Does the OnePlus Watch run Wear OS?

OnePlus Watch Press Image
OnePlus Watch Press Image (Image credit: OnePlus)

Best answer: No, the OnePlus Watch doesn't run Wear OS. Instead, the watch is running a custom operating system based on RTOS.

If the OnePlus Watch isn't using Wear OS, what does it use?

OnePlus has been making some of the best Android phones for a long time, so when the company announced it was making a smartwatch, it raised the question of if the OnePlus Watch used Wear OS. By doing so, there would be a good chance that in following what it has done for its smartphones, the OnePlus Watch could become one of the best Wear OS watches, too.

Well, for better or worse, the new smartwatch will not be running Google's smartwatch operating system. OnePlus has decided to go with its own operating system to reduce some of the pain points found in other smartwatches. According to OnePlus CEO Pete Lau:

We chose to go with a smart wear operating system developed based on RTOS because we believe it provides you a smooth and reliable experience while offering a great battery life, covering some of the biggest concerns we've been hearing from people looking to buy a smartwatch.

What is RTOS and why did OnePlus use it on the OnePlus Watch?

RTOS, real-time operating system, may look familiar because another popular smartwatch maker uses its own software based on it — Amazfit. The company has used the custom operating system on some of the best Amazfit smartwatches, like the Amazfit T-Rex, to offer quick responsiveness and long battery life.

The main difference between RTOS and something like Wear OS is how tasks are handled. Tasks like launching an app, taking a heart rate measurement, and anything else that happens within an RTOS are done with a pre-determined time constraint. Handling processes in this way generally leads to fast, reliable usage. RTOS also removes any extraneous effort within the system, which equates to better battery life for the device.

By not going with Wear OS, it means that the OnePlus Watch will be missing out on some excellent Wear OS apps that are offered in the Google Play Store. However, Wear OS has its drawbacks, like laggy performance, unless the watch is packed with new, expensive hardware. By creating its own RTOS for the OnePlus Watch, it's clear that the company wanted speed and reliability above all. Time will tell if OnePlus taking its own path will be good or bad.

What is the OnePlus Watch?

Oneplus Watch Lifestyle

Source: OnePlus (Image credit: Source: OnePlus)

For the OnePlus Watch, the company has chosen a round 46mm case made from stainless steel with a 1.39-inch AMOLED display. One of the main focus points of the OnePlus Watch is fitness. It will track over 100 different workouts that include swimming with its 5ATM + IP68 water and dust resistance. To help give a complete picture of your health, the smartwatch has sleep tracking, heart rate, and SpO2 sensors.

OnePlus has included many of the standard smartwatch features like the ability to receive notifications and calls, but for those who have a OnePlus TV, you can control that with your watch, too. Expected controls like channels and volume are there, but should you fall asleep watching TV, your watch will notice and shut off your TV.

As mentioned, the use of RTOS on the OnePlus Watch is aimed to give up to a week of battery usage between charges. However, when it does come time to charge up your watch, it will be fast. OnePlus has included Warp Charge, giving a day's worth of power in only five minutes and a week's worth in 20 minutes.

Chris Wedel
Smart Home Writer
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.