Why OnePlus’ new smartwatch could be a better buy than Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

If you're looking for the best smartwatch for your Android phone, the new OnePlus Nord Watch could be it

OnePlus Watch
(Image credit: Future)

The OnePlus Watch doesn't feature in our guide to the best smartwatches, but in our OnePlus Watch review we gave it four stars and suggested that it was a stylish and affordable Apple Watch alternative. And now there's a new model that should be even cheaper – so if you're balked at the predicted prices of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 or just don't need something quite so complex, it could be a great option for your Android phone.

According to industry watcher Mukul Sharma, "Serial production of the OnePlus Nord Watch has now begun in several European and Eurasian regions. Launch is imminent. Expect the watch to be more of a budget-oriented product, WearOS is highly unlikely." Given that the current OnePlus watch has an RRP of £159 and is widely available for £129, this could be quite the budget bargain.

OnePlus Watch

(Image credit: OnePlus)

What you won't get in the OnePlus Nord Watch

The lack of Wear OS isn't a surprise, because the OnePlus Watch doesn't run that OS either. That means you won't be able to access the same selection of apps that a watch such as the Google Pixel Watch can install, and you won't have the same selection of watch faces either. But as we found with the OnePlus Watch, OnePlus provides plenty of fitness and health tracking features, the OnePlus Health app is very good and the battery life is excellent too. 

If the OnePlus Nord Watch offers all of that plus some new features for even less money, it could well be a hit. There's no doubting the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is likely going to be very impressive, and outpunch this budget watch in terms of performance and features. However, not everybody wants to drop hundreds on a smartwatch, especially if they're paying for power and features they don't need. So a no-frills, well-designed and affordable option could be very attractive.

After a few years in the doldrums it looks like the smartwatch sector is getting interesting again: instead of half-arsed will-this-do? efforts we're seeing manufacturers invest serious energy into the design and spec of their devices. For a while it looked like Apple had the smartwatch market to itself; that's clearly not the case any more.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).