OPPO first every wearable might have left fans feeling a bit conflicted. On the one hand, it is the brand’s first-ever smartwatch and has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a modern wearable. On the other hand, it’s hard to deny its striking similarity to the Apple Watch, especially considering it also offers an ECG feature.
Regardless of that uncertain reception, OPPO seems unfazed and will in fact be launching its Watch in the US at the end of this month. It will, however, not be the same OPPO Watch it announced months ago in one important aspect.
On the surface, the 46mm OPPO Watch is pretty decent, combining all the staples of smartwatches inside a square body. What makes its stand out from all other smartwatches in the market today is how it runs a special version of the company’s ColorOS Android experience, which at least opens the possibility of having access to the full capabilities of Android on smartphones.
That part won’t be coming to the OPPO Watch’s global version based on Engadget’s tip. The teaser clearly states “Wear OS by Google”, a technically watered-down version of Android for wearables, formerly known as Android Wear. It’s definitely curious why OPPO would make such a switch but it could very well be due to how Google handles the Android business outside of China.
Whether that’s the only change between the Chinese and the US versions is still unknown. One feature, in particular, will definitely be difficult to bring to all markets. ECG sensors have to be certified per country before they can be enabled on any smartwatch.
The teaser mentions that OPPO will make the big announcement for the small device on July 31 but that’s pretty much all we know for now. This definitely leaves a lot of questions, including local pricing for a smartwatch that costs around $260 in China.
It is actually just as surprising to hear OPPO trying to break into the congested but rather stagnant US smartwatch market and we’ll have to see next week if it will garner much interest outside of China.