The Oppo Watch isn’t bad, but it does look like an Apple Watch

After I just lately wrote about Oppo’s “oddly familiar” new smartwatch, Oppo received in contact with me to ask whether or not I’d be concerned about checking it out for myself, although it’ll solely be obtainable in China till later this 12 months. The firm consultant advised that I would discover it much less acquainted in individual, so I used to be to strive it.

How did that work out? Well, it’s true that the Oppo Watch seems rather less spinoff on my wrist than in press pictures. But come on, there isn’t any universe during which this product seems like this with out the Apple Watch coming earlier than it. From the strap design to the form of the display to the visible fashion of the OS, that is plainly a product that’s been made in Apple’s shadow.

That doesn’t essentially make it a nasty watch, although, and given the sorry state of the Android smartwatch market, it’s value trying into — notably on condition that Oppo is now an excellent smartphone maker. I’ve solely been in a position to make use of the Chinese model of the watch, as I discussed, so this isn’t a full overview. All of the onboard providers are geared towards the Chinese market. But I can inform you in regards to the {hardware} and what Oppo is attempting to do with the software program.

First up, yep, this seems like an Apple Watch. The OLED display, although, is an enchancment. It’s somewhat bigger than the 46mm Apple Watch at 1.91 inches throughout, but the watch retains the identical 46mm measurement; Oppo has shrunken the bezels and curved the sides of the display itself together with the quilt glass. I can’t inform whether or not it makes use of a Pentile subpixel structure or not — the Apple Watch is notable for utilizing an RGB stripe — but if I can’t inform, it doesn’t actually matter. The pixel density is identical because the Apple Watch at 326ppi. The colours are tremendous vibrant, and it’s simple to see exterior.

The chassis of the watch takes design cues from Oppo’s smartphones, with the display curving into the skinny edges in the same approach. There’s no crown-style management right here, simply two bodily buttons on the precise edge; every thing else is dealt with by the touchscreen. Oppo’s watch straps are removable in the same method to the Apple Watch, with easy buttons for the discharge mechanism on the watch’s rear, but the straps pop immediately in out relatively than sliding from the aspect.

While the Oppo Watch I’m utilizing is fabricated from aluminum, it’s polished to a shiny blue-black end to the purpose the place it seems extra like a metal Apple Watch at first look. There is a metal variant of the Oppo Watch, too, but it solely is available in “bright silver.” The included watch strap is black rubber and feels snug, if nothing particular.

Overall I believe this watch seems fantastic in a vacuum, but there’s no getting round it: persons are both going to suppose you’re carrying an Apple Watch or understand you’re carrying one thing that simply seems like an Apple Watch. It’s as much as you whether or not that’s what you need out of your wristwear.

The Oppo Watch runs a custom-made model of Android 8.1 referred to as ColorOS Watch. Like Samsung, Oppo has discovered that Apple was onto one thing in designing a predominantly white-on-black OS for small OLED screens; it saves energy and is much more discreet. No prizes for originality — this software program positively seems extra like watchOS than it must — but it’s the precise path.

Unlike Tizen and watchOS, although, ColorOS Watch is very simple. The high button brings up a scrolling app drawer or takes you again to the watch face, and the underside button will get you to the settings menu. You can swipe left and proper to alter faces, there’s a fast settings display accessible with a swipe down, and a swipe up takes you to the notifications shade. Everything is easy and responsive. Notifications can show a number of content material, like full Facebook Messenger messages, although you’ll be able to’t work together with them.

The most attention-grabbing factor in regards to the Oppo Watch software program is its choice of built-in apps, that are accessible via a scrolling grid that’s midway between the Apple Watch’s bizarre honeycomb and record views. There are the standard apps for telephone calls, health monitoring, timers, and climate, in addition to an on-watch app retailer and China-specific providers like Alipay. It’s a fairly sturdy characteristic set, together with issues like sleep monitoring that haven’t come to the Apple Watch but. I notably like the five-minute full-body exercise app that features video demonstrations and yells at you thru the watch’s tiny speaker to assist get you sweating, although it’s not at all times simple to really see the watch mid-exercise.

The Oppo Watch’s battery life has not been nice for me, although the display isn’t at all times on. This is a watch you’ll want to cost every night time, and several other occasions it’s died on me within the night. I wouldn’t rule out the potential for it draining energy by trying to find appropriate cell networks, since that is an LTE watch and I’m utilizing it exterior the market it was designed on the market in, but I’m not getting near Oppo’s acknowledged 40 hours of normal use.

The watch does refill fairly shortly on its uncommon magnetic charger, nonetheless — about 75 minutes for a full cost and 15 minutes to get to 50 % — and its power-saving mode is rather more useful than the Apple Watch’s. You can’t use apps, but it nonetheless tracks steps, delivers notifications, and turns the display on whenever you increase your wrist.

Overall, utilizing the Oppo Watch hasn’t precisely modified my thoughts that it’s acquainted, but that is perhaps what some persons are after. Starting at round $215 in China, it may very well be an possibility value contemplating if the battery life works higher in follow. We’ll take a better look as soon as it involves different markets, which is at the moment set to occur within the second half of 2020.

Photography by Sam Byford / The Verge

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