Tech

Tested: which smartwatch can compete with the Apple Watch?

Wear OS

Speaking of the software, an important difference between the Oppo Watch and the other two is that Oppo Watch works with Google’s Wear OS. This means that Google has made the software and that Oppo has put a small layer over it. And that works wonderfully. Google’s system is nice and logical, and Oppo hasn’t messed up with the tweaks.

It also means that it works perfectly with the Google Play Store, so you can use a lot of apps on your watch. You can also choose to track your run with Strava or Adidas. But Google Maps also works on it, and Shazam, and a few more games.

None of this is possible with Huawei and Xiaomi, both of which have their own OS. I have not been able to install other apps on it than the ones that are already there. For example, if you use Strava, MyFitnessPal or NRC Nike Run Club to track your sports, you cannot do this directly via the app. There are online redirects to get your data in Strava anyway, but none of that works very friendly.

The advantage of Oppo is at the same time a disadvantage: because you can install more on it, you get more apps that can do the same. For example, I can track my session via Google Fit, but that is not standard with this watch, which is HeyTab Health from Oppo itself. The same goes for steps and heart rate. The possibilities also mean that you can get lost in it.

Apps

You can check your fitness information in all three in their own app. Huawei Health, Xiaomi Wear and HeyTap Health. If you compare the three apps with each other, you see that Xiaomi is really very ‘Xiaomi’. You get an avatar that I can’t get adjusted, and my nickname either. It all feels pretty childish, you can find your fitness stuff in it, but I’d rather not watch it.

I think the Huawei app is the most beautiful and the best taken care of, although Oppo’s HeyTap Health app is not bad either. Except for that name, but hey! I do notice that I prefer to be on Google Fit than on HeyTab.

What good is a smartwatch?

The first thing I always do with a smart watch is turn off all notifications. That’s a bit crazy, because that’s the promise of the smart watches anyway, but I find myself annoyed to be disturbed all the time. I prefer to decide for myself when I read my mail and check my texts.

However, everything will ring when I get a call, because I don’t want to miss that. I also notice that the watches motivate me to move more. You will receive notifications if you sit still for too long and if you want to ‘nerd’ a bit with data, you really have to exercise. And most importantly, they tell me what time it is. Oppo and Huawei have an always-on mode, it will last a little less on a full charge, but then I immediately see the most important information. And that’s what matters. You see the time on a device that looks modern.

Speaking of battery life: they all promise a lot. Huawei says it can last up to 10 days with ‘typical’ use, Xiaomi up to 9 days and Oppo even up to 21 days, in battery-saving mode. In the ‘smart’ mode it lasts 36 hours, so 1.5 days. Those 36 hours are just about right, you can’t save much longer. In all, the more you use it, the faster it goes on, but you will certainly get a whole day.

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