I will note that OnePlus isn’t the first company to try a novel approach to solving smartwatch battery life. Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro series has long used dual-display technology to conserve battery life, providing similar results to OnePlus. But that watch is bulkier, the software feels clunkier, and the company’s update policy is spotty.

Speaking of, OnePlus is promising two Wear OS updates and three years of security updates. That’s similar to what Google offers for its Pixel Watch lineup, but paltry compared to what you’ll get from Samsung, which promises four Wear OS updates and five years of security updates for its Galaxy Watch6 series. What OnePlus offers here is decent, but it would be nice to see it match Samsung so you can enjoy the watch—with new features, security patches, and bug fixes—for as long as possible.

One of my favorite parts of the OnePlus Watch 2 is the fact that you only need to deal with one app. No need to have two separate apps for the watch’s functions and to access health and fitness data like with its competitors. Everything is managed in OnePlus Health (OHealth). But health and fitness is where the compromises start to creep in.

Puzzling Health

Photograph: Julian Chokkattu

I like how everything is laid out in accessible tiles in OHealth, and you can click on them to access more information, but the app has some quirks. For starters, and you’ll see this in the picture above, there are some design issues, like words running into each other (see the step count goal). There are also missing health features like an electrocardiogram, skin temperature sensing, period tracking, and fall detection. All of these are on similarly priced competitors, but the quality of the information available is really the issue.

The discrepancies largely stems from step count and distance traveled. Wearing the Pixel Watch 2 on my other wrist, I noticed a big difference in these two metrics, with the OnePlus Watch 2 frequently undercounting, sometimes by 2,000 or 3,000 steps. On February 29, I traversed around Barcelona, sightseeing, and the Pixel Watch 2 says I walked 12.35 miles with 25,000 steps. OnePlus’s watch says it was 5.82 miles with 24,000 steps. With rudimentary estimates, 25,000 steps equates to roughly 12 miles, so there’s clearly some issue here with the OnePlus.


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