It’s been three months for the reason that OnePlus Watch first went on sale. Unfortunately for OnePlus, the watch was launched to widespread essential disapproval; our personal review discovered it to be a poor smartwatch, a mediocre health tracker, and a lackluster timepiece for the asking worth.
Today, the corporate is launching the Cobalt Limited Edition. This variant contains a cobalt alloy physique, sapphire glass, and vegan leather-based strap, all for a good highr price ticket than the usual mannequin. However, OnePlus has additionally been laborious at work for the previous three months, including lots of the options that it was criticized for. So we thought this was a great alternative to take a look at the brand new fancy new end in addition to see how a lot progress the watch has made since we final reviewed it.
Unlike the lengthy, skinny field of the usual edition, the Cobalt limited edition is available in barely fancier packaging. You get this good, sq. field with soft-touch materials coating on the surface. The lid opens up on a hinge as you’d anticipate from a premium watch or jewellery packaging.
Inside, the watch is about clasped round a cushion within the heart. Setting it apart for a second, the field reveals a second compartment beneath for the equipment. Unfortunately, there’s nothing notably particular about these, as they embody the identical USB magnetic charging puck (in the identical black coloration) as the usual edition, together with the fluoroelastomer strap that you simply get along with the pre-installed vegan leather-based strap. The strap can be the identical black coloration because the Midnight Black variant that we reviewed earlier than and never color-matched to the Cobalt edition.
Now, the Cobalt edition will not be meant to be a super-premium variant of the OnePlus Watch just like the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition. Having mentioned that, some color-matched equipment will not be an excessive amount of to ask for. You do not even get a charger within the field.
Getting again to the watch, the precise design of the Cobalt edition is equivalent to the usual edition. However, as an alternative of the polished chrome steel center body, the Cobalt edition makes use of cobalt alloy, which OnePlus claims is the primary smartwatch on the planet to take action.
The cobalt alloy has a really muted gold coloration, which is much more refined in the true world than what would possibly seem within the pictures. It’s nearer to rose gold however is extra prominently brown with only a contact of crimson to it.
I do suppose it is fairly good and if like me you additionally detest gold watches then you might also desire this to conventional gold finishes.
OnePlus additionally claims that the cobalt alloy is twice as laborious as chrome steel however except you might be continuously banging your watch round this is not going to be particularly necessary.
Topping off the cobalt alloy body is a sapphire glass for the show. Visually, it seems to be equivalent to the normal glass used on the usual mannequin even when it comes to thickness. Of course, the benefit of sapphire glass is the totally ridiculous rigidity of the fabric, second solely to diamonds. This is a little more sensible than the 2x rigidity of the cobalt alloy physique, as you might be much more prone to scratch the watch face than the physique however with glass this sturdy the one factor you must fear about is breaking different folks’s watches should you unintentionally hit them with this.
The backside of the watch continues to be made out of plastic, like on the usual edition. It’s not notably offensive since nobody will ever see it however as with the usual mannequin you miss out on the cool contact of the metallic in your wrist, which makes the entire affair really feel far much less premium.
Lastly, there’s the brand new leather-based strap, which has a deep emerald coloration with turquoise stitching that goes properly with the colour of the watch. It contains a butterfly buckle that opens and closes slightly simply and can be pretty simple to regulate to your wrist dimension. The metallic buckle has the identical coloration and end because the watch, though it is not clear if it is the identical cobalt alloy materials because the watch.
As talked about earlier than, the Cobalt edition additionally comes with the usual black fluoroelastomer strap within the field, so should you plan on going for a swim together with your watch you do not have to fret about ruining the leather-based belt.
Considering the fiddly strap removing course of, I do not see anybody doing it often, which suggests most individuals who exercise often will possible simply use the fluoroelastomer strap and swap to the leather-based strap on particular events.
The leather-based in our case was vegan leather-based. Made from artificial or plant-based sources, this materials has been made for years now and recognized by completely different names however including vegan to every part now earns you further brownie factors, by no means thoughts the truth that vegan leather-based might not essentially be good for the setting. That apart, it does nonetheless really feel fairly remarkably like actual leather-based and even has the same odor to it, which I believed was attention-grabbing.
It’s not clear if this materials will even age like actual leather-based however it should possible not collect the identical patina. On the upside, this implies it could appear to be new for longer.
Overall, I believe the brand new Cobalt edition is a lovely, premium-looking watch. The coloration mixture right here is adequately subtle for use for on a regular basis put on and the supplies are comfy for all-day use.
My solely concern right here – identical to the unique model of the OnePlus smartwatch – is its dimension. At 46mm, the watchface can seem a bit overwhelming and on smaller wrists, it seems to be like you will have a frying pan strapped on.
I do respect the marginally daintier look and width of the leather-based strap in comparison with the fluoroelastomer band nevertheless it solely makes the watch seem even bigger.
Not too lengthy after the OnePlus Watch was launched, OnePlus pushed out a flurry of software program updates, considered one of which introduced the sorely missed always-on show mode. Had this shipped on day one, the OnePlus Watch may have prevented being piledriven into the bottom by the media however then we would not have all realized a worthwhile lesson about by no means releasing half-baked merchandise.
The always-on show works as you’d anticipate, which is to maintain the display on so you are able to do cool issues together with your watch, like see what the time is.
The always-on mode on the OnePlus Watch has its personal set of watch faces, 4 to be precise (two analog ones and two digital). They all make use of actually skinny fonts for the digital faces and skinny arms for the analog faces. This could make them laborious to see at instances; one of many analog faces is mainly ineffective due to how dim the arms are.
The AOD mode can be unaffected by the ambient gentle so it would not get brighter in brilliant lighting.
Lastly, the AOD mode solely works for the clock; you may’t, for instance, begin the stopwatch and have it seem on the AOD so you may passively see it with out waking the watch.
All of this makes the AOD mode on the OnePlus Watch far lower than perfect. Don’t get me flawed, I’d nonetheless take this over not having it in any respect nevertheless it’s clear OnePlus was hyper-paranoid about battery life and has nerfed the AOD mode to the purpose of being practically ineffective.
The different factor OnePlus added was a metric ton of exercise modes. One of my complaints in my unique review was the dearth of health club exercise modes within the launch firmware. Since then, OnePlus has added so many exercise choices that it ought to rely as a exercise merely to undergo the whole checklist. I’m not even going to trouble itemizing all of them right here as it will take all day. Just watch this video as an alternative.
At this level, in need of inventing your individual exercise, it is clear the OnePlus Watch may have you coated.
Lastly, OnePlus additionally added a bunch of watch faces by means of its OnePlus Health app. There at the moment are 54 of them in complete, which must be loads for most individuals. Unfortunately, you might be nonetheless depending on OnePlus so as to add extra watch faces as there isn’t any method to create and distribute customized watch faces for the OnePlus Watch.
And that is still one of many points with the watch, which is a part of the overarching drawback that this actually is not a correct smartwatch even when this distinction alludes OnePlus.
Aside from not having the ability to obtain watch faces, you additionally can not obtain any purposes to the watch. There is not any voice assistant on board to serve your queries. The watch has NFC however as of but, there isn’t any manner to make use of it for something. The lack of mobile connectivity means the watch can solely be used with a cellphone for voice calls. As such, it stays a glorified health tracker.
The drawback, I suppose, is with the advertising and marketing. The OnePlus Watch may have been the neatest dumb watch, and that will have been positive. Instead, it ended up being the dumbest smartwatch, which is what’s disappointing.
The OnePlus Watch Cobalt limited edition is priced at INR 19,999 ($268) in India, which is a little more than the usual edition priced at INR 14,999 ($201). While the distinction in worth is not a lot contemplating the distinction in supplies, the usual edition itself is dear, which makes the Cobalt edition more durable to justify. OnePlus desires to place itself because the premium choice on this class however I’m undecided it is totally justified.
Unfortunately for OnePlus, there are far too many options available on the market as we speak which might be cheaper and in some methods higher than the OnePlus Watch. It’s not a foul watch by any means and it is definitely so much higher now than once we first reviewed it. If you have been to purchase one as we speak I do not suppose you will be disillusioned except you went in anticipating a bona fide smartwatch.
But no matter what OnePlus tells you, the OnePlus Watch is not a smartwatch however slightly a very good health tracker. You can get equally good health trackers for much less cash or purchase a correct smartwatch for a bit extra. This leaves the OnePlus Watch in a no man’s land and I believe OnePlus ought to step up and personal this distinction for its personal profit slightly than attempting to cross on this gadget for one thing it is not.