Oppo Watch review: A great WearOS smartwatch, with a few missing pieces – CNET

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Like

  • Track various sleep cycles
  • Five-minute workout suggestions
  • Cellular connectivity
  • eSIM support

Don't Like

  • Disappointing battery life
  • Design copies Apple Watch
  • Pricey
  • Five exercise modes only

The Oppo Watch is, as the name suggests, Oppo's flagship smartwatch and the first with Google's Wear OS operating system. Though it still has some room for improvement in terms of battery life and fitness tracking, in my week of wearing it I've been impressed at how well it handles the basics. It has a bright, responsive AMOLED screen, Google Assistant support and even native sleep monitoring. 

Different prices and options to choose from

The Oppo Watch comes in two sizes: 42mm and 46mm, and three variations. The smaller WiFi only model starts at £229 in the UK (roughly US $295 or AU$400) then rises to  £329, roughly US $420 for the larger versions, which also has a WiFi-only model as well as an LTE one. The LTE version, which comes with an embedded SIM (or “eSIM”), is the one I tested out for this review. And while the Oppo Watch is technically compatible with both Android and iOS, the cellular feature only works with an Android phone and is only supported if you're on Vodafone, Celron, and Orange networks.

An Apple Watch clone

When the Oppo Watch was first unveiled, it drew immediate comparisons to Apple‘s popular timepiece. Even to someone who reviews tech for a living like myself, it's hard to tell these two apart at first glance. Like the Apple Watch, it has a rectangle display with curved edges and removable silicone straps, and even similar packaging. But the glass on the side has a more pronounced curve, and there are two buttons on the right side in place of the digital crown. In the end, the Oppo Watch is stunning but completely unoriginal, and it's a mind trick to see such a watch running Google-made software.

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The watch is made from a mix of aluminum and reinforced glass, with a ceramic back where the heart-rate sensors are located. As I mentioned earlier, it has a crisp AMOLED display that's responsive and easily readable in sunny weather. The straps, meanwhile, are crafted either from rubber or calfskin and can be swapped out for other designs by the company. Because the nubs on Oppo's straps are different from what Apple has, you probably won't find many third-party strap options that will fit this watch. 

img-8521j

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

Oppo Watch's battery life isn't enough

Battery longevity is a strong suit in a number of Oppo phones, so I was surprised that this feature didn't carry over to its smartwatch. My unit was equipped with a 430-mAh battery (that's large for a smartwatch) and quoted to last 30 hours on default settings. But when I put the watch through the paces, battery life was disappointing. It only lasted between 15 and 17 hours of mild to moderate use before conking out. Battery life felt especially disappointing on days when Ib completed workouts with GPS tracking.

Fortunately, it does come with some tools to help extend the battery life. According to Oppo, you can get up to 21 days of use by switching on power saver mode on the watch. This restricts many functions of the watch, but you'll still have access to the basics like step count, heart rate functions and alerts for incoming notifications. I haven't had a chance to fully test this feature, but I'll update this review when I do. I did try it once before bedtime, however, when the watch was at 9% and it lasted all throughout the night and even into the next morning. Keep in mind that the larger 46mm smartwatch has a larger battery which may improve runtime, especially with the Wi-Fi model. The smaller 41mm watch, meanwhile, has a 300-mAh battery.

Long battery life is obviously important throughout the day, but it's a necessity when it comes to sleep tracking. Because the Oppo Watch's battery life isn't phenomenal, you'll have to remember to charge it before going to bed or you risk waking up to a dead watch and incomplete sleep data. When the juice did run out, Oppo's VOOC Flash Charging fully revitalized the battery in about an hour. 

img-8511j

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

Oppo Watch has sleep tracking

Tracking my sleep and understanding how much shuteye I need to function at an optimum level is incredibly important to me. Too little or too much sleep affects my mood, productivity and immune system. Because of this, sleep tracking is one of my favorite features on the Oppo Watch.

When I wake up in the morning, it displays the duration of my sleep as well as the quality (light sleep, deep slumber or awake). Oddly, the watch only tracks data between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m., so if you go to sleep before or wake up after that interval it won't register. The watch also doesn't provide any information about REM (rapid eye movement) sleep either, like some of its competitors. 

Oppo's Watch covers only basic health features

Another one of my favorite aspects of the Oppo Watch is a fitness aid that serves up five-minute workout videos when you've been sitting for an hour. When that happens, you'll receive a push notification nudging you to stand up and get moving. If you agree, a video of a gym instructor appears, guiding you through a series of eight different stretches for a quick pick-me-up. You can choose from various five-minute workouts that are fairly easy to follow if you're working at home.

img-8454j

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

The smartwatch also tracks five different workout routines: fitness run, fat burn run, outdoor walk, outdoor cycling and swimming. That's it. You wont get any more options like yoga, hiking, elliptical or rowing as you would on other smartwatches. This is something to keep in mind especially if you plan on tracking workouts that fall outside of these categories. 

img-8534

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

I'm also not fully convinced on the accuracy of the GPS readings either. While heart rate numbers seem to be in line with what the Apple Watch Series 5 gave me, there was a noticeable discrepancy with distance tracked between the two watches. Distances tracked on my Oppo Watch were approximately 2-7% longer compared to the Apple Watch which I've also tested my phone's GPS data. 

The Oppo Watch also has an always-on optical heart rate tracker, that gives you continuous heart rate data during the entire day. You can view all your health and fitness data from the Oppo Watch on the HeyTap Health mobile app from Oppo, available in the Google Play store. It syncs steps, sleep data, heart rate, workouts and daily activity.

But unlike some of its pricier competitors like the Apple Watch Series 6, Fitbit Sense and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, it doesn't have more advanced health tracking features like an ECG (electrocardiogram), fall detection or oxygen saturation in the blood. 

Oppo Watch runs on two chips

Another interesting aspect of the Oppo Watch is that it's powered by two chips: the Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset and a secondary Ambig Micro Apollo 3 processor that takes over during low-power tasks and allows for extended (potentially 21-day) battery life. Although the Wear 3100 is a two-year old smartwatch chip from Qualcomm, the watch functioned seamlessly and offered a smooth experience. This is backed up by 1GB of RAM and 8GB of built-in storage to load music.  

For more specs and features, check out our chart below.

                                <h2><span>Oppo Watch specs</span></h2>
                        <div class="chartWrapper">
        <table>
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            <tbody readability="7.5">

                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Shape 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Rectangle
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Watch size 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        46mm
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr readability="4">



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Materials/Finishes
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Aluminum frame, plastic, and ceramic
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr readability="2">



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Display size, resolution
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        1.91-inch AMOLED screen;   402x476; 326ppi
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Always On
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Yes
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Colors 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Black, pale pink
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Interchangeable bands
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Yes
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        GPS
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Yes
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Automatic workout detection
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Yes
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Compass
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        No
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Altimeter 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        No
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Water resistance 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Yes, up to 50M 
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Calls 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Yes
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Notifications
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Text replies 
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Microphone 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Yes
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Speaker 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Yes
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Voice assistant 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Google Assistant
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Mobile Payments 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Google Pay (NFC)
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Sleep tracking 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Yes
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Period tracking 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        No
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr readability="4">



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Special features
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        21-day extended battery life, sleep tracking, eSIM
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Compatibility 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Android and iOS
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Software
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Wear OS
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr readability="3">



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Processor
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Snapdragon 3100, Ambig Micro Apollo 3 
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr>



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Connectivity 
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        Cellular option
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>


                                    <tr readability="2">



                                                                                    <th>
                                                                        Price
                                                                </th>



                                                                                    <td>
                                                                        £229 in the UK (roughly $295 or AU$400)
                                                                </td>
                                                                                                                                    </tr>

                                                            </tbody>

                                        </table>
    </div>

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