Finally, the animations throughout the watch are quite lackluster. Slide a notification and it doesn’t slide, but instantly disappears into a void. The user interface does not look neat and the interaction with the watch is a bit unsatisfactory.
Inconsistent … Everything
The first time I noticed any issues with the watch’s tracking capabilities was when I put it on on a beautiful Saturday morning as I walked from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a little further than Times Square in Manhattan. It’s a long walk! Well, not according to the OnePlus watch.
For most of the trip, he was accurately counting my steps. Halfway, the watch … reset. What was originally over 15,000 steps on the watch turned into around 7,000. I checked the OnePlus Health companion app on my phone and it was showing me specific numbers that matched the data in the Google app. Fit. At the end of the day, the number of steps displayed on the watch was significantly lower than what was displayed in both mobile apps. It never synced correctly.
When you compare the activity tracking features to those of the Apple Watch Series 5, I found the OnePlus’ step count to be imprecise to a large extent. On another long walk with a watch on each wrist and a phone in my pocket, the Apple Watch counted 8,735 steps and my phone’s Google Fit app displayed 9,248 steps, while the OnePlus Watch had me set to 4340.
I also had issues with the watch automatically detecting my walks (it is supposed to automatically detect walks or runs). Initially, he never detected anything. After switching from a Nokia phone to Oneplus 9, he … still hasn’t detected anything. It wasn’t until last weekend that he properly automatically started an “outdoor walking” activity, even though it didn’t start until more than 15 minutes after I left my house. At least he did a good job of breaking up when I stopped for coffee.
The same thing happened with the motion reminders. The watch is supposed to remind me to get up and move around every now and then, but it didn’t start working until last weekend. (And yes, I’m pretty sedentary, so I should you’ve already seen an alert.)
Heart rate tracking is usually accurate until you start an activity. I have regularly found that the OnePlus Watch registers a higher beats per minute rate than the Apple Watch (and a manual test). He also always said that I had burned more calories and traveled further, and that the SpO2 data was always a lower percentage than my fingertip pulse oximeter. Considering the inaccurate step count and auto-detection issues, I just struggled to trust any of this data.
Do not bother
There are only 14 activities you can track manually at the moment (and it only automatically detects walking and running), but OnePlus says that a live update in May will offer more than 110 types of. training.
Good to hear, but considering all the issues I’ve had, better buy the same price Fitbit Charge 4 or Garmin Venu Sq from trusted brands that have had years to refine and perfect tracking data. That’s what’s most important in a fitness tracker, and the OnePlus Watch lags far behind.
Live updates could fix many of these issues. In fact, OnePlus released an update on Monday of this week – while I was writing this review, actually – that adds more watch faces and claims to fix some bugs, such as notifications not disappearing on the phone, as well as automatic improvement detect. I interrupted my work and took another long walk, which was done do not auto-detection and the notifications I swiped on the watch are still on my phone. I am not an optimist. OnePlus also says other issues I’ve encountered will be fixed in another update coming this month, but I can only test what I have in front of me.
Unconditional fan of OnePlus? I still say to wait for the OnePlus Watch 2. I hope it can regain my confidence.