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Smartwatches running Google’s Wear OS software aren’t exactly known for stellar battery life, often needing to be recharged every day or two. But the OnePlus Watch 2 promises up to 100 hours (a little over four days) of battery life under normal usage or 48 hours of heavy use.

How? By leveraging the Wear OS hybrid interface to save power by shunting off some key tasks from the main application processor to a more energy-efficient microcontroller. Not only does this allow the $300 watch to function for longer as a smartwatch, but it allows it to run for much longer in an optional Power Saver Mode that turns the watch into a glorified fitness tracker with up to 12 days of battery life.

In recent years most Wear OS smartwatches have shipped with two processors: a primary application processor (AP) that handles most of the smartwatch features and a microcontroller unit (MCU) for more basic functions, allowing the AP to be suspended when it’s not needed.

The OnePlus Watch 2 has a Snapdragon Wear W5 Gen 1 application processor and a BES2700BP microcontroller. What’s new is that OnePlus and Google worked together to let the MCU handle notifications without waking up the AP, helping reduce power consumption and extend battery life.

The watch can receive notifications, you can read them, and even dismiss them or send quick replies, using only the MCU. The MCU also already handles sensor input, allowing for low-power activity tracking functionality. So now the AP will only kick in when you use the watch for more demanding tasks.

OnePlus notes that not only does the watch have two different processors, but they’re actually running two different operating systems: the Wear W5 Gen 1 handles Wear OS, while the BES2700BP runs an RTOS-based operating system, and the watch can seamlessly switch between them as needed.

But the company also went a step further and built an optional Power Save Mode that basically turns off Wear OS altogether to let you extend the battery life to 12 days. In this mode you can still view smartphone notifications and use the OnePlus Watch 2 for movement, exercise, and sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, or other lower-level functions. But you’ll have to switch back to the normal Wear OS mode if you want to take advantage of Google or third-party apps and features.

The OnePlus Watch 2 features 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage for Wear OS (plus an extra 4GB for RTOS), and a 500 mAh battery. It supports 7.5W charging, allowing you to fully charge the battery in 60 minutes. Or you can plug it in for ten minutes to get up to a day of Wear OS battery life.

It has a 1.43 inch, 466 x 466 pixel AMOLED display with 600 nits max brightness and a 2.5D sapphire crystal cover and the watch is rated IP68 (or 5ATM) for water resistance. Wireless capabilities include support for WIFi 4, Bluetooth 5.0, and GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, Beidou and QZSS, and the OnePlus Watch 2 can be paired with phones running Android 8.0 and later.

The OnePlus Watch 2 is up for pre-order now, and it’s expected to ship in early March.

via OnePlus (1)(2)

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  1. I dream of a day where a watch can be worn three days without being charged!

    The minimal run option is good, but it sounds like it’d be frustrating to switch back and forth to the full wearOS option.