OnePlus has evolved as a brand significantly in the last two years, and one visible change is that its ‘Nord’ sub-brand has grown in importance. As the Nord brand continues to expand, we have seen OnePlus bring more products under this label, and the latest is the OnePlus Nord Watch priced at Rs 4,999. The USP of the Nord Watch is the big 1.78-inch display, which is not common in this segment. But there’s also no doubt that the budget smartwatch segment is crowded in India and dominated by homegrown brands such as Noise, Fire-Boltt, and BoAT, if one goes by the numbers from research firms such as International Data Corporation (IDC). So where does the Nord Watch fit in and how does it perform? Here’s our review.
OnePlus Nord Watch specifications: 1.78 inch AMOLED (368×448 pixels resolution), 500 nits brightness | Zinc alloy watch case with a silicone strap and stainless steel buckle | Weight: 35.6g (without strap) and 52.4g (with strap) | 3-axis accelerometer | Optical heart rate sensor and blood oxygen sensor | Bluetooth 5.2 | 230mAh battery with 10 days battery life | Magnetic charger | Water Resistant: IP68 |
OnePlus Nord Watch review: What’s good?
The OnePlus Nord Watch stands out in this segment with its big screen size, which has both advantages and disadvantages. The 1.78-inch screen can display more data from notifications and also when you are exercising which will appeal to those who need such a display. But the flip side is that this screen size makes the watch unwieldy and bulky for some, especially for folks with bonier wrists. More than the screen size, my biggest problem was that this watch was too heavy to wear at times.
The OnePlus Nord Watch offers a good-quality display—legible in bright sunlight—and is quite bright. The watch comes with a silicone strap and a ‘zinc alloy’ case with a glossy look and the deep blue colour looks nice given its price. I did not see any deep scratches on the watch during my usage.
The Nord Watch offers 105 sports modes—in line with most other budget watches from brands such as Redmi, Amazfit, and others. I’ve mostly used this watch to track some outdoor walks and indoor strength training sessions—though I used the integrated training option to track the latter. The watch is largely accurate in collecting this data and I found the heart rate range to be within what my Apple Watch Series 8 was showing. The watch is also accurate when it comes to tracking your daily steps and there were no sudden jumps, say when I was travelling in a car, etc. What is also good to see is that the Nord Watch can store your workout data on the device itself, even if you do not sync it every time with the phone. With some budget devices, I’ve seen not syncing data daily ends in the loss of workout figures entirely.
The watch also comes with a Blood Oxygen sensor, something which has become a standard expectation on these devices now. It was accurate during my usage.
The OnePlus Nord Watch comes with good battery life as well. This will easily last more than a week with heavy-duty usage and longer if you’re just using it to track steps and don’t have a flood of notifications coming in.
OnePlus Nord Watch review: What’s not so good?
The OnePlus Nord Watch has some limitations. For one, while the watch is water-resistant with an IP68 rating, it is not swim-proof. You cannot take this for a swim, which is a shame given that budget devices offer such features, and some come with high accuracy on that front. This is a major negative for someone like me, but again might not be a deal-breaker for all. Its big size, as I pointed out earlier, was also a put-off.
OnePlus Nord Watch review: Verdict
OnePlus’ Nord Watch is a good smartwatch option. It comes with several features aimed at health and fitness and offers a big screen. But there’s really nothing to make this stand out from the dozens of cheaper watches that have flooded the market. The software is nothing different compared to what I’ve seen on countless devices, it offers similar features as others. The highlight is the display and the OnePlus brand name. Its strongest competition will be options from Redmi, Amazfit, and Realme. The OnePlus Nord Watch right now feels like yet another device that’s been added to the list of ‘must-have’ products in a smartphone manufacturer’s portfolio.