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Garmin Forerunner 965 and 265 finally come with AMOLED screens
6:40 pm | March 3, 2023

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Garmin introduced the new Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 265 smartwatches with one major improvement - the screens are now AMOLED, moving away from the transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) solution. According to the official numbers, the 900-series flagship could live 23 days on a single charge, while the 200-series should offer up to 15 days. The Garmin Forerunner 965 is targeted toward elite athletes. The new type of display is just one of the changes; other features include a new titanium bezel, a slightly thinner body and a 1.4” (35.4 mm) screen. Standalone GPS, detailed heart rate...

Oppo Watch Free review: A cheap smartwatch with a great 14-day battery life
2:06 pm | February 13, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Oppo is well-known for its smartphones which are usually on the cheaper end, and the Oppo Watch free follows suit. It positions itself as one of the best cheap fitness trackers a cost-effective alternative to some of the best Fitbit watches: a mix between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch, it’s a comfortable, streamlined fitness watch that shows your progress in multiple exercises including running and cycling. 

Its main attraction is how light and easy the watch is to wear. I forgot I  was wearing it when I slept with it on, which is rare. I also loved its battery life: most trackers at this price point need to be charged again after four-to-six days, but the Oppo lasted for a full two weeks, giving me one less thing to worry about. 

The watch features a built-in six-axis motion and optical heart rate sensor, and you can get more detailed readouts of the data collected in the companion app, especially when it came to sleep. The data wasn’t as extensive as what we’re used to, nor quite as accurate as it should be. It's unfortunate, but it's a reminder that you’ve opted for a cheaper watch, so don't set too much store by it.

Other highlights include tracking your blood oxygen levels (if you dip below 95-90%, your heart, lungs, and circulatory systems aren't going to be at peak performance, so good to see the feature at this price point). It's also got a snore detector built into its sleep-tracking software, which is neat. 

Oppo Watch Free: Price and release date

The Oppo Watch Free hasn't been officially released in the US, but it is available on third-party websites like eBay. It's available officially on the UK store at a cut price of just £49 (cheaper even than the Fitbit Inspire 3!) and on the AU store for AU$169.00

Oppo Watch Free: Design

  • 1.64-inch smooth AMOLED screen
  • Clear and colorful
  • Breathable and comfortable strap

The slimline black watch, which I tested, fits well on our wrist, and can also be bought in a lighter-colored version, which has a cream strap and gold detail. A cross between a tracker and a smartwatch, the touchscreen watch has a long rectangle watch face, complete with black chrome details. 

The large 2.5D curved watch face, along with a 1.64-inch AMOLED screen, gives you a clear and colorful picture when tracking your fitness goals, sleep, and heart rate. At 33 grams, it's featherlight, with its aluminum casing giving way to lighter plastic backing.

The watch face can thankfully be changed, via the app - I was originally presented with quite a basic look, which only showed the date and time. The seven playful designs only have two options which show steps and heart rate, and we settled for the activity circles watch face, which gave us the time and steps, calories burned and heart rate. 

The breathable and comfortable silicone strap and clasp sat well on the wrist and looked attractive. The straps can be clipped on and off for cleaning, but they were a little niggly to get on and off so I wouldn’t recommend it. Overall, a classic, clean design, which is easy to use and read: it looked slick and we wore it regularly outside of the gym. 

Oppo Watch Free

(Image credit: Oppo)
  • Design score: 4/5

Oppo Watch Free: Features

  • No physical button controls
  • 100 sports profiles and lots of health metrics
  • No GPS

The watch was easy to set up and linked to its app, HeyTap Health, where you can see more detailed stats, change settings and find out more about your watch. I spent a couple of weeks trying the different functions, including the sleep and exercise functions to see how accurate they were. 

Tracking your steps is easy on the OPPO watch as it automatically shows up on your home screen, along with heart rate and calories. If you swipe to the left you can select settings such as exercise, blood oxygen levels, and sleep. For a more detailed picture or to activate each setting you simply tap them on-face, where you can see more detailed metrics. It's all controlled via the touch screen, with no physical buttons.

The Exercise setting features 100 sports profiles (although a few key ones like Indoor Cycling are missing) and four are automatically recognized and logged: walking, running, rowing, and elliptical training. Workout metrics are well laid out, with heart rate zones and running 'courses'. They're not courses in the same sense as Garmin's generated running maps, as there's sadly no GPS, but rather it sorts your run into categories such as 'endurance' and 'interval' depending on your training goal. 

One cool design feature is the customizable "AI outfit" watch face: if you take a photo of your outfit with your phone within the app, AI will customize the watch face to match the colors of your clothes. Neat! 

  • Features score: 3/5

Oppo Watch Free on wrist

(Image credit: Sarah Finley)

Oppo Watch Free: Performance

  • Inaccurate calorie tracking
  • Lack of cycling options
  • Good sleep metrics

A big downside for me was the lack of an indoor cycling workout profile, and despite the lack of GPS, the cycling setting wouldn’t record my activity when I was stationary. I had to use the freestyle workout mode instead.

The app gives you a breakdown of your heart rate zones, from fat burning to threshold, for each exercise class you complete, along with calories burned and your real-time heart rate. I found some of this data less specific than other watches we’d tested: when I recorded a run with both the Oppo Watch Free and a control tracker from Fitbit, there was a clear calorie burn discrepancy. The lack of GPS also meant it didn’t track my routes either. However, the watch is 5ATM waterproof for swimmers. 

If you want to improve your sleep you can set reminders, telling you when to go to bed, while it will record your sleep when you wear it and give you reports, via the watch and the app about your sleep health. 

The app gives you a report by showing you your deep, light, and awake stages of sleep, which I thought was a good baseline, but other sleep trackers, such as the Oura ring Generation 3, give you more detailed information on how you can improve your sleep. If you’re a snorer, you can also monitor how much you snore – it measures your blood oxygen levels and combines them with your average heart rate.

  • Features score: 3/5

Oppo Watch Free: Battery life

  • Listed as lasting 14 days on a full charge
  • Lives up to expectations with moderate use
  • Charger doesn't always fit well

The battery life is very good for a watch at this price point, as it is listed at 14 days. 

Charging is done via the back of the watch, by placing the charger on the top two magnetic strips – I found the charger quite sensitive though, and had to keep it as stable as possible while I charged it. However, the watch's charge, which took a couple of hours for a full charge, lasted for longer than some of the other smartwatches we’ve tested at higher price points, living up to its 14-day promise. 

  • Battery life score: 4/5

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Oppo Watch Free: Don't buy it if...

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