OnePlus reveals why its first smartwatch doesn’t run Wear OS, and it’s no surprise

OnePlus launched its first smartwatch – christened the OnePlus Watch – earlier this month. The device comes with some impressive features such as Sapphire Glass protection, up to 14 days of battery life, fast charging, and support for over 110 workout types. However, the most notable aspect – or omission – would be the OS driving it. Instead of going with the more feature-rich and versatile Wear OS by Google, OnePlus opted for an RTOS-based software experience. And now, the company has revealed the key reason behind its choice – battery life. Here’s what a OnePlus Product Manager wrote in an official forum post:

“Another thing I’ve noticed in your comments is questions about why we chose to use the RTOS system instead of Wear OS. When making a decision like this, we always have to weigh the benefits with the challenges to come up with what we think will result in the best user experience. We found that both operating systems had a lot of great things to offer, but some drawbacks as well. So after weighing all of our options, we ended up choosing RTOS primarily because of the ability to better offer our users a longer battery life.”

oneplus watch
OnePlus Watch in Midnight Black color

However, there were a few other reasons behind ditching Wear OS for the OnePlus Watch. The company notes that going with a custom RTOS software experience also allowed it to import what it calls ‘high frame rate display debugging experience.’ The latter allowed the company to raise the display refresh rate from the normal 30Hz to 50Hz, offering a smoother experience. OnePlus has gone all-in on the smooth experience fad for while now and has equipped almost all og its recent phones with a high-refresh-rate (90Hz or 120Hz) panel.

Battery life woes of Wear OS smartwatches are a common knowledge

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So, it is no surprise to see that the company was striving for the same with its first smartwatch. Interestingly, WearOS was also the reason that OnePlus shelved its smartwatch ambitions years ago because it couldn’t offer the experience and efficiency that the company was after.

The OnePlus Watch is priced at $159 and offers an IP68-certified build with 5ATM rating. It features a round 1.39-inch AMOLED display with 454×454 pixel resolution, which translates to a pixel density of 326PPI. It comes armed with a 402mAh battery that lasts up to 14 days with typical usage, and 5 days when sleep and blood oxygen saturation measurement is enabled. There are two color options up for grabs – Midnight Silver and Midnight Black – with a third Cobalt Limited Edition also on the table.

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I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.

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