- Beautiful design
- The performance is great
- Fast charging
- Can make calls
The Not So Good
- 1-Day battery life
- Software Limitations
I have to admit that I was particularly excited about the OPPO Watch, especially after watching Mr Mobile’s review of the same. That excited, got me jumping up and down when our review unit finally got to my doorstep.
The OPPO Watch in our possession is the 41mm variant with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, retailing for slightly below KES. 24,000 in Kenya. That price puts the watch in the line of fire from more established smartwatch brands such as the Huawei Watch GT 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, albeit the OPPO Watch is still slightly cheaper.
While the competition might have a few years of experience in the wearables market, the OPPO Watch is the company’s first and the short version of this review is that it’s a proper smartwatch, let down by the software.
What We Liked
I own a Samsung Galaxy Watch Active and also generally appreciate circular watches more as opposed to square ones as the former tends to feels more like a traditional watch. However, after a few days with the OPPO Watch, I fell in love with its design.
The square design made it feel bigger than my other watch, despite being the same size of 41mm and somehow, typing on it was also better. Unfortunately, though, not eveyone will appreciate the looks of the OPPO Watch, seeing that the design inspiration comes from a certain fruity company that also has a watch with an almost similar name.
Health, Fitness and Smart Capabilities
It’s a smartwatch and it does do smartwatch stuff without a struggle. For those who buy such gadgets as a health and fitness companion, then the OPPO Watch does not fall short. There’s a heart rate monitor on the back, that can be left on all the time (with a hit on the battery life) or only used when needed. There’s also other built in capabilities such as work out detection, sleep tracking and even sedentary reminder for those who spend hours sitted down.
The watch also works with various apps to keep track of your health the with recommended apps being OPPO’s own Hey Tap Health and the Google Fit app.
When it comes to the smart capabilities, the OPPO Watch has:
- A mic and a speaker built into it that allows you to make calls through the watch and also talk to Google Assistant
- Two buttons for navigation, with one buttong being a customiabke shortcut
- Gestures that make it easier to use the watch, such as raising to wake, touch to wake and even custom gestures of your choice by twisting your wrist
- An AMOLED display which lets you keep the screen always-on with minimal battery usage
- Ability to connect to your phone either through Bluetooth or a WiFi conection
- Fast charging which gets the watch from zero to 30% in 15 minutes and filled up in about an hour.
The User Interface
While we may have mentioned that software is the biggest limitation on the OPPO Watch (and we will dig deeper on this), the company did try to make the user experience bearable. The watch runs on Wear OS with a custom OPPO launcher on top which makes things better. There watch faces are not so bad and the app drawer is accessible easily thanks to this launcher.
It’s also very easy to use the watch, there are no sacrifices to be offered just to get things and the settings app is also well-arranged. Then again, thanks to the square display, pressing things on the screen is just so much easier.
What We Didn’t Like
Unfortunately, the one-time OPPO chooses to use pure Android is when that particular version of Android sucks. Wear OS is just bad, especially for someone who has used other smartwatch softwares. The main Wear OS app that lets you control functionality of the watch is so limited that you will need to download OPPO’s own Hey Tap Health app to get a little bit more out of your watch – the worst part is that you need to keep both apps on your phone and connected to your watch if you want everything working fine.
Then there’s the notifications. Yes, you do get notifications on your watch but they keep coming even when you’re using your phone. This is despite categorically stating through the Hey Tap app that I would prefer not to get notifications on the watch when I am using my phone.
Lastly, at least on this category, is the lack of proper collection of watch faces. This is purely Wear OS’s fault. Every watch face is an app unless you’re using watch face apps like Facer, which is also an app that you will need to install on both your phone and the watch. I just don’t get why Google couldn’t build a software that allows the user to install watch faces without having to download an extra app.
The OPPO Watch has a pretty big battery – for a smartwatch at least. Unfortunately, though, the underlying software and the dated Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. I like my battery life lasting at least two days on my wearables but that’s not the case with the OPPO Watch which demanded to be charged at the end of every day.
The OPPO Watch is a wearble that we would highly recommend to anyone getting a smartwatch for the very first time. The learning curve is smooth and you won’t have expectations brought about by the usage of other smartwatches around.
Despite its shortcomings, we still enjoyed the OPPO Watch and continue to do so. Until the next wearable comes my way, the OPPO Watch shall remain on my wrist for days to come.