The OnePlus Watch 2 is a winning mix of style and smarts. It combines multi-day battery life with great app support, accurate heart rate tracking and plenty of exercise modes.

After a couple of weeks with the OnePlus Watch 2, while it isn’t perfect, I reckon it could still be the best Android Wear watch to date for long-distance training or for anyone who hates recharging their watch daily. While it’s not aimed specifically at runners, it’s up there with the best running watches too.

Men’s Fitness verdict

Despite missing a few tricks, the OnePlus Watch 2 solves the age-old issue of poor WearOS battery life. With its stylish design and tracking smarts it’ll make an all-day fitness-focused wearable too.
  • Robust with refined styling
  • Runs smart apps
  • Great battery (for a Wear OS watch)
  • No ANT+ HR broadcasting
  • Imperfect sleep tracking
  • Rotating crown doesn’t scroll

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Close-up of a man's wrist and running watch
There’s plenty of space on the Watch 2 screen to access your apps and fitness insights

Before diving into what makes the OnePlus Watch 2 good, it’s helpful to run through the state of smartwatches in 2024, specifically for Android users. The smartest smartwatch – the Apple Watch Ultra Series – is off-limits because it only works with iPhones. This means you have two choices: get a Google Wear OS watch like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, and endure typically poor battery life, or pick up a slightly less feature-packed watch or fitness tracker like the Huawei Watch GT 3 or Garmin Enduro 2 and settle for fewer smarts while enjoying fantastic battery life.

OnePlus claims the Watch 2 gives you the best of both worlds – smarts and battery – while helping you keep fit and combining plenty of apps and classic watch design.

What is the OnePlus Watch 2?

The OnePlus Watch 2 is a WearOS smartwatch with two modes, Smart and Power Saver. In Smart mode, it promises 100 hours of battery life while supporting popular apps like Audible, Spotif and Calm. That means near-Apple Watch levels of functionality. In Power Saver mode, it can last for up to two weeks, and runs pre-installed apps only. Both Smart and Power Saver support a full suite of workouts and sports modes, as well as day-long health, heart rate, SPO2, stress, activity and sleep tracking.

Starting at $299 / £299 for the Radiant Steel and Black Steel options with fluoro-rubber straps, the pricier Nordic Blue special edition with a combination leather strap that I tested costs £329 (UK only). Going up against the Garmin Venu 2S, Google Pixel Watch 2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (44mm), there’s plenty of competition, but OnePlus seems to be the only player combining both smartwatch smarts plus a long-lasting battery for the price.

OnePlus Watch 2 design and build

With a classical round look, the Watch 2 looks like a traditional watch, while the large OLED touchscreen creates ample space for a timepiece and comfortable swipes and taps.

The Nordic Blue version’s leather strap isn’t actually all-leather. A fluoro-rubber base layer is in contact with your skin when wearing the watch, and the leather is stitched to its exterior for a leather style but the utility of a more comfortable, durable material.

Close-up of the crown and bezel of a running watch
Surprisingly the rotating crown doesn’t scroll through apps or data input

The watch itself is military-grade tested and 5ATM certified, so it can handle bumps, dunk, and swims. In addition to its corrosion-resistant stainless steel body, the sapphire crystal fascia is meant to be seriously scratch-resistant too. After over a month of using our watch, it’s still free of blemishes, which is impressive.

Buttons are on the right side, angled for easy pressing. While the top button looks like a rotating crown, twisting it doesn’t scroll through the interface, which is a missed trick compared to an Apple Watch or Huawei Watch.

OnePlus Watch 2 performance

The OnePlus Watch 2 is positioned as a lifestyle and training watch, though it does offer some more advanced features for runners and, interestingly, badminton players. I used it primarily for running, indoor rowing and weight training.

Runners can track data such as ground contact time, ground balance and VO2 max, and the dual-frequency GPS was pretty accurate in my tests. While the watch can calculate heart rate variability (HRV) when monitoring stress, HRV doesn’t go beyond this very limited stress-related metric, so don’t get too excited on that front.

The health tracking was on point overall. Heart rate tracking didn’t perfectly align with our chest monitor, fluctuating as many as five beats per minute at times. However, when plotted across a 30-60-minute workout, readings aligned closely.

The OnePlus Watch 2 doesn’t support ANT+, which enables heart rate tracking devices to broadcast data to cardio machines like a rower. By contrast, new Huawei and Garmin watches support the standard – perfect when training in heart rate zones without a chest strap, so that’s a notable omission if coming from another fitness watch.

OnePlus Watch 2 features

The OnePlus Watch 2’s main selling point is that it combines great app support with long-lasting battery life and balances that with good-looking, classical styling, so it’s a good thing the battery claims hold true in real-world use.

If you train daily, the Watch 2’s Smart mode definitely won’t last the 100 hours OnePlus claims, but you will still get two to three days out of it, which is excellent by smartwatch standards. That includes sleep tracking without manually adjusting any modes.

If you don’t use the Watch 2’s third-party apps and are happy with pared-back smarts, the Watch 2’s Power Saver mode stretches the battery life to 12 days with basic use and around eight days when exercising daily for longer bouts. In this mode, your heart rate and health stats are still being tracked throughout the day, and you also have access to the watch’s sports modes.

Close-up of the back of a running watch
Heart rate accuracy is decent but there’s no ANT+ support

OnePlus Watch 2 user experience

Install the Ohealth app on your Android phone to set up the OnePlus Watch 2. Once paired, you can synchronise your Google account across devices, start installing watch apps, set up a payment card and more. The phone app is a convenient way to choose your watch face, edit your tiles (the screens to the left and right of your home screen), define goals and manually activate SPO2 tracking. And if you want more in-depth insights into your health data, you’ll need to fire the app up. Generally speaking, though, after the initial setup, you can leave the app to do its thing, and the watch will do a solid job of passively monitoring you.

Before diving into the health and fitness features of the OnePlus Watch 2, it’s the smart app support that makes it compete with the best from Apple and Samsung. Make and receive calls when the watch is connected to your phone via Bluetooth using the onboard mic and speaker, access your Google Calendar, Contacts and YouTube Music or download apps from the Google Play Store. And you can also download training apps like Strava and Adidas running if you want to bypass the pre-loaded fitness modes.

Should you buy the OnePlus Watch 2?

While the OnePlus Watch 2 isn’t cheap, it still represents decent value, giving users two watch experiences in one with Smart and Power Saver modes. The four-day smartwatch can download audiobooks and podcasts, play them back over a pair of Bluetooth headphones and keep you connected with your Google life. Alternatively, the 12-day Power Saver mode gives you advanced fitness tracker functionality, but all the style and health-tracking functionality of Smart Mode.

There are ways OnePlus could improve the Watch 2. Its rotating crown could be an input, the heart rate sensor could be a bit more accurate when training, backdated insights could be visible on the watch (and not require the app), and it could support ANT+ heart rate broadcasting. Still, it does one key thing other smartwatches don’t – stay alive for more than a couple of days – and for many would-be smartwatch owners that could clinch a win for the Watch 2 over the competition. 

OnePlus Watch 2 technical specs

Display resolution466 x 466 pixels
Display size1.43 inches (diameter)
ConnectivityBluetooth, WiFi