OnePlus is carving out the Google Wear OS, announcing a $ 159 smartwatch

OnePlus is launching a smartwatch. OnePlus announced the OnePlus Watch today, and despite being a long-time Android OEM, the company doesn’t use Google’s Android-based Wear OS. Like Garmin and Fitbit (pre-Google), the company goes it alone and delivers an in-house OS. The OnePlus Watch is only $ 159, so it’s pretty much a budget option.

OnePlus has announced the watch, but it’s still going to be cagey about the spec page. We don’t know what the SoC is, even after asking, but the lack of information indicates that it is not something the company wants to brag about. The body of the 46 × 10.9 mm watch is quite large, so there’s definitely room for an old Snapdragon Wear SoC. The display is 1.39-inch, 454 × 454 OLED. It has 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and a 402 mAh battery. It has GPS, Bluetooth, optical heart rate monitor, and IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.

The stainless steel body has a glass top, and the bands are easily adjustable. OnePlus claims that the battery lasts anywhere from 25 hours (with GPS on) to 14 days, depending on what features you use. There’s a “Warp charge” pogo charger, and OnePlus says you get a week’s use (so 50 percent?) After 20 minutes of charging.

Seeing OnePlus skip Wear OS is completely understandable, but it shows how badly Google (and Qualcomm) have set up to launch the smartwatch platform. Google has almost abandoned OS, with the last major OS update coming in 2018 and many of the company’s newer services bypassing the OS. Google Music is dead, and there is no YouTube Music client yet for Wear OS. Google Chat doesn’t have a client yet though Hangouts is dying, and the company recently stopped looking for a Google Fit exercise from the OS.

Not using Wear OS means that the watch will not have an open source app store or third-party app ecosystem, and you will be stuck with whatever features OnePlus has developed. Could not find answers about operating system line; OnePlus just calls it “OnePlus Watch OS” and claims that it is a real-time OS. OnePlus says the watch has a ton of modes, local music playback over Bluetooth, the ability to take phone calls over the built-in microphone and speaker, and sleep detection and heart rate.

The OnePlus Watch requires a phone with Android 6.0 and up and will mirror messages over the Android wearables notification API, so you can view, archive, and reply to emails, view and reply to messages, and see a lot of other information from your phone. The video also mentions “parkour mode” and the ability to control OnePlus TV which is banned in India (literally 55-inch flat screen TV by OnePlus brand).

The OnePlus Guard will be available on April 14th.

Listing image with OnePlus