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Oppo’s smartwatch gets casually outed, and looks more than a little familiar

Here is our first proper look at Oppo’s future smartwatch, and the design team has been looking closely at another, quite popular model for inspiration. Oppo’s wearable does not have an official name yet, but the image seen here was shared on Chinese social network Weibo by an executive from the company, which indicates what we’re seeing is genuine.

The rendered image shows a rectangular case in rose gold with a gently curved screen, and is highly reminiscent of the Apple Watch, right down to the wallpaper chosen to illustrate the screen, which effectively hides any hint of a bezel. However, rather than a crown on the side, the Oppo smartwatch has two large buttons recessed into the case. The strap appears to be made from silicone, and is shaped like Apple’s Sport Band.

However, while seeing the design is interesting, the real burning question has not yet been answered: What software will the Oppo smartwatch run? Seeing as Oppo’s smartphones run Google’s Android, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion the watch will use Google’s WearOS. If it does, it will be one of the first in a while with a screen that’s not round. In past years Asus has opted for a rectangular screen on the ZenWatch, as did Sony on its Smartwatch 3.

While WearOS is possible, it’s not the only option. Oppo may have chosen to develop its own software for the smartwatch, following Xiaomi, Huawei, and Honor. These alternative platforms often prioritize longer battery life over app support, but sometimes lack functionality and are not as user-friendly as WearOS. The other reason Oppo may opt for its own software is to make the watch simpler to produce and sell in China and internationally. Google services are banned in China, and WearOS devices on sale there are modified by approved companies like Mobvoi, which strips out Google elements and replaces them with its own.

Oppo first talked about releasing a smartwatch during an event at the end of 2019, stating it would be released during the first three months of 2020. This does suggest it will arrive soon, and potentially at Mobile World Congress in February. We will be at the show, ready to bring you news of Oppo’s new announcements.

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