlus Watch offers a lot of the same features as the Apple Watch Series 6, but costs MUCH less, can it really compare?

OnePlus Watch vs Apple Watch Series 6
(Image credit: OnePlus / Apple)

When it comes to buying the best smartwatch, it's easy to just opt for the most popular one out there – the Apple Watch. For a long time, Apple was the only serious player in the wearable game, but recently the likes of Samsung and Fitbit have stepped up and are offering very credible alternatives.

Now, there's a new player in the smartwatch game – OnePlus with the recently announced OnePlus Watch.

OnePlus is, of course, known for its very popular range of smartphones, which blend flagship-beating specs with a more affordable price tag. The OnePlus Watch follows along those lines, offering stylish design, seamless connection, smart fitness tracking and incredibly long battery life at a very affordable price of just £149.

Can the OnePlus Watch compete with the latest Apple Watch Series 6 though? Here is everything you need to know.

OnePlus Watch vs Apple Watch Series 6: Design

While the Apple Watch conforms to the traditional smartwatch design language, with a square-ish display sat in a metal case upon a sports-friendly rubber strap, the OnePlus was has a more traditional, circular design.

The Apple Watch has own bespoke strap attachment, so while you can’t fit industry-standard watch straps like you can with wearables from Samsung, there is a good selection of alternatives from Apple and third-party accessory makers.

The OnePlus Watch, on the other hand, does feature industry-standard watch lugs, so you can countless different watch strap designs.

The OnePlus Watch has a smooth, curved stainless steel case that is hand-polished with more than 20 treatments for a refined finish. You can choose between a Stainless Steel finish or Midnight Black. There is also a limited edition Cobolt model. It measures 46mm, which is quite large.

Apple Watch Series 6

(Image credit: Apple)

Meanwhile, the Apple Watch Series 6 has a greater range of design options. There are two case sizes of 40mm and 44mm, three case materials of aluminium, stainless steel and titanium, ten case colours in total, and a wide range of straps to pick from, both from Apple and elsewhere.

The Apple Watch is certainly the more customisable of the two, but when it comes to buying a fitness-focused smartwatch, looks aren’t everything – and besides, we think the OnePlus Watch looks pretty good too.

OnePlus Watch vs Apple Watch Series 6: Hardware

Almost unchanged in half a decade, the latest Apple Watch is broadly the same as the original. Apple’s watchOS operating system is interacted with by tapping and swiping at the touchscreen, as well as via the rotating Digital Crown, the side button, and by speaking to Siri. As with many smartwatches, there is a learning curve with the Apple Watch, whereby navigating the operating system takes a bit of practice.

After that – and once you have tailored a digital face to your exact needs – using the watch is remarkably straightforward.

It's a similar story on the OnePlus Watch, which runs the company’s own software and is controlled via the touchscreen and two buttons on the side of the case. The rear of both devices houses a heart rate monitor that can also measure blood oxygen saturation.

If it's health tracking you're interested in, the Apple Watch Series 6 takes it, as it also has the necessary hardware to take an ECG.

OnePlus Watch

(Image credit: OnePlus)

Both also have a degree of water resistance and are considered safe to swim in, but shouldn’t be worn while diving or during water sports.

A major difference, however, is battery life. Apple says the Watch Series 6 should last 18 hours, which it considers to be a full day consisting of 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 60-minute workout with music playback over Bluetooth. If you use your watch less than this, then two days might just be possible, but with the Apple Watch now officially tracking sleep for the first time, a recharge every 24 hours will be very likely for most users.

Meanwhile, OnePlus claims the 402 mAh battery has enough power for up to two weeks of 'sustainable' use.

If you're a more active user, however, OnePlus says you can expect up to a week of battery life – which is still much longer than the Apple Watch Series 6.

Inside, both watches have Bluetooth and GPS.

A major difference, and one that might be a deal-breaker for some, is that the Apple Watch only works with iPhones, whereas the OnePlus Watch works with Android phones. We're currently not sure if the OnePlus Watch also works with iPhones.

OnePlus Watch vs Apple Watch Series 6: Features

Being flagship smartwatches, this isn’t much this pair of smartwatches can’t do. They both offer comprehensive health and fitness tracking, with GPS for an accurate record of outdoor runs, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen measuring, sleep tracking, and notifications for an abnormally high or low heart rate. 

The Apple Watch does go several steps further here, with menstrual cycle tracking, sleep tracking, and the ability to take ECG readings. 

They also deliver notifications from your smartphone like calls, messages and other alerts.

The Apple Watch uses Siri so you can ask simple questions, set timers and alarms, control music, and interact with smart home devices.

Apple Watch Series 6

(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch Series 6 is its U1 chip, which has been created by Apple to take advantage of ultra-wideband technology. The chip doesn’t do much yet, but we expect to see tighter integration between Apple devices using the U1 chip in the future – like how music can be handed over from an iPhone to a HomePod Mini when they are brought near to each other.

Similar to this, the OnePlus Watch can connect to your OnePlus TV, acting as a smart remote control that can lower volume when a call comes in, or even turn off the TV when it detects that you have fallen asleep.

Another key feature for the Apple Watch is Fall Detection, which senses when you've fallen over and checks if you are okay. You can respond to say you are fine, use the Watch to call for help, or if you don’t respond at all the Watch will make an emergency call for you.

Apple has also just launched its own fitness subscription service, called Apple Fitness+. This costs £9.99 a month and includes access to workout classes viewed on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV, which tap into the data recorded by your Apple Watch.

OnePlus Watch

(Image credit: OnePlus)

OnePlus Watch vs Apple Watch Series 6: Price

The price of the Apple Watch Series 6 starts at £379 for the 40mm aluminium model with Wi-Fi (but no 4G) and rubber Solo Loop or fabric Sport Loop strap, and extends all the way beyond £1,000 for the luxury Hermes models. 

The larger 44mm model starts at £409, while adding 4G connectivity (to make calls and stream music without being connected to your iPhone over Bluetooth) adds £100, plus the cost of data.

Things are simpler with the OnePlus Watch – you can get it for £149. That's a very low price for a lot of smartwatch.

OnePlus Watch vs Apple Watch Series 6: Conclusion

Despite being two very different price points, these two smartwatches are remarkably similar. They both offer a comprehensive suite of health and fitness tracking features. They also both stream music and handle calls and notifications from your smartphone, and they have interchangeable straps to change up their look.

The Apple Watch does, as you'd expect, offer more features than the OnePlus Watch, with a more comprehensive list of features. It's essentially the perfect smartwatch (if you have an iPhone, that is).

Battery life is in the OnePlus Watch’s favour, however, with between a week and two weeks worth of power.

Price is also very much in the OnePlus Watch’s favour, being priced at a remarkable £149, that's less than half the cost of the Apple Watch Series 6!

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Spencer Hart
Style and Travel Editor

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.