The OnePlus Watch arrived a little late to the party, but ended up arriving. The smartwatch is entering a very competitive space, where users demand good hardware with the guarantee of a perfect software experience. Obviously, the accuracy of all sophisticated health and fitness tracking is essential, if a smartwatch needs to resonate with users.
The Android smartwatch market is full of numerous options, and the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite (squeezed between Mi Band 6 and Mi Watch) wants to reduce competition with its feature and price ratio. On the other hand, OnePlus is venturing into the smartwatch ecosystem for the first time. So, which of these two smartwatches should you choose?
Design and construction quality
The OnePlus watch has a larger dial (46 mm) than you would initially consider, but putting it on your wrist doesn’t seem too strange. However, it is not highly recommended for people with small hands. The weight balance of the watch is good and, surprisingly, it bears a great resemblance to the Galaxy Watch Active line. The body is constructed of polished stainless steel – it is pleasant to touch and look at. There is a crisp 1.39-inch OLED display (454 × 454 pixels at 326 ppi) on the watch that is custom-made for the outdoors.
Speaking of Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite, at first glance, you can mistake it for the Apple Watch. It looks aesthetically very good on your wrist and the build quality is also good for the price range. The watch has a 41 mm case made of plastic, which doesn’t look too bad.
The 1.4-inch TFT LCD screen (320 × 320 pixels at 323 ppi) looks a little out of date compared to the AMOLED screen of most smartwatches today. The thick bezel at the edges of the screen is another thing that will not appeal to shoppers who are more concerned with style, although the watch faces and software are adjusted to make it less obvious. It is paired with a TPU bracelet (in cool color options) that looks a little cheap, but is quite soft for the user’s comfort.
Functionality and features
It should be borne in mind that OnePlus is only compatible with Android devices for the time being; IOS compatibility is promised in the future. The clock runs on a very basic real-time operating system (RTOS) that responds very well to your credit. While there are not as many built-in applications as you would like, it still does the basics the right way. There are only 50 watch faces to choose from with limited customization – for particular widget functionality. The lack of voice assist, streaming music services and podcast service compatibility is also something to watch out for.
Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite comes with the freedom of many more watch faces (more than 120 at least). There are better options in this when it comes to choosing digital or analog faces. The smartwatch comes with support for Amazon Alexa, responsive navigation for music control and support for instant notifications for text messages and calls. Unlike OnePlus Watch, Mi Watch Lite loses a deep REM sleep analyzer, SpO2 and stress monitoring.
Fitness and health tracking
The OnePlus wearable starts showing cracks when it comes to fitness tracking and health monitoring. Sometimes it overestimates sleep duration and is not suitable for minute-by-minute accuracy of heart rate tracking, especially on long runs. Step tracking is also not as good compared to more accurate options, like Fitbit or Garmin. Therefore, it is wise advice to ignore the OnePlus Watch if you are engaged in physical activity and want a very accurate data representation.
Xiaomi has a lot of experience with its line of fitness trackers and smartwatches, which benefits the Mi Watch Lite when compared to the OnePlus Watch. It has more reliable sleep tracking, a better step counter and accurate heart rate monitoring. The reliability of GPS is also something you can trust in the Xiaomi smartwatch.
A big advantage of the OnePlus Watch is the battery life, which it claims to be around 14 days. In use in the real world, you should be able to extract about 10-12 days, on average, with intense activity tracking. The loading is also impressive; it charges quickly and completes in just 20 minutes for the equivalent of a week of use.
On the other hand, the Mi Watch Lite has a smaller battery than Xiaomi claims to have about 9 days of reserve. This, however, may fluctuate a little if you are on a strict fitness regime or in activities that use GPS more than normal. In the worst case, you will have about 5 to 6 days of battery life, so there are no complaints.
Pricing and availability
OnePlus Watch is a new participant in the pool – sales started on April 14th. True to its promise of the best hardware and software experience that competes with the best – the onePlus Watch has a modest price tag of $ 159.
Talk about the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite and you will be even more surprised at a price of just $ 70 (for around $ 100 in the USA at some retailers). Obviously, it does not compete with the Apple Watch or similar Galaxy Watch series, yet it is somewhere in the sweet spot for shoppers who want to have a smartwatch with a price comparable to an intermediate level fitness tracker.
It is understandable that Mi Watch Lite comes with some hardware compromises that you will have to ignore. If you can live in peace with them, a smartwatch with such a low price is what you should choose instead of buying the OnePlus Watch which for the time being is a beginner in some ways.
Instead of investing money in the OnePlus Watch, for now, you better look for a more reliable alternative or even a good fitness tracker. Even if OnePlus does come with software updates to fix occasional performance bugs and fitness tracking, just put your money into it for now if you have a OnePlus smartphone.