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OnePlus launches its first wearable, but it’s not a smartwatch

OnePlus has introduced its first wearable device, and it’s not the long-rumored smartwatch, but the OnePlus Band, a fitness tracker aimed at taking on the best out there from Fitbit, Samsung, Xiaomi, Honor, and Huawei. In other words, it has got quite a task ahead of it. Currently, it’s only for the Indian market, where OnePlus has a highly committed fan base, but that’s not to say it won’t arrive elsewhere at a later date.

The OnePlus Band continues the brand’s knack for creating eye-catching color schemes. The silicone bands are two-tone, with a different color on the underside of the outer band. For example, the grey version has a bright orange underside, while the black version is more subtle with a graey contrasting color underneath. Like the Xiaomi Mi Band range, the tracker module can be removed and placed inside a different band, to help it fit in better with your outfit or environment.

On the front is a 1.1-inch AMOLED touchscreen with customizable faces and even the option to use your own photos as wallpaper. It shows incoming notifications, call information, music controls, the weather, and other information. There are 13 different workout modes, from cycling and running to yoga and cricket, plus the band is water-resistant to 50 meters and has an IP68 rating. However it’s not recommended for use when swimming. On the back are a heart rate sensor and a blood oxygen monitor, and the band can track your sleep when worn overnight.

It connects to your phone using Bluetooth and syncs with a new OnePlus Health app, where data is collated and goals can be set. Initially, the app will only be available for Android, but an eventual iOS version is promised. The OnePlus Band’s battery is estimated to last for 14 days between charges, and that’s with sleep tracking, notifications, and continuous heart rate monitoring active.

The OnePlus Band is available to buy from OnePlus’ official online store in India now, where it costs the equivalent of $35. This is at first glance a competitive price, given that Samsung’s entry-level Galaxy Fit 2 costs $60. However, it’s the same price as Xiaomi’s popular Mi Band 5, and the forthcoming Honor Band 6 is likely to cost around the same, too. According to IDC’s research, Xiaomi and Huawei/Honor place second and third in the global wearables market, behind Apple, with even Fitbit trailing in a distant fifth place, highlighting the challenge ahead for OnePlus with the OnePlus Band.

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