Despite both the new Oppo Find X2 and Find X2 Pro smartphones enjoying their global debut on Friday, 6 March, the long-teased Oppo Watch wasn’t shown off alongside them, save for in Oppo’s home market of China. But why?
Its apparent absence left many wondering why Oppo chose to split up its launches like this, especially when the company was clearly willing to bring its new flagship phones to the world stage, not to mention the ongoing teasing of the smartwatch that had been pushed out across various social media channels in the weeks running up to launch.
So what gives? As far as Oppo is concerned, this was always the plan. Like a lot of big Chinese consumer tech manufacturers who release their wares globally, Oppo usually launches its phones and other products in China first and then brings them across to its international markets a little later.
Even the new Find X2 Series isn’t actually hitting stores until early May, with its unveiling most likely tied to latent MWC plans that the company had already laid out before the trade show was cancelled, due to the increased risk of Coronavirus.
The Find X2 launch is more the exception than the rule here, whereas the Oppo Watch’s launch strategy is more in-keeping with the company’s typical style. Despite its absence from the Spain launch event, Oppo’s Director of Global Marketing and Brand Strategy, Michael Tran, told us directly that “the Watch will definitely come to the European market at a later stage. Definitely.” So it is on its way, just not quite yet.
Oppo Watch specs and features
The Oppo Watch makes no effort to hide its resemblance to the Apple Watch, and it even comes with its own line of proprietary Italian calfskin and fluoro rubber straps to choose from (which can be swapped out by ‘pushing a single button’).
The 46mm model, with its 4.5mm thick aluminium casing, is fronted by a 1.91in 402×476 AMOLED ‘3D flexible hyperboloid’ touch display, which wraps around at the edges, while on the back sits a circular ceramic element dotted with sensors for heart rate tracking and electrocardiogram (ECG) functionality.
The watch is rated for up to 5ATM, with regards to water resistance, while an integrated eSIM, microphone and speaker let you maintain functionality while away from your phone.
Like the company’s phones, the watch comes with some proprietary charging tech, dubbed Watch VOOC Flash Charging technology, which paired with its Dual-Chip endurance system, should make it easy to keep the Oppo Watch up and running.
It straddles a Qualcomm and Apollo chip, switching between them depending on the task at hand for power management purposes. Oppo claims that in ‘Smart Mode’ it’ll run for up to 40 hours on a charge, while in pared-down Power Saver Mode it’ll last up to a whopping 21 days.
Unlike the Apple Watch, it appears to rely on POGO-pin-based charging contacts from its included dock, with recharging taking around 75 minutes. There’s also a quick charge of 46% in 15 minutes, which promises to give you 18 hours of usage
On the software side, Oppo made no mention of iOS connectivity, but the Oppo Watch will work with other Android devices by downloading its HeyTap Health app. Functionality includes mobile payments (it’s unclear if this feature will be available outside of China), music playback, third-party app support for ‘social networking, travel, entertainment’ and the like, as well as fitness, sleep and monthly cycle monitoring.
A feature we’re curious to test out is the AI-based watch fac matching, that generates a watch face wallpaper based on an uploaded photo of ‘the user’s outfit’.
The Oppo Watch is set to hit the shelves in mainland China from 24 March for CNY¥1499 (approximately £170/US$215), with the rest of the world still up in the air.