Tech review: Oppo Watch is sleek and intuitive

The Oppo Watch offers a great smartwatch experience when connected to an Android smartphone.
The Oppo Watch offers a great smartwatch experience when connected to an Android smartphone.PHOTO: OPPO

It is striking how much the Oppo Watch (available on Lazada and Shopee) resembles the Apple Watch. With its rectangular watch case and curved corners, this smartwatch is sure to make many do a double take when they realise it runs on Google's Wear OS smartwatch operating system.

It comes in two sizes - 41mm and 46mm (version tested) - and in gold, black and silver (41mm only).

The left side of its aluminium watch case houses the speakers, similar to the Apple Watch, while the right side has two slim buttons. It has no rotating crown, which the Apple Watch has.

At the back are two push buttons for releasing the watch straps, again similar to the Apple Watch. However, I think Oppo's implementation is better. With the Apple Watch, you have to slide the strap sideways to remove it after pressing the release button. With the Oppo Watch, you just pull the strap and it comes out easily.

The 46mm model is said to have the world's first flexible dual-curved Amoled display on a smartwatch, with a screen size of 1.91 inches. The display looks sleek and curves nicely to its sides. It also looks sharp with nice contrasty colours. Swiping and tapping on it feels really smooth and responsive.

If you have been using a Wear OS smartwatch, you will be familiar with its gestures and swipes. For example, swiping right from the left side of the screen brings up the Google Assistant, while swiping upwards brings up the current notifications.

But there are some differences in Oppo's Wear OS implementation to take into account its rectangular watch face. For instance, instead of the usual line-by-line app arrangement, apps are organised in a 3x3 grid, which lets you see more apps at a glance.

The Oppo Watch offers a great smartwatch experience when connected to an Android smartphone. Notifications from different apps offer contextual actions, while you can respond to any message with quick replies by typing, scribbling or dictation.

On the fitness front, the Oppo Watch offers all-day heart rate monitoring, as well as physical activities and sleep tracking.

In terms of steps tracking, it tracked 5 per cent more steps than my calibrated Apple Watch Series 4. On my usual 5km jogging route, it tracked around 100m less than the actual distance.

For sleep tracking, the Oppo Watch is supposed to track the amount of time you are awake, in light sleep and in deep sleep. But it did not record when I woke up for toilet breaks. And strangely, the sleep tracking function only works between 8pm and 10am. So your weekend sleep-ins might not be properly tracked.

 
 
 

The Oppo Watch features a unique dual-chip system, with Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 3100 used for smartwatch functionalities and Ambiq Micro's Apollo3 Wireless SoC for the power saver mode.

Battery life is rated at 36 hours in smartwatch mode and up to 21 days in power saver mode. In my test, battery life dropped to 58 per cent at the end of a work day.

As such, I find myself worrying if there will be enough juice left for the next day if I wear it to sleep without recharging it. While you can switch on the power saver mode to just tell time, it defeats the point for having a smartwatch.

FOR

- Sleek looks

- Great display

- Intuitive implementation of Wear OS

AGAINST

- Looks like Apple Watch

- Tracks sleep only between 8pm and 10am

- Battery life in smartwatch mode can be better

TECH SPECS

Price: From $299 (41mm) to $399 (46mm, version tested)

Compatibility: Android 6.0 or new; iOS 12 or newer

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Water resistance: 50m

Weight: 39.3g (without strap)

RATING

Features: 4/5

Design: 4/5

Performance: 4/5

Battery life: 3/5

Value for money: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

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