Oppo, better known for its smartphone business these days, has confirmed it's working on wearable projects, and that one of those projects is a smartwatch. It would signal the first time that the company has dabbled in the wearable space and based on its phone successes, it could be one to look out for.
The Chinese tech giant has been making bigger moves outside of its native China in the past year selling its slick, high-powered smartphones. So, what could it have in store for smartwatches? Here's what's been said about its plans so far.
Essential reading:Best cheap smartwatches to buy
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Oppo smartwatch: Story so far
Oppo filed a patent for a folding smartwatch
Earlier this summer, Oppo‚Äôs vice president, Shen Yiren, announced via social media site Weibo that the company is hard at work on a smartwatch. The post is pretty brief, and also details some work on noise-reducing headphones.
That Oppo has plans for smartwatches is far from shocking news. After all, we heard earlier this year that the company was granted a patent for a truly bizarre foldable smartwatch (pictured above).
Granted in 2018, the folks at LetsGoDigital did some rendering magic to give us an idea of just what Oppo was thinking. The result was a watch with a rectangular screen with a screen that folds out to the side. It doesn't seem likely that this is the device that Shen Yiren was talking about here though.
Beyond that short post, very few firm details have emerged about the smartwatch, but we imagine speculation about hardware, operating system more will be revealed closer to a big reveal.
Oppo smartwatch: Design and features
Yiren did offer some hints about the design of the watch, though, indicating that Oppo is debating whether to go with a circular or rectangular display, based on the best use of space.
It will be very interesting to see what features Oppo decides to pack into the watch, in light of, for example, Huawei‚Äôs move away from Wear OS and Android on the back of its own HarmonyOS operating system. Oppo hasn‚Äôt had the same security issues as Huawei, but could see warning flags in the various issues plaguing its compatriot.
Way back in 2015, there were rumors that we would see an Oppo smartwatch, but it never materialised. Insiders who believed it was happening claimed the device was capable of fully charging in just five minutes. Oppo has been working on its own proprietary quick charging tech, so maybe it has something in store for its smartwatch on the battery front.
On balance, we‚Äôd still assume that Oppo could go the Wear OS route, simply because this is already established platform. Though it could be looking at Google's struggles to compete with its rivals like Apple and Samsung as an opportunity to go with something it's built itself.
Oppo smartwatch: Release date
So when will we see this Oppo smartwatch? Yiren said the watch is unlikely to launch in 2019, but said he hoped it's in shape for 2020. So that gives us plenty of time to hear more about what it has in store for us. Let's hope it's something to really get excited about.