OnePlus is not really a fan of display always available, also known as AOD, features, it seems. It took a strong vote from the community to almost force it to implement such a feature on their phones. Even so, he still reserved the right to change his mind if he couldn’t find a solution that met his standards with regard to battery life. That, of course, is history now, but it looks like history could repeat itself with the OnePlus watch, although, hopefully, that also ends well in the long run.
With advances in display and software technologies, AOD features have become more common on many smartphones. It is rumored that even Apple will be working on its own implementation for the iPhone 13 later this year. The feature doesn’t come without a cost, however, and it naturally affects battery life, which is OnePlus’ biggest reservation about implementing it on their phones.
While some may consider it just “good to have” on smartphones, AOD may actually be more important on smartwatches, where you need access to information almost instantly. Although it is possible to activate the screen when you raise your arm, there is still a slight delay that makes it inconvenient. It also breaks the illusion that the smartwatch is still a watch, since almost all (non-smart) watches always have their “dials” visible.
Unsurprisingly, OnePlus Watch was not released with AOD, but, fortunately, the company revealed in a FAQ that it is considering adding the feature in a future update. Of course, it also warns that AOD can increase the smartwatch’s energy consumption by 50% and wants to know if people are willing to pay that price. For a smartwatch that has several days of battery life, this may still not be a bad deal.
The FAQ also delved into other parts of the OnePlus Watch experience, such as choosing a custom real-time operating system or RTOS instead of Wear OS and its combination of three chips, both designed to extend the life of the smartwatch. It also reveals that 2 GB of 4 GB of device storage are dedicated to music only and that, at least for now, OnePlus Watch does not work with iPhones.