OnePlus Nord Watch review: A well-rounded affordable smartwatch
With its “Nord” line, OnePlus brings affordable products to consumers who don’t want to compromise on features and aesthetics. We previously reviewed the OnePlus Nord Buds CE and were quite pleased with the performance of the TWS. This time we got our hands on it OnePlus Nord watch and we were very excited to put them to the test, given how the affordable smartwatch category is rapidly evolving and brands like Noise, Amazfit and boAt are coming out with great products. OnePlus has come a long way from being an “enthusiast” brand and now appeals to a wide range of mainstream consumers. For those who decide to shell out Rs 4,999 for the OnePlus Nord Watch, this review will help.
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OnePlus Nord Watch review: Design and display
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The OnePlus Nord Watch comes packaged in a compact square box with a few cases that you have to remove before you get to the actual packaging. The outer black sleeve features nothing but the OnePlus logo, while the other sleeve has product details printed on it. The packaging is quite compact and you feel like you are unboxing a flagship product. Inside the box you will find a smartwatch, a user manual, a magnetic clip charger, a single brand sticker and a red cable welcome card. The smartwatch is available in Midnight Black and Deep Blue color variants. We used the latter for this review.
The watch’s rectangular display has a glass front and a zinc frame. Turn it over and you’ll notice a matte finish underneath. On the right side you will find a physical button that acts as a trigger to turn on the watch. Health sensors and a charging point are located at the bottom of the watch, which is attached to the wrist. Silicone bands are easily replaceable.
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One of the standout features of the watch is the 1.78-inch AMOLED display. Of course, there are rich frames around the display, but it does not detract from the overall appearance of the display at all. You also get a 60Hz refresh rate and a maximum brightness of 500 nits, which is incredible. The display is readable even in direct sunlight. The touch response is smoother than we expected and definitely category defining.
The display has curved edges and we were initially worried about its robustness. But after a few weeks of use, the watch seems to be able to take some damage and you don’t have to worry about bumping it into some objects while exercising. Thanks to the IP68 rating, you don’t have to worry about wearing the watch in the rain or during a sweaty workout, but it’s not meant to be worn while swimming.
OnePlus Nord Watch Review: Performance
The OnePlus Nord Watch runs a proprietary OS, similar to OnePlus’ flagship smartwatches, and offers 256MB of internal memory. The OS is very clean and extremely accessible. Swipe up to reveal a quick actions tab where you can turn on the flashlight, adjust brightness, turn on theater and DND mode, and access settings, among other features. There is also an option to find your phone, where the smartwatch will ring your phone and make it easier for you to find it.
Swiping on either side of the home screen brings up the tracking features, which include an activity tracker, heart rate monitor, stress monitor, SpO2 monitor, and sleep tracker. By swiping from the bottom of the display, your phone’s notification will appear. There is no ability to answer calls on the Nord Watch, but you can hang up any incoming calls. You can also read messages but not reply. Pressing the power button again will take you to the app drawer where you can browse through all the features.
Pairing the Nord Watch with your smartphone requires the N Health app. After setting up your account, pairing your watch is pretty easy. All you have to do is scan the QR code displayed on the watch using the N health app. Once paired, the watch will require certain permissions on your smartphone to be fully functional. If you’re thinking of giving your watch to an elderly relative who isn’t tech-savvy, you may need to do the initial setup for them.
Fitness tracking on the OnePlus Nord Watch is on par with smartwatches at this price point. You get all the basic features like activity tracking, heart rate tracking, SpO2 tracking, stress tracking, and sleep tracking.
The Nord Watch is designed to track up to 105 exercise routines. These include walking, running, mountain climbing, cycling and even outdoor sports like cricket, football, badminton and many more. If you’re taking dance lessons, Nord Watch has you covered. The watch is equipped to track a number of dance forms. Automatic tracking is only available for walking and running.
We mostly used the Nord Watch to track cycling and running and it worked pretty well.
The pedometer and calorie tracking are slightly off, by as much as 5-10%, but that’s something you should expect from a smartwatch at this price point. Sometimes the watch tends to detect physical movement when there is none, such as when you are sitting in a moving vehicle. You will need to keep these discrepancies in mind and analyze the numbers accordingly. The watch doesn’t have built-in GPS, so you’ll have to rely on location data from your smartphone when running.
Heart rate and SpO2 monitors provided accurate results compared to medical equipment. The sleep tracker works smoothly but does not provide any data for REM sleep. The watch will only give you a breakdown of light sleep, deep sleep and wakefulness. Hopefully OnePlus will fix this with a future update. Other than that, the core features were done well and were incredibly accessible. The watch also features a menstrual cycle tracker for women.
Battery life is another aspect that really impressed us. Nord Watch is equipped with a 230 mAh battery that lasts a whole week when connected to a smartphone. Even with regular fitness tracking and above-average usage, the smartwatch maintained these numbers. In standby mode, the Nord Watch can last up to 30 days on a full charge. The included magnetic charger can fully charge the Nord Watch in less than 2 hours.
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At Rs 4,999, the OnePlus Nord Watch is an absolute bargain. It strikes a nice balance between clean looks and all-around performance, and elevates the whole experience with stellar battery life. The AMOLED display is a joy to use and the touch response of the watch paired with its accessible operating system enhances the user experience. The lack of built-in GPS and Bluetooth calling are some things we’d like to have in this device, but if you’re looking for a smartwatch that can look good and accurately track all your vital health and fitness data, look no further than the OnePlus Nord Watch.
Good looking design
It doesn’t have built-in GPS
No Bluetooth calling
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