OnePlus is dipping its toes into lots of tech, and wearables looks to be next on the list. The company has confirmed it is working on a smart timepiece. And it’s launching in “early 2021”. Here’s everything that we know about the OnePlus Watch.
The latest confirmation comes from Pete Lau, the company’s CEO. Check out his tweet below.
Many of you said you wanted a watch, and as you might have heard over the weekend—we're making one, to be released early next year. Wishes do come true.🎁 https://t.co/H1Fqv9srXj
— Pete Lau (@PeteLau) December 22, 2020
For those not in the know the Chinese-based company has numerous phones, amongst other products under its belt. Their range balances high-end quality with low prices and simplistic, user-friendly designs. The outfit has adopted a motto “Never settle”, meaning users should not settle for low-quality devices.
Launched in 2014, the company’s first product was the OnePlus One smartphone. There have been more than a dozen iterations since then, including the most recent OnePlus 8. The outfit also sells the Bullets Wireless earphones and has ventured into the smart TVs market recently with the OnePlus TV.
Is OnePlus working on a wearable device?
We now know that the answer to this question is yes.
Rumors of an activity brand from OnePlus date back to more than four years ago. However, nothing ever materialized. Granted, there’s no shortage of wearables to choose from, but these do not directly support the OnePlus ecosystem of devices. Many users have been requesting this type of product for a while now.
The Chinese company falls under the BKK Electronics umbrella. Oppo, Realme and Vivo are also in this club. All of them have recently launched smartwatches and in some cases fitness trackers, too.
The latest week is not the only time OnePlus CEO Peta Lau hinted on a watch. In an earlier interview with Input (via Tom’s Guide), he said that the company is working with Google and just such a device. Lau said that they want to create a wearable that works well with its other products, so something with smart integration.
“What we’re trying to do is work with Google to try to improve the connectivity between the Wear OS ecosystem, Android TV, and Android smartphones to create this ability for better device interoperability across the ecosystems,” Lau said.
The fact that Google is involved suggests this will be a timepiece that runs on WearOS. But it might be a tweaked version of the operating system as Lau adds “Wear OS definitely has room to improve.”
We have to go back to 2016 to find the first reference of a OnePlus wearable. You can see its schematics below.
The old sketches reveal a circular smartwatch that is coupled with customizable straps. Considering these drawing were released four years ago, the upcoming device may look nothing like this.
It is difficult at the moment to speculate on technical specs. Considering the timing, we would hope Oppo Watch comes with Qualcomm’s new 4100 processor.
Looking at the other Chinese brands, it is reasonable to expect the device will have at least a week of battery life. But this will largely depend on the type of display. Anything along the lines of an AMOLED would shrink this right down to a handful of days. A plethora of fitness tracking sensors should be on the cards and the above mentioned ability to communicate with OnePlus televisions and other smart products.
Earlier this year a smartwatch with the model number W301GB under the OnePlus brand passed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). The is Singapore’s body that develops and regulates the converging infocomm and media sectors. Shortly after a OnePlus watch stopped by India’s BIS certification website.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
At the time of writing there’s nothing on the US FDA or Bluetooth SIG websites. So we could very well see a launch in Asia, followed by a release in Europe and the US a few months later. This is the route taken by a number of other Chinese brands.
OnePlus release date
A much easier entry option into wearables for OnePlus would be a fitness band, perhaps something along the lines of Xiaomi’s Mi Band. This has been a popular seller and it is only after four generations that Xiaomi has moved into the smartwatch space. OnePlus is well positioned to replicate Xiaomi’s success as it also has a large user-base.
But we are getting a smartwatch first. Another hint? This OnePlus tweet.
— OnePlus India (@OnePlus_IN) October 14, 2020
As far as the OnePlus Watch release date, this has been confirmed for the start of 2021. Chinese New Year is on February 12th so there’s on outside chance the company might time an unveiling just before then.
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