OnePlus, with its ‘Nord’ range, brings affordable products to consumers that don’t want to compromise on features and aesthetics. We previously reviewed the OnePlus Nord Buds CE and were quite pleased by the TWS’ performance. This time, we got our hands on the OnePlus Nord Watch and were very excited to test it, given how the affordable smartwatch category is quickly developing with brands like Noise, Amazfit, and boAt coming out with great products. OnePlus has come a long way from being an ‘enthusiast’ brand and now appeals to a wide bracket of mainstream consumers. For those on the fence about dishing out Rs 4,999 on the OnePlus Nord Watch, this review will help.
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OnePlus Nord Watch review: Design and Display
The OnePlus Nord Watch comes packaged in a compact square box with a couple of sleeves that you need to slide off before you get to the actual packaging. The outermost black sleeve contains nothing but the OnePlus Logo, while the second sleeve has the product details printed on it. The packaging is pretty compact and it feels like you’re unboxing a flagship product. Inside the box, you’ll find the smartwatch, a user guide, a magnetic clip charger, one brand sticker, and the red cable club welcome card. The smartwatch is available in Midnight Black and Deep Blue colour options. We used the latter for this review.
The rectangular watch display has a glass front and a zinc frame. Flip it around and you’ll notice a matte finish at the bottom. On the right side, you’ll find a physical button which acts as a trigger to turn the watch on. The health sensors and charging point are housed at the bottom part of the watch that straps to your wrist. The silicon straps are easily replaceable.
One of the standout features of the watch is its 1.78-inch AMOLED display. Of course, there are ample bezels around the display, but it doesn’t take away from the overall look of the display at all. You also get a refresh rate of 60 Hz and a peak brightness of 500 nits, which is incredible. The display is legible even under direct sunlight. The touch response is smoother than we expected and certainly category-defining.
The display has curved edges and, initially, we were apprehensive about its robustness. But after using it for a few weeks, the watch seems capable of taking some damage, and you don’t need to worry about bumping it against any objects while working out. With an IP68 rating, you don’t have to worry about wearing the watch in the rain or during sweaty workouts but it is not meant to be worn during swimming.
OnePlus Nord Watch review: Performance
The OnePlus Nord Watch runs a proprietary OS, similar to the OnePlus’ flagship smartwatch, and offers an internal memory of 256 MB. The OS is very clean and extremely accessible. Swiping from the top reveals the quick actions tab, where you can turn on the flashlight, adjust the brightness, turn on the theatre and DND mode, and access the settings among other functions. There’s also an option to find your phone, where your smartwatch rings your phone and makes it easier for you to locate it.
Swiping on either side of the home screen will reveal the tracking functions, which include, an activity tracker, heart rate monitor, stress monitor, SpO2 monitor, and sleep tracker. Swiping from the bottom of the display will reveal your phone notifications. There is no option to accept calls on the Nord Watch, but you can hang up any incoming calls. You can also read your messages but not reply back. Pressing the power button again takes you to the app drawer, where you can browse through all the functions.
Pairing the Nord Watch to your smartphone requires the N Health app. Once you have set up your account, pairing the watch is quite easy. All you need to do is scan the QR code displayed on the watch using the N health app. Once the watch is paired, it will require certain permissions on your smartphone to be fully functional. If you’re thinking about gifting the watch to an elderly relative who isn’t tech-savvy, you may have to carry out the initial set-up for them.
Moving on, the fitness tracking on the OnePlus Nord Watch is up to the mark for a smartwatch at this price point. You get all the essential functions like Activity tracking, Heart Rate monitoring, SpO2 monitoring, Stress monitoring, and Sleep tracking.
The Nord Watch is designed to track up to 105 workout routines. These include walking, running, climbing, cycling, and even outdoor sports like cricket, football, badminton and many more. If you take dancing lessons, the Nord Watch has you covered. The watch is equipped to track a range of dance forms. Automatic tracking is available for walking and running only.
We mostly used the Nord Watch to track cycling and running, and it performed quite well.
The step counter and calorie measurements are slightly off, by up to 5-10%, but that is something that you should expect from a smartwatch at this price point. Sometimes the watch tends to detect physical movement when there isn’t any, like when you’re sitting in a moving vehicle. You will need to be mindful of these discrepancies, and analyse the numbers accordingly. The watch does not come with an in-built GPS, so you will have to rely on your smartphone for the location data while running.
The heart rate and SpO2 monitors produced accurate results when compared to medical-grade equipment. The sleep tracker works smoothly but doesn’t give any data for REM sleep. The watch only gives you a breakdown of light sleep, deep sleep, and awake time. We hope OnePlus sorts this out with a future update. Other than that, the essential functions were carried out well and were incredibly accessible. The watch is also equipped with a Menstrual Cycle tracker for women.
The battery life is another aspect that we were highly impressed by. The Nord Watch is equipped with a 230 mAh battery that can last for an entire week when connected to a smartphone. Even with regular fitness tracking and above-average usage, the smartwatch held up those numbers. On standby, the Nord Watch can last up to 30 days on a full charge. The magnetic clip charger that comes in the box can fully charge the Nord Watch in just under 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 versatile performance and elevates the entire experience with stellar battery life. The AMOLED display is a delight to use, and the touch response of the watch paired with its accessible OS boosts the user experience. The lack of in-built GPS and Bluetooth calling are some things that we would have loved to have in this device, but if you’re looking for a smartwatch that can serve good looks and track all your vital health and fitness data accurately, you don’t need to look beyond the OnePlus Nord Watch.
Good looking design
Does not have an in-built GPS
No Bluetooth calling
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