1. Verdict
  2. Price and competition
  3. Design and display
  4. Features and Wear OS 4
  5. Activity tracking
  6. Health tracking
  7. Sleep tracking
  8. Battery life and charging

OnePlus Watch 2 review

A solid redemption arc - but still not a smartwatch for everyone
Wareable OnePlus Watch 2 hands on: Big battery life for comeback kid photo 19
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OnePlus Watch 2
By OnePlus
The OnePlus Watch 2 rights many of the wrongs of the company's first-gen effort, delivering a long-lasting Wear OS 4 experience and boasting excellent build quality. We think it's a superb-looking option that can blend neatly alongside gymwear and office attire, though it's also a complete non-starter for those with smaller wrists and anyone who dislikes heavy watches. When you consider that there's no option for LTE support, either, and the activity tracking and health insights are only average, the shine is taken away from that big battery life win. It's definite progress from OnePlus, but the Watch 2 isn't a smartwatch for everybody.

  • Multi-day battery life
  • Intuitive Wear OS 4 skin
  • Excellent build quality
  • Only one case size
  • Heavy on the wrist
  • No LTE edition

When OnePlus answered the call to release its first smartwatch in 2021, it did so with a whimper.

The resulting device was one we described in our full review as feeling "half-finished" and offering "a weak feature set" - in fact, it was so poor that even OnePlus itself admitted it took a reflective pause before it began work on the follow-up. 

Now, that follow-up is here. Unlike its predecessor, the OnePlus Watch 2 runs on Google's ever-improving Wear OS - and a complete redesign even includes an innovative dual-chip system that promises to assist up to 100-hour battery life. 

We've been wearing the Watch 2 for a couple of weeks - testing out the company's Wear OS 4 skin, battery life claims, and accuracy in workout tracking. Here's what we've found.

Price and competition

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Before we can really judge the OnePlus Watch 2, it's important to define its place in the wider world of smartwatches - and, particularly, how it relates to its closest Wear OS rivals.

The first major thing to note here is that there's only one edition of the OnePlus Watch 2 - and that means there's no option to upgrade to LTE support like with the comparable Google Pixel Watch 2 (from £349 / $349), 44mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (from £319 / $329), or Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro (from £230 / $289).

It's also not necessarily a cheap option - at $299 / £299, it's nowhere near as budget-friendly as the Xiaomi Watch 2 (£160 / $190), and instead sits more closely to the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 (£349 / $349) in terms of feel and functionality. 

There are also options to consider outside of the Wear OS nest.

All Garmin watches work with Android phones, including the long-lasting and relatively smart Venu series, as do devices like the Huawei Watch 4 and 4 Pro.

Design and display

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The build quality was one of the very few bright spots of the original OnePlus Watch - and it continues to be one here despite the company completely revamping the look.

It's certainly on the more classic end of the smartwatch design spectrum - and we suspect some will find it a little boring - but, at least to our eye, the OnePlus Watch 2 looks very classy on the wrist. 

The stainless steel case juts out slightly on the right side and gives it some personality, with a non-twistable crown situated at 2 o'clock and a mappable button below it at 4 o'clock.

It's a little odd that OnePlus chose not to enable a proper crown function here, and I found the bottom button a little annoying to try and reach, but these are relatively minor grumbles. 

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Our bigger issue lies with the sheer weight of the Watch 2. 

Despite clocking the scales at 49g (without the band attached; this jumps to a whopping 80g with it on) - comparable to the TicWatch Pro 5 and Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro - it feels pretty uncomfortable even with even minor movement. 

As I've discussed in our Pixel Watch and Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro reviews, this discomfort isn't totally uncommon with bigger stainless steel cases during exercise - but we found the Watch 2 a bit of a chore to keep on even when typing away at our desk.

It's an issue compounded by a lack of case size options, too, given that a smaller edition of the 47mm Watch 2 would surely deliver a manageable weight (like we see with the standard Galaxy Watch 6 range).

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I have relatively large wrists, so it looks normal enough for me, but that's not true for everybody. I gave it to my partner, and, as shown above, the Watch 2 looks way oversized on those with smaller wrists. 

The display also isn't completely devoid of issues. I think the detail and brightness provided by the 1.43-inch AMOLED display is superb, but the sapphire crystal glass covering (while a good protective feature) does have that characteristic glare and is very prone to visible smudges.

Like with the faux digital crown, I don't think this is the biggest problem - and I'm sure plenty will take the trade-off for added scratch resistance - but it does help lead us to the feeling that OnePlus hasn't totally nailed the design here.

Features and Wear OS 4

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As we saw with the last-gen OnePlus smartwatch, a real-time operating system (RTOS) is again in place here - only this time it comes with the might of Wear OS 4 alongside it. 

By employing two chipsets - a Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 for tasks like mapping and music streaming, and a BES2700 chip for low-power functions like notifications or the always-on display - the Watch 2 should be able to retain the battery life of its predecessor while upping its capabilities considerably.

And though this is a skinned version of Wear OS 4, it does really work.

I wasn't a big fan of Xiaomi's buggy interpretation of Google's software, but OnePlus has done a good job here - even if it does aggressively take inspiration from the honeycomb layout and activity rings in Apple's watchOS, which feels a bit lame.

There are tons of watch faces to choose from and customize, the swipeable glances are dynamic and informative, and the seamless inclusion of Google services like Wallet and Calendar is a real boon.

Naturally, you can also tap into the ever-growing world of Wear OS apps. We still wouldn't say the Play Store is brimming with highly optimized options, but significant gains have been in this area.

It's just a shame LTE isn't available to allow you to enjoy features like standalone Google Maps directions or on-the-go Spotify (though you can use some of the Watch 2's 32GB storage for offline music playback, at least).

We should also quickly note the Android companion app, OHealth, where you can easily access your watch settings and historical data. We like it because it's neater than having two separate apps for these tasks, but there's not a great deal of insights to keep you coming back.

I largely ignored it during my time with the Watch 2 for this reason - though, as I say, it is still an intuitive enough hub for all your workouts and sleep data.

Activity tracking

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In my time with the Watch 2, I've been unable to test out the device's intriguing inclusion of dual-band GNSS due to injury. 

We'll update this review later down the line with our take on the accuracy of the GPS, as well as a comparison of the run-focused features, like ground contact time, ground contact balance, and vertical oscillation.

For now, we've been putting the heart rate monitor through its paces in the swimming pool and the gym - two of the 100+ sports profiles you can pick from on the Watch 2.

I've taken it through plenty of sessions now, and the general theme is the same: the Watch 2 is consistently able to match or get close to the average HR of our Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2), but does struggle with deciphering the extent of higher HR readings and max figures.

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This also translates into the pool, where accuracy across the board is very average.

The Watch 2 consistently came up well short on distance, as evidenced above, which results in the average pace estimate being miles off - and it was also pretty hopeless at identifying our stroke. SWOLF figures were only sometimes aligned with Garmin, though calorie burn, at least, appears pretty accurate.

We think the Watch 2 is very similar to many Wear OS smartwatches we've tested over the past 18 months; great for general insight into your effort, with a few neat metrics thrown in, but nothing that can really compare to a sports watch (or a premier smartwatch like the Apple Watch Series 9).

Health tracking

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The Watch 2 offers a curious array of health and stress-tracking features. There's definitely more than a typical budget watch on offer here, but it's still nowhere near as comprehensive as a watch like the Pixel Watch 2. 

OnePlus couldn't find room for ECG readings, fall detection, or any kind of period tracking/temperature sensor - all of which have become fairly commonplace in devices around this price tag.

We're not saying that a $300 watch should include every trendy health sensor just for the sake of it, but it does mean that anybody interested in using this primarily as a health tool should consider other options.

The same is true for those who want stress monitoring features that can actually help them, akin to what you'll find on Whoop or Oura. Instead of analyzing acute data or long-term trends to help you identify and manage your stress levels, the Watch 2 does the bare minimum - simply providing you with a real-time stress score and not much else.

The Watch 2 isn't completely hopeless, though. It still provides high/low heart rate notifications, blood oxygen readings, and breathing analysis (once you turn it on) - and standard metrics like resting heart rate were right in line with our established baselines from Garmin, Whoop, and Oura.

We just wish there was a bit more to take away from the data.

Sleep tracking

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As we mentioned earlier, the design of the Watch 2 isn't one we found to be super comfortable in everyday wear - and that feeling was exacerbated, as you would guess, during nighttime hours.  

From our experience tracking, though, it can accurately assess when you've fallen asleep and when you woke up. Times were always aligned within a few minutes of our Oura, Whoop, and Garmin - though, as ever, sleep stage predictions were pretty all over the place between these test devices.

You'll also have to turn on breathing analysis/nighttime SpO2 figures manually (due to the increased battery life drain), though most features are at least enabled by default (unlike you'll find on Xiaomi's Wear OS watches, for example).

We also like that the Watch 2 borrows the Sleep Mode feature from the Pixel Watch line, quickly allowing you to manually kill the screen and notifications when it's time for lights out.

You even have the option to have this kick in automatically when the smartwatch detects you're sleeping, too. And given you can't set up a screen schedule, we recommend enabling this immediately. It's a simple-sounding feature, granted, but it's surprising how many smartwatches still don't deal with this process effectively. 

Other than this, sleep tracking follows the same broad theme as we found in the Watch 2's health tracking. It doesn't have a glaring lack of accuracy or features - and, actually, we approve of something like the relatively novel snoring stats - but there's also a scarcity of hard-hitting analysis here that's likely to force a change in your habits.

Battery life and charging

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Battery life is the key differentiator between the Watch 2 and the rest of the Wear OS crowd. 

Equipped with a 500mAh battery, the company claims the device can reach up to four days in smartwatch mode and two days when you turn the always-on display enabled. 

In our time with the Watch 2, we've found this to be pretty bang on. And though we haven't had the chance to complete a cycle in the power-saving mode, which OnePlus claims can still reach up to 12 days, our battery burn would suggest that you can still reach around 7-10 days even with relatively heavy use. 

This mode still allows for notifications, continuous HR readings and basic fitness tracking, too, which is more than you'll typically get in pared-back power modes on Wear OS watches.

We suspect most will use the Watch 2 in the regular smart mode, where we found the daily drain to be around 25-30% on heavy days without the AOD turned on. With similar usage with it turned on, you'll just about be able to eke out two full days - though it's to be touch-and-go whether the battery makes it through that second night of sleep intact.

This is where it pays to play around with your battery modes throughout the day - or perhaps throw the watch on the charger for 20 minutes. After all, this thing has lightning fast charging times. Flat to full charge takes just under an hour, and most of that gain can be seen within the first 20 minutes or so. 

Battery is definitely the shining light here, then, ensuring OnePlus provides a watch that last much longer than those from Google or Samsung.

We would still say we slightly prefer the TicWatch Pro 5's approach, since its dual-display screen gives you a low-power always-on display without a huge battery compromise, but anyone craving true multi-day battery life is well served here.

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor joined Wareable in 2017, quickly making a name for himself by testing out language translation earbuds on a first date, navigating London streets in a wearable airbag, and experiencing skydiving in a VR headset.

Over the years, he has evolved into a recognized wearables and fitness tech expert. Through Wareable’s instructional how-to guides, Conor helps users maximize the potential of their gadgets, and also shapes the conversation in digital health and AI hardware through PULSE by Wareable.

As an avid marathon runner, dedicated weightlifter, and frequent hiker, he also provides a unique perspective to Wareable’s in-depth product reviews and news coverage.

In addition to his contributions to Wareable, Conor’s expertise has been featured in publications such as British GQ, The IndependentDigital Spy, Pocket-lint, The Mirror, WIRED, and Metro.

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