OnePlus Nord Watch review: A decent watch with a hint of premiumness under a budget

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OnePlus Nord Watch review: A decent watch with a hint of premiumness under a budget
Business Insider India
  • The OnePlus Nord Watch is the first smartwatch from the Nord brand.
  • The Nord Watch brings a classy design to the budget smartwatch section, along with basic features.
  • While the minimalist design makes the OnePlus Nord Watch stand out in the sub ₹5,000 smartwatch segment, it still faces hot competition from other players who bring more features.
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Features inevitably triumph over form when it comes to smartwatches under ₹5,000. Today, brands such as Realme, Amazefit, and Redmi offer some decent-looking and feature rich smartwatches in that price segment. But, when you are investing in a smartwatch under ₹5,000, your design expectation might be on the lower side; that might change with the new OnePlus Nord watch - the first wearable in the Nord range that features a minimalist design with fitness tracking features, all under a budget.

This first smartwatch under the Nord brand offers features like a heart rate monitor, a plethora of fitness tracking features, a 60Hz AMOLED display, and much more.

I have been using the OnePlus Nord watch for the last few weeks, and here’s my detailed review.

OnePlus Nord Watch - Price and availability



OnePlus Nord Watch review: A decent watch with a hint of premiumness under a budget
Business Insider India

The smartwatch is priced at ₹6,999, but is currently available for just ₹4,999 on Amazon and OnePlus online and offline stores. It is available in Midnight Black and Deep Blue colors.

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Amazon is offering an instant discount of 10% on using selected bank credit cards along with cashback and a no-cost EMI option.

OnePlus Nord Watch - Overview



OnePlus Nord Watch review: A decent watch with a hint of premiumness under a budget
Business Insider India

After using it for weeks, I can say that the highlight of the OnePlus Nord Watch is the design and touch response. It is one of the best-looking smartwatches in its price segment. It comes with a tiny dial on the right side, which is mostly for opening the main menu and going back. It's actually a design addition as it doesn't add any use case apart from a click - something that a simple button could do. Meaning, rotating it doesn't scroll through the interface. But I personally don't mind having it.

OnePlus has opted for a 1.78 -inch square shape display which is large for the segment; the Redmi Watch 2 Lite and the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini feature a 1.55- inch display. The best thing about Nord Watch is that it doesn’t look bulky or oversized. It is slim and weighs a little over 50 grams, along with a band.

The 1.78- inch AMOLED is neatly fitted in an alloy frame that adds a premium touch. It has a resolution of 448 x 368p along with a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz and 500 nit peak brightness, which makes it suitable for outdoor use. The 60Hz display is sharp, the animation feels smooth, making the smartwatch display look responsive and speedy.

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OnePlus Nord Watch review: A decent watch with a hint of premiumness under a budget
Business Insider India


The watch comes with pre-loaded hundreds of watch faces to play around although only five watch faces remain on the watch. You will have to go to the N Health connection app for more options. The watch face collection is impressive as it includes some animated options, something worth noting if you like customising the face often.

The smartwatch lacks an always-on display which is disappointing, but the rise-to-wake function works reasonably well. The colors on display are oversaturated, but I think that is a good move as it makes the display pop out and make it noticeable. Unlike phones, it’s a pro for watches.

The Nord Watch comes with an elegance that enables it to blend in wherever it goes, from the gym to the boardroom to the cafe.

It comes with an IP68 rating, making it dust and water resistance. It cannot survive underwater but can easily survive the rigors of a gym or a spell in the rain.

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The interface of the watch is simple, it is easy to navigate but looks inspired by Apple Watch (especially the main menu). You can access the control panel by swiping down - and it has quick access options like torch, settings, brightness, find phone, camera control and more. Swiping up brings the notification screen, and swiping right and left brings activity metrics like steps, heart rate and others.

Health tracking with basic smartwatch features


The OnePlus Nord Watch comes equipped with Bluetooth 5.2 for syncing your data. You can easily pair it with Android or iOS smartphones. It can perform basic smartwatch duties, showing call and message notifications.

The watch has comprehensive health tracking covering all the basics, including stress, steps, calories, all-day heart rate, high and low heartbeat alerts, sleep tracking with blood-oxygen monitoring.

OnePlus Nord Watch review: A decent watch with a hint of premiumness under a budget
Business Insider India

All the stats feeds are displayed neatly, which makes it easy to understand the activity of your entire day. The OnePlus Nord Watch takes a step further by continuously monitoring your heart rate and built-in camera control which can be used after connecting to N Health app. Besides this, it comes with a weather update feature and 100+ sports modes, including running, walking, hiking, climbing, cycling, and more.
OnePlus Nord Watch review: A decent watch with a hint of premiumness under a budget
Business Insider India

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OnePlus Nord Watch review: A decent watch with a hint of premiumness under a budget
Business Insider India

The watch does not have automatic workout detection, but it is able to detect walking and running, which can be helpful for those who want to clock their basic running and walking.

The watch is not capable of taking or making calls, recording media, or sending messages. I believe the device would suit athletes and health enthusiasts who wish to keep track of their health stats.

OnePlus Nord Watch review: A decent watch with a hint of premiumness under a budget
Business Insider India

The messages and social media notification feature is not up to the mark, as the notification appears without any display pictures.

The built-in sleep tracker is a welcome addition as it records the wearer’s light and deep sleep intervals along with the middle of the night awakenings.

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OnePlus Nord Watch review: A decent watch with a hint of premiumness under a budget
Business Insider India

The sleep time heart rate is also recorded along with the sleep data so that you can estimate your REM cycles.

Battery life


Battery life is undoubtedly the winning feature of this smartwatch. Draining the watch from 76% to 0% took about a week or so. I have been continuously using the wearable for eight days, with sleep tracking, call alerts, and notifications enabled. In short, the 230mAh battery capacity is extremely impressive for a watch of this kind.

Verdict


The OnePlus Nord Watch comes packed with a long-lasting battery and an array of sports modes, but its companion app leaves room for improvement. Despite its promising potential, it comes with some limitations - you can’t reply to messages, no always on, doesn’t let you receive phone calls, no voice assistant and others. While these features are more common on expensive smartwatches, I feel some of them could’ve been included to make it a better value proposition.

Its biggest competitor is Amazefit GTS 2 Mini, which is priced at ₹5,999. But it has been sold at ₹4,999 for a very long time as part of seasonal sales. The Amazfit may not be fancy as the OnePlus, but it offers better software, Alexa, and more.

That said, I would recommend the OnePlus Nord watch to those who want an affordable smartwatch with good looks and an array of sports modes. And if you have a OnePlus phone, it is even better.
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