Oppo Watch review: A masterclass in imitation
- Smooth software
- Gorgeous display
- Price is a little high
- Proprietary charger
- No eSIM
- Lacks originality
As close to an 'Apple Watch that works with Android' as you can get.
Price$ 449.00 (AUD)
Should I buy the Oppo Watch?
The Oppo Watch isn’t especially unique in that it tries to emulate what works about the Apple Watch.
For as long as Apple have dominated the category, the world's most popular watch has inspired pretenders. However, the Oppo Watch is distinguished by just how close it gets to the high bar that Apple have set and upheld. The build-quality and form factor here are a delight, the software is snappy and the fast-charging keeps the fun going for long enough that you don’t have to worry about running out of juice. If you’ve been enviously gazing across the OS divide at the Apple Watch for years now and have found other Android-friendly smartwatches wanting, this is probably the wearable you’ve been waiting for.
Price when reviewed
Right now, the Oppo Watch is available in two sizes and priced at AU$449 (41mm) and AU$549 (44mm) respectively.
Oppo Watch full review
In Australia, pricing for Oppo’s first smartwatch starts at AU$449. The Oppo Watch is available through OPPO, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Kogan, Bing Lee, MobileCiti and Amazon.
Design & Display
When it comes to looks, the Oppo Watch follows in the footsteps of the Xiaomi Watch and the Amazfit GTS. Screen ratios aside, it's a dead-ringer for Apple's own premium wearable with a sleek 1.9-inch OLED display sitting at the center of the action. Compared to the other Apple Watch imitators on the market, it does a much better job of selling you on how premium it is in look and feel. The feel-factor here isn’t quite on par with Apple’s flagship but it gets a hell of a lot closer than stuff like the Fitbit Versa.
There are two navigation buttons hanging on the right-hand side of the Oppo Watch’s display. These are reasonably tactile to rely on but the control scheme involved isn’t always as intuitive as you’d like.
The top-most input acts as a ‘Home’ button. Its counterpart is a shortcut to the Workout menu. The functionality here can be customised but for the most part,you’ll be using the touch screen – and that’s good thing. The Oppo Watch feels really responsive to interact with.
While the Chinese version of the watch ran on a modified version of Android, the international version of the device has been roped into the WearOS roster, there’s a decent number of third party apps available for it and it integrates really neatly with stuff like the Google Assistant. Not as nicely as the Apple Watch integrates with iOS but this is definitely an area where the Oppo Watch has the edge on a lot of the competition.
As far as durability goes, the 44mm Oppo Watch is water resistant up to 50 meters and the 41mm Oppo Watch is good for up to 30. Taking the wearable on a recent trip to the beach, I encountered zero problems. Less can be said for the screen itself, which, despite the Gorilla Glass 3 involved, I found to be fairly susceptible to scratches. If you're looking to drop the cash, I'd strongly recommend trying to track down some sort of screen protector.
Under the hood, the Oppo Watch relies on a nifty dual-chipset processor that swaps between a more powerful Snapdragon chip and a less-powerful Apollo chip depending on what you’re doing. The net result of this is that, according to Oppo, you can get around 36 hours of regular usage from a single charge or 21 days of usage when the wearable is set to Power Saver mode. In reality, I struggled to hit a full 36 hours of regular usage but could comfortably get through a long day, wear the Oppo Watch overnight and then charge it back up over coffee in the morning. It’s not exactly an MVP for battery life but its more than generous enough to work with.
I’m not thrilled that the Oppo Watch uses a proprietary cradle charger but, at this point, that’s less of a problem with it and more of smartwatches as a whole. Yes, there are definitely advantages to this approach but it’s hard not to think about the long term issues. It's yet another charger you have to remember to take with you when you travel and, if you lose it, it’s probably not as simple to replace.
In line with their smartphone devices, Oppo are playing up fast charging as a point of difference over established players like Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and Garmin. Oppo say you'll be able to go from zero to 46% charge in just fifteen minutes. A full charge takes seventy-five. This helps offset some of my earlier complaints, since you’re never really leaving the Oppo Watch attached to its charger for particularly long stretches of time.
Features & Performance
As far as featuresets go, the Oppo Watch isn’t especially original but it is comprehensive.
Running through the list, all the classics can be counted on. It’s got a heart-rate sensor. It’s got built-in GPS. It’s got sleep tracking. It’s got notifications for connected Android devices and plays nice with the Google Assistant. It’s supports mobile payments via Google Pay. Out of the box, it supports five basic workouts: Fitness Run, Fat Burn Run, Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Cycling and Swimming. However, if you connect it Google Fit, you get a few dozen more options to choose from, including more eclectic stuff like paragliding, snowboarding and weightlifting.
The fact that the Oppo Watch integrates as nicely with the wider Google-verse is one of the key reasons I’d lean towards recommending it over most other Android-friendly smartwatches. As far as interfaces go, the moment to moment experience of using the Oppo Watch reminds me a lot of what Oppo have tried to do with Color OS. It’s about fusing the ease of use of Apple with the freedom of Android. The Oppo Watch juggles these two values with grace for the most part.
The Oppo Watch also supports music playback via the WearOS Spotify app, though this is limited to controlling your connected smartphone rather than fully fledged on-device. Since the device itself doesn't have eSIM, that's not a huge issue but it is illustrative of a larger shortcoming.
The Oppo Watch is stellar at imitating basically everything people like about the Apple Watch but it inevitably lacks in originality. It doesn’t bring much in the way of its own spin on the formula. For a first attempt at jumping into the smartwatch market, that’s probably fine but I found myself hoping that future Oppo Watches are a little more ambitious.
The Bottom Line
Back in 2018, I predicted that "Priced correctly, an Oppo smartwatch could be just as resonant when it comes to value in the same way as the brand's smartphones are. It’s not so much about having the cheapest hardware as it is about having cheaper hardware that’s almost-just-as-good as the market leader."
The final product here is a little pricier than I’d like but, otherwise, one of the best 'first attempts' at a smartwatch I’ve ever seen. The Oppo Watch sits a hundred or so dollars below Apple’s latest smartwatch, a couple hundred dollars off thrifty fare like the Fitbit Versa or Amazfit and more-or-less in line with the rest of the premium Android smartwatch niche. What I’m trying to say here is that, when it comes to the RRP, the Oppo Watch doesn’t feel like a tremendous bargain but it does feel like it sits about where you’d expect.
If you're able to stomach the premium price and unswayed by circular screens or Fitbit’s promises of longer battery life, the Oppo Watch is hands-down the best substitute for the Apple Watch out there. When you come down to it, it's as close to an 'Apple Watch that works with Android' as you can get.
Join the newsletter!
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker
Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14
Sony Playstation 5
Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System
Theragun PRO Percussive Therapy Device
WD_BLACK™ SN850 NVMe™ SSD
Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch
MSI Modern 14
Fujiflim Instax Square SQ1
Garmin vívofit® jr. 2
Fender Fullerton Ukele
Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush
MSI GE66 Dragonshield Limited Edition
Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player
Dickie Toy Remote Control Mega Crane Set
SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String
Kindle Paperwhite eReader (10th Gen)
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo Watch review: A masterclass in imitation
- 2 Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- 3 Google Pixel 4a review: The Goldilocks Google phone
- 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G review: Wrong Number
- 5 LG NANO99 NanoCell 8K TV review: Prestige at a price
Latest News Articles
- Amazon unveils next-gen Echo Frames, but stops selling the Echo Loop smart ring
- Happy iPhone Day: Here's everything Apple just announced
- Polar takes performance monitoring a notch higher with the Vantage V2
- Safe space for seniors
- 6 ways the new Apple Watch Series 6 is a bigger upgrade than you think
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- iPhone 12 Pro review: The iPhone that’s future proof
- Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- Oppo Watch review: A masterclass in imitation
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?