Worst smartwatch I've ever used: OnePlus Watch review

By : ilikephone / On : 23/12/2022

Sorry to those who were expecting.

OnePlus' first smartwatch, the OnePlus Watch, is now available in the US. When the product was announced a month ago, Gizmodo reporter Victoria wrote a positive article full of anticipation, but I'm worried about the actual usability. So she put the OnePlus Watch to the test for a week or so, and it turned out to be a huge disappointment.

Declaring it a "worst smartwatch" takes a lot of preparation. Reporter Victoria himself seems to have been hesitant to write such a thing, but it seems that the OnePlus Watch has finally run out of patience because of so many malfunctions, incorrect measurements, and incorrect displays... .

So here's Reporter Victoria's spicy review!

How awful.

It's rare for a flagship model to fail on all counts, but the OnePlus Watch has done just that.

We ran into all sorts of problems during our testing. Activity tracking was inaccurate, and I was sometimes identified as sleeping when I was awake. The step count was off by more than 10,000 steps compared to other fitness trackers. 10,000 steps? Also, even though I should have set it to the English unit system, for some reason it sometimes outputs the data in the metric system. Are you moody? The best part is that the signboard function that attracted attention when the OnePlus Watch was announced was not yet prepared at the time of launch.

To be honest, I was at a loss when writing this review article. I think it's an exaggeration to call it a "worst smartwatch." After all, you just sent me the notifications, didn't I? yes.

When I was worrying about it, I suddenly heard a noise like a honeycomb from my arm wearing the OnePlus Watch. About 40 receipt notifications for the emails sent four hours ago rushed in at once.

I can't stress enough how bad this smartwatch is.

OnePlus Watch

What is this? : OnePlus' first smartwatch.

Price: $159 (about 17,000 yen).

What I like: 1.39-inch OLED display.

What I don't like: Everything except the display.

Decent Design

The folks who made the OnePlus Watch might think it's the pinnacle of smartwatch design, but I don't think so. It's not ugly, but it doesn't have a single novel element and has become an easy design. There are two buttons on the right side of the bezel, and the silicone strap is replaceable. It looks like a normal smartwatch.

There are limited edition models that are even cooler, but unfortunately this is the only safe black available in the US. The feeling that I put on my arm is so so. The problem is that the watch case is too big, and it looks like it's carrying a tray.

At 46mm in diameter, it's the second largest smartwatch I've tested so far (only the Suunto 7 is bigger). If your arms are thick and the belt doesn't loosen, it may be a good size.

However, in my case, the belt was too loose even through the smallest hole, so I slid it from my wrist towards my elbow until it was comfortable enough to fit on my forearm. I'm sorry. I'm small, so I think my wrists are on the thin side, but when I asked my husband, who is 180 cm tall and of medium build, to try it on, he said, "It's too big and it's not comfortable to wear." This is the result.

Of course, I admit that there are good things about this size. The 1.39-inch OLED display has vivid colors and is very beautiful. Notifications are easy to read, and the presence of the bezel doesn't bother me like other smartwatches. The processor works crisply, so it reacts to swipes in an instant. If I had to say it, it would be nice if it was a little easier to see under direct sunlight, but this is superfluous.

The functionality is also (should be) so-so

The hardware is also perfect. It has 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage. In addition, it has a heart rate monitor, built-in GPS and accelerometer, and an automatic activity measurement function. No NFC payments, no third-party apps, but that's not what I'm looking for in a smartwatch. If you have a OnePlus TV, you can use this smartwatch as a remote control. But I don't own a OnePlus TV, so I can't say anything about the usability of the remote. OnePlus TV hasn't come to America yet.

Am I ever used Worst Smartwatch: OnePlus Watch Review

Well, with all that said, the OnePlus Watch is simple, a bit oversized, but has decent features. I hope that's all. But after using it, I realized that the OnePlus Watch is a blasphemy against all wearable devices.

What I learned

In the five years I've been testing and reviewing smartwatches and fitness trackers, the OnePlus Watch and its dedicated app have the most flaws. There were no significant blemishes.

Before I get into the details, let me preface this. OnePlus handed me and other reviewers a beta version of its app, OnePlus Health. So it's possible that it was still in beta and that there were glitches. I sincerely hope that it will be improved to a new version in the near future. Otherwise, it's a matter of trust with OnePlus.

You can't fly through space and time to see if the future OnePlus Health app is working properly. However, the impression that I tried using at this point is "just terrible".

OnePlus patched the app during our review, allowing us to try the same (presumably) version that users will be using at launch. A OnePlus spokesperson said it included "improvements to health, fitness and management, as well as the addition of 50 watch faces and other updates," but the review period was too short to resolve all issues. I couldn't confirm if it was. Or rather, there were too many problems, and I felt that it was no longer possible to update the app.

By the way, it seems that automatic updates will continue in mid-April and mid-May, adding sleep tracking, outdoor biking activities (which are already available on smartwatches), optimizing GPS functions, and more. As promised, 110 workout modes will be added (only 14 are available at this time).

One thing I can say is that this app just works. It was easy to initialize the smartwatch, and it was easy to install a dedicated application on the smartphone and link it. Menus and data can be browsed smoothly. Navigate menus and widgets easily by scrolling on the watch display. But everything else was bad.

My smartwatch doesn't work with the app

First of all, I couldn't track my sleep because the sleep tracking feature wasn't reflected in the app on my phone. The same goes for the pulse oximeter function, the watch's sensor was working, but I couldn't see it in the app. What this means is that the watch is measuring, but you can't see the data on the big screen of your phone, so you can't spot patterns or do meaningful analysis.

Reliability was decent, but sometimes it was horribly off. For example, one day I had a family emergency that kept me up all night, and my OnePlus Watch recorded that I went to bed at 8pm and got a good 12 hours of sleep. In the future, it will be possible to view sleep and oxygen concentration data on a smartphone app, but why wasn't it included from the beginning?

Once I was able to view the data, I was simply blown away by the sheer amount of bullshit. For example, a day of running 3 miles (4.8km) followed by walking 2.8 miles (4.5km). The number of steps reached 15,417 steps on the Apple Watch SE, but 103 steps on the OnePlus Watch. I've seen gaps between fitness trackers before, but I never thought there would be a difference of 15,314 steps. What's more, the OnePlus Watch properly recorded both running and walking, and even though I had walked 4,301 steps, the smartphone app dashboard was empty. I don't understand it at all.

In the first place, the measurement function of the smartwatch is questionable

Also, the workout itself was not recorded correctly. A run that was recorded as 3 miles (4.8km) and 2.9 miles (4.7km) on the Apple Watch and smartphone running apps, respectively, was recorded as 1.96 miles (3.15km) on the OnePlus Watch. The smartwatch itself wasn't tracking your activity correctly.

What's even weirder is that it sent me a notification after every mile I ran, even though the distance I ran was in km on my smartwatch. However, it is really confusing because it will notify you that it is "2km" when you run 2 miles. When I checked my pace after finishing the run, it was 6 minutes 38 seconds per mile, which defies the laws of physics. The pace was then corrected to 17 minutes per mile, which was far from the actual 11:53.

If this were an interval run measurement for example, it would make sense. This is because in the case of activities where running speed fluctuates, such as intervals, the measurement may be slightly off depending on the update pace of the GPS function built into the smartwatch or fitness tracker. But where the OnePlus Watch went awry was on a sunny day with good GPS signal reception, and the run itself was done at a slow, steady pace. I made sure the OnePlus Watch had a GPS signal before I started running, and I didn't get any notification that the GPS signal was lost during the run. So why was the map not recorded at all and the numbers were bogus?

As with any wearable, activity tracking (especially auto-detection) is bound to be inaccurate. Exceptions do happen. But the weird numbers measured by the OnePlus Watch were no exception. Because we found strange numbers in all activities measured by OnePlus Watch. Only elapsed time was properly measured.

How to record is also full of problems

If this is just a problem with the dedicated app, there is still help. The OnePlus Watch itself is fine, after all. However, there was a harsh reality. It's only slightly better than the app, and the OnePlus Watch itself sucks. Only heart rate and oxygen concentration seemed to be measured properly. But when it came to recording the measured values, it was no good.

Why? I really don't understand. The smartphone app should be linked to the smartwatch, but the data I see on my smartphone doesn't match the numbers displayed on my watch. Today I have already walked 2.4 miles (3.9km) and achieved 5,350 steps, but on the watch it is 0.09km (although I should have reconfigured it to English units already) and 154 steps. However, on the smartphone app, it is 1.11 miles (1.8 km) and 2,799 steps. I just walked 2.1 miles (3.4km) in 40 minutes, which on my OnePlus Watch is 1.88 miles (3.02km) and 4,727 steps. But this data is not reflected on the smartphone app dashboard. Help me, I'm going crazy!

And there's more. I wish I could get the same error all the time, but the smartphone app's inaccuracies were inconsistent. One day it was the number of steps, another day it was the heart rate, it was totally unpredictable.

Just this morning my heart rate was 179bpm after sitting for about 2 hours. That's heart rate zone 5. It is a numerical value that is knocked out when doing a fairly hard exercise. However, when I looked at the OnePlus Watch, it was 80bpm. I had set it to send an alert when my heart rate was abnormal, so if my heart rate suddenly rose to 179bpm while at rest, I should have been sent an alert. But I didn't get an alert.

Another thing I didn't understand was that the OnePlus Watch would suddenly stop recording during the afternoon and evening hours. I left it on all the time except when I was taking a bath or charging the battery, but for some reason the stress and heart rate measurements would suddenly stop after 1pm. Also, there was a problem with the stress value measurement itself. I was under a lot of stress when the aforementioned emergency happened, but my OnePlus Watch says I was chilling. I mean, my very existence is like a mass of anxiety, but OnePlus judges me to be chill all the time.

Featured charging performance

Speaking of OnePlus Watch, there was a lot of interest in its charging performance at first. Warp Charge, a fast-charging feature, gives you a full day of use in just 5 minutes, and a full charge takes just 20 minutes. It should have been advertised that it can be used for 1 to 2 weeks on a single charge.

So I fully charged the OnePlus Watch before testing. After two and a half days, the OnePlus Watch battery was down to 9%. Wait a minute, it was supposed to work for at least a week, right?

However, the fast charging function was alive and well. It only took about 40 minutes to charge the battery from 9% to 100%. For reference, most smartwatches take around 1-2.5 hours to fully charge. After charging the OnePlus Watch for the second time, I feel that the battery consumption has become slower than before, and I think the battery life has reached the level OnePlus advertised. But during this time, I've been measuring similar activities and using the GPS function about the same amount, so I don't know why the battery life suddenly improved.

Is it defective? Level of suspicion

If the smartwatch you are testing is so bad, you suspect that it may be defective. However, other reviewers who were testing at the same time had similar experiences, so it seems that the equipment I reviewed was not an exception. I reached out to OnePlus about the repeated mismeasurements, and a spokesperson said they were "knowing" about the sleep tracking feature. However, this information was not shared with the reviewers beforehand. I don't think OnePlus is ignorant of the problems the OnePlus Watch is having, but that's another festival.

When I first heard about the announcement of the OnePlus Watch, I was drawn to its reasonable price and fast charging capabilities. However, after reviewing it, I ran into a number of issues, and unless these issues are resolved, I can't recommend this watch at all.

Maybe OnePlus is going through some growing pains right now. After all, the OnePlus Watch is the company's first smartwatch.

To put it bluntly, there are already plenty of smartwatches in the same price range or cheaper on the market. So unless the OnePlus Watch offers some innovation in terms of design or functionality, or offers great value for money, it doesn't exist. The OnePlus Watch paled in all this. It seems that OnePlus, who tried to set up a wave wind with a stunning dive from a high ground, has done a tragic belly.