Complete with the World’s first dual-curved display, the OPPO Watch is a Google user’s answer to the Apple Watch. I’ve been trying it out for the last few months and have been absolutely amazed by its style and functionality. But is that because I’m so used to the form and functionality of the Apple Watch?
Available in 41 or 46mm, the OPPO Watch is designed for life; if it weren’t for its curves, you’d absolutely be forgiven for thinking that the Apple Watch heavily inspired it. The 41mm Wi-Fi-only version is available in Black, Pink Gold, or a Silver Mist color, while the 46mm comes in Black or Glossy Gold with a choice of a WiFi-only version or an LTE option. As someone familiar with black smartwatches, I opted for the Black, but it’s all about your personal preference. Not to be confused with the Apple Watch, I was actually confused about why the company, even with the name. OPPO decided to call their watch the OPPO Watch instead of opting for a unique name that doesn’t seem like the company is just copying and playing off of Apple. Outside of the US, OPPO is a huge smartphone brand, and I get that. However, maybe naming it something different, say “the Op Watch,” wouldn’t come off as someone who’s newly discovering the brand as “oh that just sounds like a knock off Apple Watch” just looking at the packaging.
Aside from the obvious style and name comparisons, the OPPO Watch holds its own as an everyday, all-terrain smartwatch that looks great whether you are dressing for business or casual. One thing I immediately noticed in my first two weeks with the OPPO was its battery life.
If you are an Android user, battery life is something you’ll truly appreciate in the OPPO as it will keep up with your lifestyle. I’ve been able to use the OPPO Watch for roughly a day and a half on a single charge, completing over 18K steps, two workouts, and overnight wear — all without turning it off or changing any settings. Your mileage may vary, but for a watch that boasts an always-on display and Tilt-to-Wake functionality, I was surprised that my constant tossing and turning in the middle of the night, as well as getting up periodically to change my baby daughter’s diapers, allowed enough battery for me to not only to wear it overnight but for the watch to survive without a charge until roughly 2:15 pm the following day.
The 430 mAh battery allows for a quick charge, so if you have a low battery and need to top it off before heading out somewhere, that option is available. According to OPPO, you can get 16 hours of power with a 15-minute charge. While I’ll say that it does fast charge if you have every setting such as Always-On Display, GPS, Bluetooth, 4G, and Wi-Fi connected, the chances are that you might not get that 16 hours. If you also factor in alerts and notifications (which I don’t receive many of on my Pixel), this could also drain the battery.
I was surprised by the aluminum alloy build in terms of design, complete with the ceramic back. It’s wider than I’m used to, and for some reason, it reminded me a bit of the Casio Calculator watch of the ’90s, minus the buttons and dreadful wristband. I expected the watch to be heavy on the wrist, but I am delighted that it is comfortable to wear and doesn’t feel heavy after a long day at work or the gym. It has a 1.91″ long rectangular 3D flexible AMOLED screen with 402 x 476 pixels at 326 ppi. At about 1.6″ wide, it’s a bit wider than the Apple Watch, which I wasn’t too keen on because I don’t typically spend too much time looking at the information on my wrist, so the need for a large display while a good idea, reminded me a bit of a Dick Tracy-esque watch that sat too wide on my wrist.
My biggest complaint regarding the OPPO Watch isn’t about its design, but it’s connectivity. I connected the watch to my Verizon Wireless service, paired as a smartwatch for $10 a month with my Google Pixel 4XL. This not only allowed me to take calls-on-the-go but if I left my Pixel in the house while going on a run to the store, I could still be reached by my wife. While the 4G connectivity was comparable to that of the Apple Watch, the Bluetooth and GPS, unfortunately, were not.
Paired with the Jabra Elite 75ts, I would take my OPPO Watch on the go for runs; for some unknown reason, the Bluetooth would randomly drop. I wear my watch on my left wrist, and when running along the beach or even just taking a walk around the block, the audio in my headphones would cut in and out. I thought the issue might have been with the headphones first, so I swapped them out with a pair of Shure AONIC 4 Bluetooth earbuds, but I encountered the same issues. As of now, I still haven’t truly found a remedy for this other than simply bringing my phone with me on runs and allowing the audio to play directly from the Pixel. This is a huge problem that I hope that OPPO fixes it —hopefully soon, in an OTA update.
Despite this, the OPPO Watch is tailored for the active lifestyle. The company prides itself on the smartwatches five exercise sensors, including the GPS + GLONASS. Allowing you to track your heart rate and other physical stats accurately, you can get five-minute workouts with a tap of the screen, which is great on a busy day. This is something I’ve wanted Apple to include for years, so the fact the OPPO Watch has this built-in not only is great but has the potential to make Google’s Fit program even more robust to compete with Apple’s Fitness+ program that will come out later this year.
Another health highlight is the improved sleep tracking that gives you a detailed report about your sleep state if you’re into that. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t getting a consistent 7-8 hours of sleep without interruption until I tried this function on the OPPO. Compared to the Apple Watch’s sleep “apps,” which seem to be more miss-than-hit than the OPPO. I know that Apple has also included sleep tracking in their new OS. However, I haven’t yet fully tested that in comparison to OPPO’s built-in function.
As you can tell from my review, most of my likes and dislikes come from comparing the OPPO Watch to the Apple Watch. The OPPO Watch’s design looks better than Apple’s to me because of the curved display; however, where the watch falls behind is the internal OS. Wear OS, in my personal experience, tries too hard to be a mini-Android phone on your wrist, rather than being a smartwatch that complements your smartphone. Others have shared this sentiment about other Android watches, and the OPPO Watch falls into this trap as well — it felt like it was trying to take everything people love from Apple, including a play on its name, without focusing on the OS. The OS isn’t OPPO’s fault; it’s Google’s. Google seems to be sabotaging its smartwatch line with a lack of proper OS updates and a complete disregard for making the watch a watch first and a smartphone tool second.
In terms of Wear OS, my main gripe is that it feels like not much has changed about the software throughout the years. Compared to the likes of Samsung, Wear OS this year received its first true update since 2018, and even in the update, I’ve discovered constant freezing in the OPPO Watch when doing things like setting timers when cooking or even delayed ringing between answering a call from my phone on the OPPO Watch. At first, I believed this was isolated to the OPPO Watch, but after reading about other people’s problems with Wear OS, I discovered it wasn’t the smartwatch but the software. While I haven’t experienced this on a workout, it would be a huge deterrent if I’ve logged in many steps or miles and received inaccurate readings because the watch stutters to log appropriately.
The upside to Wear OS, though, is that it is more useful than Apple’s Siri. With a quick “Hey Google,” I’m able to ask virtually anything I’d ask Google’s app on my phone and get similar results. No stutter or “I can’t find that” like the Apple Watch, and honestly, I fell in LOVE with that. Also, with Wear OS, I love the ability to see notifications CRYSTAL clear thanks to notifications being color-coordinated; this saves me a bunch of time knowing a glance at my watch that the Facebook notification that I received could wait to see what my Grandmother posted.
So, it is the OPPO Watch one of the best Wear OS watches available? Yes. Is it better than the Apple Watch? Absolutely not, but again I’m attempting not to be biased. I enjoy the color coordination of notifications and the ability to turn off the Always On Display (the 2.19 update patched a bug that fixed the display showing up grey, causing more battery drain, which has resulted in steady battery life for me. For reference, my battery life on my Series 5 watch seems to have worsened with WatchOS 7, which is right on time for them to release series 6, which I will not be purchasing.) Is there room for improvement? For sure. In terms of improvement, I think the 41mm model should’ve had the same curved edge display as the 46mm. Feels like OPPO decided this would be more “premiere” for the 46mm version; however, not everyone likes large square watch faces. The 41mm looks like a sweet spot for both women and men alike and would look a bit more elegant with the curved display.
I have grown to love the two buttons on the right of the OPPO Watch. Both buttons are used to navigate the OPPO Watch; they can be readily identified, have enough raise that allows you to know when they are pressed — and do not snag on fabrics like the Apple Watch’s turn wheel. The watch is also water-resistant for up to 50 meters, which seems to be the industry standard these days; if only I lived in a warm enough climate to have enjoyed a day at the pool wearing this. So let me end the review by saying this: If I were ever completely to leave Apple, I’d have to leave the Apple Watch with it. And aside from Wear OS having its quirks, the OPPO Watch might be the only watch I’d consider for my Android device. The curved screen is obviously the highlight feature, but aside from that, the familiarity with the form factor means I can go out wearing it. Nobody would be able to tell the difference until a colorized notification popped up. I just really, really wish that Wear OS would fix the constant freezing in an update.
If you’re interested in getting your hands on the OPPO Watch, I would say to get the LTE model so you can truly enjoy the ability to use cellular service on your carrier. I wish that OPPO would’ve included this in their 41MM version (it’s Wi-Fi only). You can learn more about the OPPO Watch by clicking here.
The OPPO Watch sells for $480 for the 46mm model and $299 for the 41mm model. Oppo is in the process of launching this watch globally; it will be coming to the US soon, and we will update with a link on where to buy once it does.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Innovative design & Curved Display; Ability to use with LTE data for $10 on Verizon; Colorized Notifications
What Needs Improvement: Wear OS has issues which are present in the OPPO Watch