Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: The OPPO Watch combines a vibrant AMOLED screen with a bezel-less design and powerful internals. Wear OS runs the show here, but you do get unique ColorOS elements that make it stand out in this category. Combine that with reliable battery life and fast charging, and you're getting excellent value here.
Vibrant AMOLED screen
Unique software features
Doesn't use standard lugs
Limited global availability
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You will find plenty of great smartwatches for Android across several price points, and just like with phones, the designs vary considerably between each manufacturer. Samsung's Galaxy Watch series has its own aesthetic, as do designs from Skagen, Fossil, and Mobvoi.
And now there's a new addition to the list. The OPPO Watch debuted earlier this year and is now available in global markets, and there are a few standout features. The first, obviously, is the design: the OPPO Watch is a facsimile of the Apple Watch, with the smartwatch sharing the same square design with thin bezels, similar color options for the bands, and even the same packaging.
But before you brush it off as just another Apple Watch clone, there are a few things to consider. The watch is powered by Wear OS, but OPPO added a lot of its own elements to the interface, and they do make a lot of difference. And then there's the price: the OPPO Watch is available for ₹14,990 ($205) in India. It is set to go on sale in the UK for £229 ($305), making it considerably more affordable than the Apple Watch Series 5, Galaxy Watch 3, and most premium Android smartwatches.
And that, ultimately, is what works in its favor. Yes, the OPPO Watch looks like the Apple Watch, but that's not a bad thing. If anything, the OPPO Watch is the best Wear OS smartwatch I have used to date.
Better than Wear OS
OPPO Watch What I like
The defining feature of the OPPO Watch is its design. The aesthetic is obviously inspired by the Apple Watch, but OPPO added its own flair here. The smartwatch has dual-curved sides that mimic what you get on most modern phones, and the effect works really well in this form factor. The curved edges let you see more information without making the watch feel too big on your wrist, and it makes the screen stand out.
The square form factor is great for viewing more content on the screen, and for what it's worth, the watch has rounded edges and ultra-thin bezels that make it feel more elegant. The OPPO Watch is available in 41mm and 46mm versions, with the former offering a 1.61-inch panel and the latter a 1.91-inch screen. Both models feature the same AMOLED display, and the screen itself is fantastic. Colors are vibrant, and there are zero issues while using the smartwatch under harsh sunlight.
The chassis itself is made out of series-6000 aluminum alloy, and the build quality is right up there with the best you'll find in this segment. There are two buttons on the right: a home button that sits up top and pulls up the app drawer, and a multi-function button that lets you customize an action or go back within an app. You'll also find a microphone tucked in between the two buttons, and on the left side, you'll find a grille for the built-in speaker. Calls went through without a hassle, and the onboard audio holds up perfectly fine for this use case.
The back of the smartwatch is made out of plastic, and you'll find the heart rate sensor and the charging connector here. The smartwatch uses a custom one-button removal for the straps, making standard bands ineligible. You'll be able to pick from a wide assortment of bands tailored for the watch — including vegan bands — and the bundled fluoro rubber option feels a lot like silicone and is comfortable for all-day use.
In terms of colors, the OPPO Watch is available in Black, Pink Gold, and Silver Mist for the 41mm variant, and Black and Pink Gold for the 46mm option. The 41mm model weighs 30g without the bands, and the 46mm variant comes in at 39g. There's also an LTE-enabled 46mm model that weighs 40g. The 41mm version has a 300mAh battery, with the 46mm model getting a 430mAh unit.
The OPPO Watch is powered by Wear OS, but you wouldn't know that at first glance. You'll find a lot of ColorOS elements here, and while, generally, I wouldn't say I like overt customization, it works to the watch's advantage in this particular scenario. The custom launcher and colorful icons make the watch stand out, and OPPO has done an incredible job optimizing the performance. I didn't see any slowdowns in my usage, and it was generally a smooth and fluid experience.
You'll also find a lot of customization that takes full advantage of that squarish form factor. The pull-down quick settings bar shows battery level and connection status at the top, the app grid is easier to navigate, and you get an easy-to-view daily activity breakdown that lists all the calories burned, workout time, activity sessions, and steps walked.
OPPO also baked in custom workout modes, and there's an app called 5-Minute Workouts that lets you take quick breaks in the middle of your workday with guided workout sessions. The fact that it works natively on the smartwatch makes it that much more convenient.
Wear OS is still a buggy mess, but by adding its own custom layer on top of Google's wearable platform and tweaking the performance, the OPPO Watch has been the most stable Wear OS smartwatch I have used to date.
As for the hardware side of things, the OPPO Watch is powered by the Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform, but it also has a secondary Ambig Micro Apollo 3 processor that takes over during low-power tasks like sleep monitoring, leading to better overall battery life. There's 1GB of RAM and 8GB of built-in storage, and I didn't have any issues in day-to-day use with the smartwatch.
Elsewhere, you'll find a built-in GPS, 5ATM water resistance, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, and NFC for payments. The smartwatch has a full complement of sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, barometric, and ambient light sensor to adjust the brightness of the screen automatically.
The watch delivers over a day's worth of use with ease, and with VOOC flash charging, you'll be able to charge the OPPO Watch from zero to 30% in just 15 minutes and a full charge in 75 minutes. You can choose from an always-on mode or have the screen wake for notifications, and there's also a power saver mode that is designed to extend battery life to 21 days.
OPPO Watch What needs work
The OPPO Watch has a lot going for it, and it doesn't have any major shortcomings. Sure, the Snapdragon 3100 platform is two years old at this point, but the global model is more powerful than the Chinese version of the smartwatch, which has a Snapdragon 2500. And while Qualcomm has released the Snapdragon 4100, it doesn't do anything to fix the inherent software issues with Wear OS. For now, the Snapdragon 3100 holds up just fine.
The biggest issue with the smartwatch is its availability outside China. OPPO doesn't have any presence in North America, and while the watch is now available in India and heading to the UK shortly, it won't be seeing a broader release that's anywhere close to what Samsung manages with its wearables.
OPPO Watch The competition
The obvious competitor to the OPPO Watch is Samsung's $400 Galaxy Watch 3. Samsung dominates the smartwatch category, and the Galaxy Watch 3 has a bold new color scheme, MIL-STD-810G rating, 50m water resistance, ECG, all-day battery life, and wireless charging.
The recently announced $230 Fitbit Versa 3 is another great choice. It has built-in GPS, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, outstanding battery life, and great value. Oh, and you now get Google Assistant integration as well.
The $295 Skagen Falster 3 is your best alternative if you're looking for a Wear OS smartwatch. It has a premium design with 5ATM water resistance and is currently the best showcase for Google's wearable platform.
OPPO Watch Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a smartwatch that looks like the Apple Watch
- You want a large screen with all-day battery life and built-in GPS
- You're used to Wear OS but want something that's stable
- You're in the market for value
You should not buy this if ...
- You don't like the look of the Apple Watch
Wear OS has fallen by the wayside in recent years, and a lot of that has to with Google's lackluster attitude towards the platform. But by adding its own set of features to Wear OS, OPPO has managed to deliver a smartwatch that stands out from the pack.
The design is obviously what garners most of the attention here, but the software additions make a lot of difference, and they make using the smartwatch far less annoying. The display is fantastic, the battery life is more than adequate, the day-to-day performance is reliable, and you get outstanding value. Bring it all together, and you get one of the best Wear OS smartwatches money can buy today.
4 out of 5
The OPPO Watch is now available in India, and it will be going on sale in the UK shortly, with the 41mm base version retailing for £229 and the 46mm LTE model debuting at £369.
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.