OnePlus Watch Cobalt Edition review: Just a premium-looking smartwatch?
The OnePlus Watch, when it launched a few months ago, was universally panned by reviewers. Its build, design and battery life stood out but it was hard to recommend as a smartwatch with its apparent lack of features when compared to its competitors. A lot has changed when it comes to the new OnePlus Watch Cobalt Limited Edition. Yes, when it comes to the tech, it is practically the same. But OnePlus has had the time to work out the software niggles and add some much-needed functionality that was surprisingly missing from the OnePlus Watch when it first launched. To add to that, the OnePlus Watch gets a new Cobalt alloy body, sapphire glass and vegan leather strap that add to the good looks that the OnePlus Watch already had.
Over the course of the week or so that I have spent using it, a few things stood out. Let’s start with the design. The subtle gold-like finish on the Cobalt Limited Edition Watch is quite something to look at. Together with the Emerald coloured strap, it easily looks and feels like one of the most premium smartwatches out there. The large 46mm dial still feels like overkill though and would appear out of place on pretty much most wrists.
Soon after the OnePlus Watch was released, the brand has been hard at work on the software side of things and a number of updates have been rolled out. One of the things that was sorely missed was the always-on display mode which is now available. OnePlus was also heavily criticised for the lack of workout modes which it has now rectified with the addition of more than 100 new ones. In fact, there are so many now that I doubt anyone will ever put all of them to use.
The high points of the OnePlus Watch continue to impress in the Cobalt Limited Edition as well. The 1.39-inch AMOLED display is bright as well as sharp and is aided by the new watch faces that arrived via an update. The OnePlus Watch Cobalt Limited Edition also gets a heart rate monitor and SpO2 sensor which work reasonably well but aren’t as accurate as some more expensive models on the market. That said, the feature set on offer, especially the health-related ones are pretty impressive and compare favourably with a number of other smartwatches.
There are still some glaring omissions though. There is no App Store per se and as a result there are only a few apps to choose from. OnePlus can help in this regard by offering more apps, but it is unclear how much of a commitment the brand will make for that. The apparent disadvantage of not using Wear OS becomes an advantage when you realise that the OnePlus Watch easily gets through more than 10 days on a single charge. When it comes to added functionality versus battery life, a fair few are going to gravitate towards the latter.