OPPO’s latest smartwatch is also arguably one of the best that they’ve ever made with a posh looking design, top shelf performance across the board and, naturally, a price to match. We managed to get our hands on a test unit of the OPPO Watch for review in Malaysia and here’s how it fares…
OPPO Watch – What’s in the Box?
Out of the box, our test unit came with the OPPO Watch itself nestled in a cardboard tray, a charging dock with a USB Type-A port on one end and the usual manual and safety guide. The dock itself is purpose built with a cradle to dock and charge the OPPO Watch.
Like many other smartwatches, you’ll need to take special care not to lose the charging cradle or you can’t charge your OPPO Watch.
OPPO Watch – Specifications
While OPPO is currently best known for their smartphones like the Find X2 Pro and recently released A93, their initial foray in smartwatches hits the ground running with looks and performance that can go toe to toe with the best smartwatches in the market.
Here’s what it has under the hood:
|Diplay||1.91-inch AMOLED Flexible Dual-curved display, 402 x 476 pixels|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 & Ambiq Micro Apollo3 Wireless SoC|
|Memory||1GB RAM/ 8GB storage|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.2, BLE, WLAN 2.4G|
|OS||Wear OS by Google|
|Battery||430mAh w/ Watch VOOC Flash Charging (Quoted – 36 hours Smart Mode/ 21 days Power Saver mode) / 5V@1.5A charging|
|Size/Weight||46 x 39 x 11.35mm /39.3g (without straps)|
In Malaysia, the OPPO Watch is available in two sizes – a 46mm variant which is what our test unit is and a smaller, slightly cheaper 41mm variant.
The more premium, top of the line 46mm version which is the test unit graciously loaned to us for review uses a slightly larger 1.91-inch AMOLED dual-curved display that curves on the sides while incorporating a ceramic and metal casing while the 41mm version eschews these options for a plastic case and a flatter, smaller display.
According to OPPO, their dual-curved touch display is the world’s first of its kind which is quite a fait accompli, lending it a very unique silhouette.
The larger 46mm version also has a slightly larger 430mAh battery versus the 300mAh in the 41mm version for better endurance in the field.
Both the 46mm and 41mm versions of the OPPO Watch have WiFi 2.4G, Bluetooth 4.2 and BLE support. While an LTE-enabled 46mm OPPO Watch with an eSIM does exist, Malaysia currently only has the 46mm WiFi enabled variant for sale.
Connectivity, display and battery size aside, both the 46mm and 41mm OPPO Watch have the same Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 and Ambiq Micro Apollo3 Wireless Soc running under the hood with 1GB RAM and 8GB of onboard storage.
Astute readers will likely wonder why the OPPO Watch has two processors crammed into it but it’s a unique solution to tackle the problem of offering extended battery life as the secondary chipset is intended solely for its battery saving mode with the ability to eke out an impressive rated 21 days of battery life albeit with a heavily pared down array of features. On the primary processor and in its full-featured normal mode, the watch is rated for a day and a half of battery life.
Powering the OPPO Watch is Wear OS by Google which is certainly a unique choice as most smartwatch manufacturers in recent history usually use their own custom firmware like Huawei, Samsung and Apple. Another interesting point to note is that the usage of Wear OS implies that it’s able to accept Google Pay but this feature isn’t available in Malaysia.
As par for the course, the OPPO Watch is capable of tackling most of the tasks asked of a smartwatch in terms of notifications and activity tracking. You’re able to get notifications sent from your phone be it emails, messages or whatnot, track your steps and other selected fitness activities, measure your heart rate, sleep quality, calories burned and also run through a series of personal guided workouts. You’re also able to add additional widgets from the Google Play store’s WearOS section.
OPPO Watch – Build and Design
As far as build quality goes, the OPPO Watch makes for a stunning looking digital timepiece. While comparisons are inevitable against the Apple Watch on account of its squarish watch face, the OPPO Watch is uniquely its own with its own array of OPPO-flavoured features paired with build quality that can match Cupertino’s hardware.
The front of the 46mm OPPO Watch is dominated by its 1.91-inch AMOLED 326ppi dual-curved touch display which has edges that slope down on the left and right sides, seamlessly melding into the watch case.
The choice of aluminium and ceramic on the underside with an exceptionally streamlined look lends it an exceptionally posh look that elevates it over many of its plasticky looking competitors. Another benefit is that the smooth edges of the case also reduce the likelihood of it snagging on other objects when in use.
The OPPO Watch itself is also swimproof, with a rated 5ATM of water and depth resistance so you can confidently take it for a swim to track your laps though it’s not rated for snorkelling or diving. Its smaller 41mm sibling is rated for 3ATM which is a bit shallower but still more than sufficient for use at the pool.
The right side of the watch bears a pair of buttons to navigate the menus alongside the touchscreen. The case itself has a certain heft to it when held but feels weightless when worn with the ceramic underside lending it a premium feel.
Somewhat akin to the Apple Watch, the OPPO Watch uses a set of fluoro ‘rubber’ straps that rely on a stud to keep it secured to your wrist. Unfortunately, the nature of the strap lugs and how they attach to the OPPO Watch itself does not lend itself to the usage of third party straps.
You can’t swap the existing strap for a normal watch strap or even another third party design as the OPPO Watch uses a completely different means of securing watch straps to the case rather than traditional watch lugs. Each strap is secured via a pair of raised studs that lock into the watch case and which are released when you press a recessed button on the underside of the OPPO Watch.
On the bright side, OPPO’s proprietary solution makes for an incredibly easy way to swap it out for other OPPO Watch straps and it can be done on the fly without the need for tools.
Overall build quality is excellent and the use of ceramic and metal give it a luxuriously premium feel indeed. The use of a proprietary strap design is a bit of a downer but it’s not a major deal breaker.
OPPO Watch – Setup and Usage
Getting the OPPO Watch up and running is a relatively easy task. Once you’ve paired it with your Android smartphone, you’ll then be prompted to download the WearOS by Google app on your phone. You’re then further prompted to allow for permissions on both your phone and the OPPO Watch to allow them to display notifications off each other. There is also an option to connect to WiFi in lieu of the typical Bluetooth connection with your phone. Once that’s sorted, you’re in business.
Getting about the menus is primarily via the main AMOLED display by swiping in the top, bottom, left and right edges along with tapping the side buttons. Swiping in from the left brings up your Google Assistant, swiping from the bottom gets you notifications while swiping from the right lets you run through whatever information ‘tiles’ you’ve set on the watch. Swiping in from the top gets you access to a series of shortcuts like airplane and theater mode.
The top button acts as the Home button while the bottom button works as a power button and a multifunctional button depending on what app you’re using.
The user interface and provided control setup is relatively effective for the most part in getting about and seeing notifications at a glance but if you’re looking to get to a specific function or you need to reply a message in a hurry, you’re going to need to do a lot of swiping as some menus are nested somewhat deeply in the user interface.
Fortunately, OPPO has offered a series of canned if rather curt responses to most emails and messages though the replies are far from cordial. Needless to say, don’t use them if you’re talking back to your significant other or your employer. While it gets the job done and retains its stylishly sleek look, the addition of a digital crown like in an Apple Watch or a rotating bezel like in Samsung’s Galaxy Watch range to make navigating the menus easier would have been welcome.
OPPO Watch Performance
When worn over the course of a week, the OPPO Watch proved to be an exceptional companion. The addition of WearOS by Google means that it will play nice with most Android phones of recent vintage; not just OPPO’s own phones which is a huge bonus if you own phones from different brands.
The Always On display of the OPPO Watch turns on instantly and proves to be exceptionally responsive with notifications and responses happening instantaneously on screen without any sign of lag or slowdown. Clarity under sunlight was excellent and the ambient lighting sensor was able to effectively adjust the brightness for both indoor and outdoor use.
As par for the course, you can also swap the watch faces from several available options. Notifications from all the usual apps that we need to stay connected all appeared promptly including TikTok, FaceBook, Twitter, Gmail and the like.
Depending on the source of the notification in question, you can dash out a quick canned reply or tap the menu to resolve or see the notification in more detail on your paired phone. If you have time on your hands, you’re able to take advantage of a tiny keyboard to hammer out a reply though something of this nature is still best accomplished on a full sized smartphone. Our ham fisted paws barely managed 30wpm so it’s something you should only attempt under dire circumstances or you have fingertips with the width of chopsticks.
It’ll also handily track your activity data including steps taken, calories burned and the like though to get full functionality out of it you’ll need to get OPPO’s own HeyTap Health app on the Google Play store. Alternatively, you can use Google Fit too.
These additional downloads aren’t prompted or hinted anywhere so it’s something neophytes will overlook but doing so helps you get more insight into your health and the data that the watch is monitoring.
The HeyTap app also lets you use their AI Outfit mode that lets you snap a photo and then create a themed home screen for your watch based on the colours in the captured image. It’s an interesting novelty though the preset watch faces offer the most functionality and effectiveness to present critical information at a glance.
In terms of fitness tracking, the OPPO Watch is able to track five modes. They’re rather basic but they cover the essentials – fitness run, fat burn run, outdoor walk, outdoor cycling and swimming with options for outdoor and indoor excursions where appropriate and GPS tracking of your route. Tracking of steps and heart rate was relatively accurate with results that were consistent with other activity tracking watches
It’s also able to guide you through several 5 minute workouts that include onscreen prompts as well as such motivational names as Morning Energizer, Get Moving, Full Body Workout, Bedtime Stretches and the appropriately named Fat Blaster. You’re also able to get it to run you through a set of breathing exercises to relax.
Interestingly enough, if you’re in need of extra battery life, you can default to a secondary Power Saver mode which swaps and boots up the second processor which is way more power efficient. The tradeoff here is that it pares the features down to the bare minimum with only the ability to tell the time, keep track of your steps and heart rate and notifications though oddly enough you have to rely on OPPO’s paired HeyTap app to do so and reboot back to the main Wear OS to deal with it.
OPPO Watch Battery Life
Battery life for the OPPO Watch 46mm was decent with the primary firmware running and exceptional when you fire up Power Saver mode. In its main smart mode where the phone uses its Snapdragon Wear 3100 CPU, it’s quoted to last 36-hours and we managed close to that with 35 hours of usage when paired constantly to our phone including a full night’s worth of sleep tracking.
When you fire up its Power Saver mode, the OPPO Watch 46mm defaults to its more power efficient Ambiq Micro Apollo3 Wireless SoC and pared down firmware. This mode is rated for 21 days of battery life though during the course of our testing over a week, it still had plenty of endurance for an additional two weeks of usage.
To reset back to its normal smart mode, you’ll need to long press the power button though rebooting the main Wear OS is far from instantaneous and will take a minute or two. An interesting quirk here is the OPPO Watch will automatically reset itself back to its default smart mode when you put it back in its charging cradle. Charging it takes a modest amount of time with a full charge from zero requiring slightly about an hour and 15 minutes with a 30 minute charge getting you enough for a full day’s use which is very respectable.
OPPO Watch Verdict – Is this Worth Buying?
The OPPO Watch comes with a slick, gorgeous looking design and comfortable straps. Add in the equally slick WearOS along with a vibrant and beautiful display and you have a serious contender for one of the best smartwatches in the market. There’s still a few teething issues with how its main and secondary firmware interact with each other but the benefits in battery life in its power saver mode are undeniable.
What we liked Premium build and design, 5ATM water resistance, exceptional battery life in power saver mode, diverse array of apps in WearOS
What we didn’t Proprietary strap design,
We say The OPPO Watch 46mm pairs a beautiful and responsive display paired with comfortable straps along with the smooth and powerful WearOS by Google running under the hood. Add in great battery life and OPPO’s debut smartwatch may be one of the most desirable watches to own for 2020.
Review unit courtesy of OPPO Malaysia. Available for purchase one at OPPO’s online e-store at https://www.oppo.com/my/accessory-oppo-watch/
The OPPO Watch 46mm pairs a beautiful and responsive display paired with comfortable straps along with the smooth and powerful WearOS by Google running under the hood. Add in great battery life and OPPO’s debut smartwatch may be one of the most desirable watches to own for 2020.