OnePlus Nord Watch Review: Well-rounded smartwatch on a budget

Oneplus Nord Watch Review, Counterpoint Research

With its Nord sub-brand, OnePlus focuses on inexpensive devices. Following a line of Nord smartphones and TWS earbuds, OnePlus recently launched its budget smartwatch, the OnePlus Nord Watch, to further expand its Nord portfolio. Priced at INR 4,999 (about $60), the smartwatch is aimed at first-time users and is a step in building a Nord ecosystem. After testing the smartwatch for almost a month, we have put together first impressions.

Impressive display quality with robust construction

  • The OnePlus Nord Watch features a 1.78-inch AMOLED screen with a 60Hz refresh rate.
  • The smartwatch features a zinc alloy case with a polycarbonate back.
  • The button on the side is used to wake up the watch, enter the menu and exit apps.

Cover photo of the Oneplus Nord Watch, Counterpoint Research

The OnePlus Nord Watch embodies a basic design similar to that of its competitors in this segment. The build quality of the smartwatch is sturdy with the zinc alloy outer case. The back of the smartwatch is made of polycarbonate. In terms of aesthetics, the watch looks gorgeous with a two-tone finish and glossy outer case that comes in black and blue. The display glass is tough enough to withstand daily wear and tear. Even after about a month of use, we couldn’t find any scratches on the display.

The watch features a large, square 1.78-inch AMOLED display with a crisp 368×448 resolution and a solid pixel density of 326 PPI. The display is bright enough to make information visible even in strong sunlight as it offers 500 nits of brightness. The function of the side button is to wake up the clock or open the app drawer. The touch response of the display is smooth and offers an almost lag-free experience.

READ :  How to fix message blocking is active error on mobile

Watch OS is limited but useful

  • The fitness modes are flexible and useful.
  • Menstrual cycle tracking is a good addition to the watch.
  • The inability to customize watch faces is a failure.
  • No Bluetooth call is a failure.

Oneplus Nord Watch App Drawer, counterpoint research

The Nord Watch comes with a custom RTOS that offers fitness tracking, menstrual cycle tracking, sleep tracking, and a host of other useful apps. There are more than 100 sports modes to choose from, including walking, running, jumping and hiking. The pedometer feature works fairly accurately, while the SpO2 sensor and heart rate tracker will take some time to stabilize readings after the initial setup. The sleep tracking feature provides good insight into sleep patterns, including deep sleep and light sleep.

I evaluated the OnePlus Nord Watch against two different Android phones – one from OnePlus and the other from a competing brand with similar performance and compatibility. The watch works equally well with iOS and Android. The user interface is easy to use. A swipe up opens the latest notification and a swipe down opens the quick settings menu. Swiping right-to-left will show your sleep results, and swiping left-to-right will show step counts and other health metrics. The watch syncs with most music apps available on iOS and Android, and the camera shutter app on the watch works well with all devices.

The walk and run modes are activated automatically only when you perform those specific activities. Still, this is a good piece of equipment for any fitness enthusiast who incorporates walking and running into their fitness routine. If you use the watch without your phone, the data will only be synced after connecting to the phone.

READ :  Is Motorola's MyUX the Best Clean Android Experience?

The watch has indicator icons for most social media apps including WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. However, Teams, Outlook, Reddit and other apps are not available, which I think can be easily fixed via a small update. The watch doesn’t support quick replies when canceling a call (e.g. “can’t speak right now”) or quick replies for social media, which would otherwise have been a great addition.

The N Health app offers a good user experience

Oneplus Nord Watch App Interface, Counterpoint Research

Users can access features such as watch faces and log data through the N Health app, which can be downloaded from the Android or iOS app stores. The N Health app’s interface is minimalistic, providing easy access to health and sleep cycle analytics. The app offers more than 100 non-customizable watch faces from which up to four can be selected and saved in the smartwatch. The app displays menstrual cycle settings, SpO2 readings, and heart rate readings.

During my testing, the Nord Watch’s battery lasted about eight days on a full charge with 40% brightness and minimal fitness tracking. If you turn the brightness up to 100% and use the watch more for fitness tracking, the battery lasts about five days. The standby battery performance is great. It loses 1% when the device is not connected to your phone and 3% to 4% when it is connected.

Oneplus Nord Watchface, Counterpoint Research

The central theses:

  • The OnePlus Nord Watch has a simple design with a decent array of features and accurate fitness tracking.
  • The SpO2 and sleep tracking features provide reliable analysis via the N Health app.
  • The device offers many interesting watchface options to choose from. However, the inability to customize watch faces is a huge flaw.
  • The watch offers the user more than 100 indoor and outdoor sports modes to choose from.
  • The app gallery on the watch offers three types of layouts. However, the standard looks quite similar to what the competition offers.
  • The lack of a quick reply feature is a mistake. The watch also doesn’t have Bluetooth calling, which is a hot favorite feature at this price point.
  • The lack of third-party app support like Strava and Spotify is also a failure. However, most competing devices at this price point don’t offer the same either. This feature is something to look forward to in future iterations.
READ :  OnePlus 11 comes with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, improved Hasselblad cameras

Related Research: