Although it wasn’t its first wearable, OnePlus’ first smartwatch wasn’t as warmly received as its smart fitness band. Perhaps it was partly due to high expectations for a wearable that was hoped to be launched nearly half a decade ago. While the OnePlus Watch has been panned for its lackluster experience, the good news is that the company is quick to push out updates. The latest, in fact, brings one much-requested feature that puts it on par with most smartwatches, but the cost of battery life.
There has always been some debate on whether smartwatches should always show the time even when you’re not looking at it. On the one hand, it emulates the behavior of normal watches and keeps the information ready at all times. On the other hand, there’s no getting around its negative impact on battery life.
Just like on its smartphones, OnePlus has been against always-on display or AOD exactly because of that reason. While most manufacturers at least gave users the choice, it wasn’t until the OnePlus community voted for it that the company eventually relented. Fortunately, it didn’t take it too long to do the same for the OnePlus Watch.
The latest update to the smartwatch brings that AOD feature but with one important footnote. OnePlus warns that enabling it would lead to its battery life being slashed by half, turning two weeks of use into just one. That said, that’s still plenty compared to other smartwatches, like those running on Wear OS by Google.
The update also adds Remote Camera Control for phones and a marathon workout tracker. These are just the little bits that slowly push the OnePlus Watch forward, hopefully before it’s too late to make a difference.