OnePlus will release a $40 fitness band to take on Xiaomi Mi Band 5
OnePlus has confirmed that it is working on a smartwatch that is slated to release in 2021, and while that particular device will be powered by Wear OS, OnePlus has another wearable in the works, one aimed at the budget segment.
We can now reveal via our insider sources that the OnePlus Band will be the company's first wearable device, and that it will debut sometime in Q1 2021. The fitness band will be positioned against the likes of Xiaomi's Mi Band series, and will retail for around $40.
OnePlus Band: What we know so far
With the OnePlus Band, OnePlus is emulating a similar strategy that we've seen with the manufacturer's phone business. The upcoming OnePlus smartwatch will be aimed at upmarket buyers, and like the Nord, the OnePlus Band will be catered to the budget segment.
The fitness band will share a lot of similarities with the Mi Band 5, including water resistance, an AMOLED screen, and multi-day battery life. Xiaomi is the runaway leader in the budget wearable segment, and it makes sense for OnePlus to turn to the budget category for its first wearable.
We understand that the OnePlus Band will be debuting in India initially, and will be available in other markets at a later date. The band will retail for under ₹3,000 ($40), putting it in the same league as the Mi Band 5, which sells for ₹2,499 ($33) in the country (opens in new tab).
OnePlus already sells its TVs exclusively in India, and with the country contributing to over a third of the manufacturer's global phone sales, it serves as the ideal testbed for the introduction of the OnePlus Band.
The OnePlus Band will be unveiled in Q1 2021, and the information we've received suggests the wearable will debut a few weeks ahead of the launch of the OnePlus 9 series. That means we're looking at a launch sometime in the month of January or early February.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5
The Mi Band 5 ticks all the right boxes for a budget wearable. It has an AMOLED screen that mirrors notifications and calls from your phone, has 5ATM water resistance, and you'll only have to charge it a few times a month.
- ₹2,499 at Amazon India (opens in new tab)
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.