Oppo Watch review: Late to the party, but a solid debut from smartphone newcomer

The Oppo Watch is a strong contender to beat Apple and Samsung as the best smartwatch of 2020.
The Oppo Watch. Photo credit: Newshub.

In the race for smartwatch supremacy, the two quickest cabs off the rank were Apple and Samsung, with Huawei languishing somewhere in the distance.

But there's a new contender in the race: the Oppo Watch.

Is it worth snagging for its reasonable price tag and will it tempt a traditional analogue aficionado like me to part with my treasured timepiece?

With smartwatch use on the rise and a range of options to choose from, phone manufacturer Oppo has put forward a late - but very strong - candidate for smartwatch of the year.


Packed from top to bottom with apps, services and built-in features designed to make your life easier on the go, the Oppo Watch is one to impress. From sporting and fitness to music and notification maintenance, the Oppo does it all, without the drama.

A handy drop-down menu of shortcuts lets you toggle the usual things like brightness and volume, and the Oppo Watch will chirp if you get a Facebook notification or an incoming call, too.

The Oppo Watch comes with GoogleFit, making it a great choice for someone looking to pair a smartwatch with their active routine. A daily activity log records all of your exercise, and will shame you if you've been sitting still for too long.

A handy resting heart rate monitor lets you know if you need that third cup of coffee, which is perfect for exercise enthusiasts and workaholics alike.

Active sleep tracking lets you map out your sleep routine in terrifying detail, a function I used once and never again.

Oppo Watch review: Late to the party, but a solid debut from smartphone newcomer.
The Oppo Watch. Photo credit: Newshub.

The good

The Oppo looks, well, like a smartwatch. The polished, black glass screen and rubber band are simple, sleek and refined. Call it uninspired if you will, but there isn't much wriggle room to defy expectations in smartwatch design aesthetics.

As far as the profile goes, I actually quite liked the size and shape. It didn't feel bulky on my wrist, was wearable throughout the day, and I found myself using it as I would a regular watch: to check the time. 

Android's WearOS software makes using the Oppo Watch intuitive and straightforward, with no additional bells and whistles. In short, the software is about as groundbreaking as the design. There's no point in reinventing the wheel.

Switching between apps is easy and responding to text and Facebook messages using the handy voice input was fun, even if it made me look like Inspector Gadget. 

Be warned, though, talking into the watch will likely earn you some bewildered looks from those around you.

When it comes to hardware, the Oppo Watch falls in the middle of the pack compared to the likes of the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch. It won't struggle for lack of grunt, being powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip and 1GB RAM; but as far as expectations go, how powerful does a smartwatch really need to be anyway?

Whatever the case, the Oppo Watch does the trick nicely.

Oppo's flash charging technology means a quick charge during your morning shower is more than enough juice for the rest of the day. More on the battery later, though.

The bad

Considering a smartwatch is just a clued-up Tamagotchi, how many ways are there for a smartwatch to go wrong?

For the Oppo Watch, not a lot.

Firstly, the larger, pricier 46mm model is waterproof up to 50m, while the 41mm model is only water resistant. That means no Oppo-ing in the shower unless you've forked out the extra few hundred bucks for the better model.

If you're spending money on a smartwatch touted as a 'get-out-and-go' active watch, then I'd expect both versions to be waterproof. No excuses.

The Oppo Watch may be a grunty, but where it suffers most is the serious lack of juice.

Oppo Watch model variations.
Oppo Watch model variations. Photo credit: Oppo

Oppo claims the battery is good for up to 36 hours. My daily usage cast serious aspersions on that claim.

I found it was good for up to a day before needing a charge, depending on how busy the workload was. The recharge speed makes up for the lack of juice, but it's still something to keep in mind when deciding if this is the watch for you, as opposed to one of its competitors.

The verdict

So should you buy the Oppo Watch? 

If you're in the market for a smartwatch with everything you need and nothing you don't, then yes. 

The Oppo Watch's good build quality and no-nonsense approach to design makes it a slim, attractive and simple option, while the clean interface and strong range of features makes it an excellent companion on the go.


Oskar was supplied an Oppo Watch by Oppo for this review.