When will the OnePlus Watch be released?

Although OnePlus' Pete Lau went on record to Input in December 2020 confirming that one is in development, and has since tweeted that it will arrive in early 2021, there’s no official release date as of yet.

There was a glimmer of hope that it would be unveiled at the OnePlus 8T event but we only got the OnePlus Buds Z, in addition to the phones.

We've been waiting for the OnePlus Watch for years: check out this tweet, which refers to a post by former CEO, Carl Pei, back in 2016 where he revealed 2015 sketches for the smartwatch.

More things are coming to the OnePlus ecosystem. It's just a matter of time🧐 pic.twitter.com/r6RIILU8AQ

— OnePlus (@oneplus) October 14, 2020

Established tipster Ishan Agarwal initially poked around in the APK file for the OnePlus Health app and within it uncovered model names (W30ICN - thought to be for the Chinese market and W501GB - assumed to be a global version) and other assets for an unnamed OnePlus smartwatch, although some of these assets appear to feature Oppo wearables - such as the Oppo Watch RX - and may only serve as placeholders for the time being.

This could be our first official look at the OnePlus Watch - Model W301CN

I found this (with few faces and the Band) in the OnePlus Health App APK. The rest of the assets seem to be of OPPO Watch so, not sharing.

Do you like it? Doesn't seem to be wearOS. #OnePlus #OnePlusWatch pic.twitter.com/RBpf4LIyTS

— Ishan Agarwal (@ishanagarwal24) January 7, 2021

Unfortunately, mention of such a device within the APK didn't include any concrete release information but did, at least, allude to the fact that we'll see one launch sooner rather later.

Tipster Mukul Sharma then spotted two more references to a OnePlus smartwatch, this time on India's BIS certification site. Model number 'W501GB' once again makes an appearance, alongside the not-yet-seen 'W301GB'.

Then, in February, Sharma presented a screen-grab (above) from the Pakistan Import Export Trade Database, which implies OnePlus Watch units have been imported to Pakistan (another principle market for OnePlus) en masse, starting 22 January; a move that suggested that announcement and sale were at hand.

Agarwal has since stepped back into frame, telling 91mobiles that the OnePlus Watch(es) will arrive in March, alongside the long-rumoured OnePlus 9 series.

How much will the OnePlus Watch cost?

Again, there are no firm details on cost. Some are pointing to the likes of the £229/US$296 Oppo Watch for reference, as the brand is a stablemate of OnePlus, alongside Realme and Vivo.

Vivo also released a smartwatch recently, the Vivo Watch, although it has yet to make its way to Europe or North America. In China, it’s priced around the £160/$200 mark, although those figures would rise with taxes in other territories.

If you're after an affordable OnePlus wearable - although an India-exclusive for the time being - the company's newly-launched fitness tracker - the OnePlus Band - is a comparative bargain, at around £25/€28/$34.

What design and specs will the OnePlus Watch have?

So far, the rumours surrounding the upcoming OnePlus Watch have mainly centred on its design rather than components. Particularly, the fact that the display is almost certain to be round rather than the squarer construction currently found on the likes of the Apple Watch, as hinted at by rumour monger @maxJmb.

Early in September 2020, he posted the following tweet on this account, with the cryptic message of "Wotch," rather than 'Watch' as a clue to the circular aesthetic that OnePlus would potentially be adopting with its wearable device.

I know it's spelled wrong because it's a hint 👀 pic.twitter.com/YD51QcAd5c

— Max J. (@MaxJmb) September 10, 2020

This would give the new watch a more striking look than those that follow in the footsteps of Apple’s all-conquering Watch and bring the OnePlus creation more into the territory of the excellent Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 that we reviewed recently.

OnePlus Watch release date, price and rumours: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Samsung's Galaxy Watch 3

In February 2021, TechnikNews found patent applications submitted to the German Patent and Trademark Office that show the OnePlus Watch with two strap designs: a silicon offering and a leather option.

It's unknown whether OnePlus will sell these as two different variants at launch or whether the straps are simply replaceable and both will come in-box with each unit.

OnePlus Watch German patent application images | Source: TechnikNews
Source: German Patent and Trademark Office via TechnikNews

Other than the outer appearance, it was also thought that OnePlus would use the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset to power its device.

Contrary to expectations, MaxJmb returned to Twitter to state that the OnePlus watch won't come running Google's Wear OS wearables operating system and will instead operate on a different software platform entirely, perhaps one of OnePlus' own design - which does tie into the user experience the assets unearthed by Agarwal appear to sport. 

Despite this, Lau's more recent interaction with Input revealed that the company is actually working with Google, with the intention of making the watch a possible go-between for its smartphones, smart TVs and other IoT devices.

“What we're trying to do is work with Google to try to improve the connectivity between the Wear OS ecosystem, Android TV, and Android smartphones to create this ability for better device interoperability across the ecosystems. This has been something looked at very positively from Google's side as well, so this is the direction that we're trying to develop, but we don't have more than we can share on that right now,” Lau said.

Hopefully, we’ll know more about the OnePlus Watch soon, but if you want to know what it will be up against when it finally arrives, take a look at our roundup of the best smartwatches.