OnePlus Watch: more details on the upcoming wearable

OnePlus product manager explains why the OnePlus Watch uses RTOS instead of Wear OS and much more

OnePlus Watch
(Image credit: OnePlus)

The OnePlus Watch announcement may have taken third place to the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro but its fitness tracking and long battery life have made it a much-anticipated addition to the range. As our initial story on the OnePlus Watch explained, this is a device to rival Fitbit and even the Apple Watch.

One week after the release, OnePlus product manager Raymond Z took to the company’s forum to give the OnePlus community some more information about the choices made in creating the watch and what they can expect from the device.

Due to go on sale on April 26, the OnePlus Watch features a large circular design. Measuring 46mm this is the same size as the original Samsung Galaxy Watch and while that model offered a smaller 42mm alternative, the OnePlus Watch comes in just one size.

In addition to the regular black and silver stainless steel cases, the OnePlus Watch also comes in a limited edition cobalt alloy and finished in gold that gives the watch a definite premium feel. This model, at least, is a real contender for our best smart watch buying guide.

OnePlus Watch

Fitness tracking on the OnePlus Watch

(Image credit: OenPlus)

OnePlus Watch battery life

The first area of the OnePlus Watch discussed was its impressive 14-day battery life. One important consideration to the development team was that having to charge the device too often or running out of charge really affected the user experience. Waking up to find out your watch is out of charge would often mean leaving it at home. 

According to Raymond, the OnePlus team set out to not only have a long-lasting battery but also to offer a fast charging time. “We also wanted to ensure that if you forget to charge your device, it should be able to quickly charge up in a short period of time. That’s why the OnePlus Watch comes with a powerful battery that lasts up to 14 days with Warp Charge to give you a boost – 5 minutes of charge to last you a day or 20 minutes to last a week.”

OnePlus Watch OS

Next, Raymond went into detail about the decision to use an RTOS (real-time operating system) rather than Wear OS for the OnePlus Watch.  Like Samsung, OnePlus made the decision not to use the Wear OS, siting battery life as one of the main factors. While the Wear OS offers access to a wide range of apps it didn’t lend itself to OnePlus’ plan for a 14-day battery life. “When making a decision like this, we always have to weigh the benefits with the challenges to come up with what we think will result in the best user experience,” says Raymond.

OnePlus Watch processor

Moving on to his frequently asked questions, Raymond Z gave more detail into the processor behind the OnePlus Watch. “The OnePlus Watch uses a three-chip combination solution - ST32 + Apollo 3 + Cypress. The ST chip has strong performance and is responsible for the interactive interface of the UI. The display is also processed by the ST chip, giving users a smooth system experience,” adds Raymond.

The Apollo 3 chip is an ultra-low powered microcontroller from Ambiq Micro, designed for portable and mobile devices. This looks after the various sensors used for activity and health data. The third chip is from Cypress, who specializes in IoT devices, providing the Bluetooth functionality used for the music and phone call functions from the paired smartphone.

OnePlus Watch additional details

Answering further questions, Raymond Z revealed that the OnePlus Watch is only compatible with Android 6 and above devices, with no ability to pair with iPhones. The OnePlus Health app will be used to display and store all of your health data, including sleep monitoring with stages of sleep and blood oxygen data.

Finally, he explained further about the music functionality. There is around 2GB of storage free on the device for music storage – or around 500 songs – which must be downloaded to your phone in MP3 or LA-AAC formats. “For other music platforms which cannot download the music, the watch can be used to remotely control the phone when listening to music, to move to the next song, or adjust the volume.”

Look out for T3’s review of the OnePlus Watch coming soon.

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.