The saga of a OnePlus smartwatch being in development has been a pretty confusing one. OnePlus was working on it way back in 2015, but the company pulled the plugs on it soon after. Then in 2020, rumors of a OnePlus-branded smartwatch rocking a circular display again surfaced online, with subsequent reports claiming that it has been postponed. Now, the company’s CEO himself has confirmed in an interview with InputMag that the company is indeed working on a smartwatch, with the report further predicting that the wearable might arrive next year.
Wear OS derailed plans of a OnePlus smartwatch
“About that smartwatch Lau officially confirmed is being worked on,” the report said. To recall, OnePlus teased the arrival of a smartwatch yet again in October, but has been mum on the project ever since. Interestingly, a OnePlus smartwatch was certified by Singapore’s IMDA earlier this year. As for the reason behind OnePlus originally putting its smartwatch ambitions on hold, the poor development status of Wear OS is to be blamed and how half-baked it was at the time compared to what Apple had to offer.
“Wear OS definitely has room to improve. What we’re trying to do is work with Google to try to improve the connectivity between the Wear OS ecosystem, Android TV, and Android smartphones to create this ability for better device interoperability across the ecosystems. This has been something looked at very positively from Google’s side as well, so this is the direction that we’re trying to develop, but we don’t have more than we can share on that right now,” Lau was quoted as saying.
OnePlus is not too keen on making a foldable right now
The OnePlus chief also broached the topic of foldable phones, but raised a point that the software experience is not yet mature enough to take full advantage of the foldable form factor. “One of the biggest issues you see now is the ability to have applications and the overall OS applied to leverage that larger screen, and have the larger screen be of really great use to users,” Lau was quoted as saying.
However, the OnePlus chief did not entirely rule out the possibility of a foldable device in the future. “We are keeping a close eye on the status of the overall [foldables] industry and applications and the ability for the larger screen space to be leveraged and see that as a key determining factor for consideration of future foldable devices.”
Essentially, Lau is neither confirming, nor denying that OnePlus will make a foldable phone anytime soon. However, if Google truly optimizes Android to maximize the benefits of a foldable form factor, we can at least hope to see OnePlus giving it a serious thought.