OnePlus’ partnership with Hasselblad has produced two very well-received devices in the shape of the 9 and 9 Pro smartphones. I’ve been using the OnePlus 9 for a couple of weeks now and it’s a lovely phone that takes great pictures…but we’re not here to talk about the phones but rather the new OnePlus Watch.
The OnePlus Watch is the company’s first global foray into wearables (ignoring the OnePlus Band which was only available in India) and pre-orders open on Wednesday 14th April for the two new smartwatches. Priced at GB£149/US$159/€159, it’s competitive against similar smartwatches from Fitbit, Samsung and Huawei. Deliveries are expected at the end of the month and the Watch goes on general sale on 30th April.
Two models are expected to up for pre-order, Moonlight Silver and Midnight Black, with the announced Cobalt Limited Edition coming later. With a 46 mm case, it might be a minimalist design but it’s a big watch that’s not going to be missed on anyone’s wrist. The Watch supports over 110 activities including swimming which is possible due to the IP68 water resistance rating. There’s built-in GPS so no need to carry your phone on a run.
The round display is a 1.39″ AMOLED display at 326 ppi and is protected by a sapphire glass crystal which provides good protection against scratches. Handily, the Watch takes standard watch straps so it’s easy to switch them out for something more personal.
Battery life is rated at over 2 weeks (yep, two weeks) and even the most active athlete will get over a week. The Watch uses Warp Charging and about 40 minutes will get it charged up from flat.
I’m looking forward to buying one for myself: I really need to lose a few pounds after lockdown but I think I’m going to wait for the Cobalt LE.
Pre-orders open Wednesday at OnePlus.com and Amazon.co.uk for £149.
In news reported by the BBC, it seems that Swatch‘s opposition to Apple‘s application for an iWatch trademark in the UK resulted Apple’s smartwatch simply being branded “Apple Watch”. Overall, the ruling from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office upheld Swatch’s complaint that iWatch was too similar to iSwatch and Swatch, and shouldn’t be used for watches. Although we can’t be privy to the internal thinking of Apple, one could infer that the inability to claim the iWatch trademark in key markets back in 2014 killed iWatch in favour of Apple Watch when announced in 2015.
The whole ruling is here, but aside from the trademark evidence, decision-making and ruling, there’s some interesting commentary on the use of shell company registrants, in this case BrightFlash USA LLC to hide the actions of Apple. If I read the judgement correctly (and I’m certainly not a lawyer), Swatch had tried to accuse Apple of “bad faith” by using BrightFlash to register the trademark, but the registrar dismisses the complaint and Swatch has to to pay Apple GB£2,767 on balance. You win some, you lose some.
Despite the introduction of Apple Watch and the lineup of Android Wear watches, Pebble remains, somewhat at least, the darling of the market. While not the first smartwatch, it was the first to make an impact on the market.
Since the days of its debut, the company has released other models like Pebble Time, which brought a color screen and more features.
The watch maker has launched three new models on Kickstarter now. The Pebble 2 is an updated version of the original model, adding a heart rate monitor and activity tracking. It’s selling for $99.
The Pebble Time 2 “delivers the ultimate pro smartwatch with a larger, color e-paper screen and heart rate monitoring”. It will be selling for $169.
The Pebble Core isn’t a watch, but it promises phone-free fitness tracking along with GPS and music for only $69.
“Bringing delightful, affordable wearable technology to the world is the puzzle Pebble lives to solve. Our latest vision for the future is almost complete. We’re back on Kickstarter for the most important piece…You”, the company concludes.
You can find all three devices here.
To be honest, I’ve been completely underwhelmed by the smartwatches to date but this new Casio WSD-F10 has definitely piqued my interest. In some ways it’s obvious – don’t try to be a smartwatch that looks like an analogue watch. Embrace the digital watch and pump it up to eleven. That’s the way to go. Anyway, enough of my musings, here’s the Casio Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10.
Casio America, Inc has announced that it will release the WSD-F10 Smart Outdoor Watch, a toughened Android Wear wrist device with 50m water resistance. Well-known for the G-Shock range, Casio has continued to develop wrist devices from digital watches to PDAs and phones.
The new WSD-F10 is designed for the outdoors, boasting water resistance for use in rain and around water (as an aside, 50m is a kind of a notional depth: it’s not actually waterproof to 50m. If you wanted to dive to 50m, you’d need a watch rated to 200m). Incorporating Casio’s tough performance and sensor technologies, the WSD-F10 delivers a polished experience as a wearable information device.
The WSD-F10 offers a wealth of useful original Casio applications for outdoor activities such as trekking, cycling and fishing. Among these are dedicated apps designed to measure changes in the natural environment and track activity levels. The device is powered by Android Wear, and users can also load their own apps to expand the feature set for diverse outdoor activities.
The watch face features a dual layer display with monochrome and color LCDs. Users can display measurement data and apps in colour, or they can extend the device’s life to more than one month by selecting to a Timepiece Mode that displays only watch data in monochrome. That is such a great idea!
The WSD-F10 also offers the ultimate in ease of use as an everyday watch, making the most of Casio’s years of experience in the timepiece business. The operating buttons are large and feature a slip-free finish so they can easily be operated with gloves on, and they are concentrated on the right side of the case. The wristband is made from soft urethane plastic that conforms to the wrist and can be comfortably worn for extended periods. There are four juicy colours in the range.
No confirmation as yet on price, but it’s expected to be around US$500 and available in late spring 2016. I want!
Queuing for rides at theme parks is a great opportunity for sizing up the fashions of fellow thrill seekers. Everyone docilely shuffles along and the folding line passes lots of people both in front and behind. As a watch fan, I enjoy checking out the timepieces around me and at Disneyland, Paris, there was plenty to see in the warm weather.
The wrists of Disney’s guests provided a good selection of horology from Rolexes and Omegas to Tissots and Casios. Michael Kors must be selling watches by the truckload: there were probably more of these fashion watches than anything else. What slightly surprised me was the dearth of smart watches. In five days at the House of Mouse and hundreds of people, I saw two Apple watches, one Sony smartwatch and a handful of Pebbles.
The Sony owner was next to me at one point and I engaged him in conversation about the watch. He confessed that it had been a gift and he didn’t use it very much. Interestingly, both the Apple watches were on women’s wrists. I’m not quite too sure what to take away from that…perhaps they were gifts too, or perhaps Apple has made the watches sufficiently fashionable and appealing that women will be the leaders here. Or perhaps it was pure coincidence.
Where are the smart watches? They’re not at Disneyland, that’s for sure.
On the heels of today’s Pebble Time update, Google will not be outdone. The search giant is continuing to try and improve on its Android Wear line of smartwatches. LG, Motorola and others have leaped into this market and Apple is there now as well.
One of the big things is watchfaces. They can be handy, especially when they show current temperature and conditions as Pebble does.
Now Google is rolling out a new line of them, bringing all sorts of features to your wrist. “Today, we’re launching interactive watch faces, making it easier (and more fun) to stay connected, right from your wrist. Now, with just a tap, your watch face can change its design, reveal more information, or even launch a specific app”.
The new updates are coming now. Google states “Today’s updates are rolling out to all Android Wear watches in the coming weeks. So pick your favorite watch face, or pair up with your favorite person, and start wearing what you want”.
So which smartwatch, if any, will you choose? I’m personally using Pebble, but considering a possible change to either upgrade, or switch altogether.
Swatch, the Swiss watch maker best known for its colorful and untraditional designs, is looking to enter the smartwatch market. It’s still unclear as to what exactly Swatch is planning. But at a recent company meeting, Swatch CEO Nick Hayak stated that Swatch’s smartwatch will be launching in two countries within the next three months.
2015 is definitely shaping up to be the year of the smartwatch. And while tech companies like Apple, Motorola and Pebble have all made headlines this year in the smartwatch space, it seems few established watchmakers have entered the fray. Given its history as a known and trusted brand in watchmaking, could Swatch bring a new perspective to the field?
Little is known yet about Swatch’s proposed smartwatch. Will Swatch develop a proprietary OS? Will the company implement some version of the Android operating system? During that company meeting, Hayak said that Swatch will launch its smartwatch in two countries. The first will be Switzerland and the other was only described as a “large country.” It seems logical that this other country would be the United States. But Swatch has made deals with China UnionPay, a Chinese financial firm, and it’s likely that the Swatch smartwatch will ship with a near field communication chip that could allow the device to make mobile payments. Given the prevalence of the Apple Watch and Android Wearables in the U.S., perhaps Swatch’s second launch country will be China instead.
Despite its rapid growth in recent months, the smartwatch space is still fairly new and much is likely to change. If Swatch is able to bring a product to consumers that’s unique and reasonably priced, the watchmaker might just find a whole new market to tap into.