Following yesterday’s report, Twitter account @Leaksfly has released another rumor regarding a new smartwatch from the Chinese manufacturer Oppo. This leak follows close on the heels of Huawei’s Watch, which was unveiled last week at the Mobile World Congress 2015. The Tweet highlights that the new smartwatch will also use the Android Wear operating system and will come with VOOC, the same rapid charging technology Oppo used for their N3 and R5 devices.
As you can see from the image, the Oppo smartwatch appears to feature three hardware buttons to the right of the screen. It’s not clear what the two extra buttons could be for on the Oppo watch or if they’re merely a design feature for the style of the device. The device looks very much like an ordinary watch and whilst we cannot be sure, it appears to be a smaller design so perhaps closer to the 42mm diameter of the Huawei Watch than the 46mm of the Motorola Moto 360 and as such, may show an ambition for the smartwatch to be sold alongside ordinary traditional watches rather than only in electronic stores. Whilst Leaksfly purported that the device runs Android Wear, it’s not clear how well this could work in China where most of Google’s products and services are banned. The device may be able to show smartphone notifications, but voice control and software updates could be troublesome. Alternatively, Google may be working on releasing a Chinese edition Android Wear operating system, which would work in mainland China. At this juncture, these comments are speculation and nothing more: it would seem more likely that Google would be releasing a smartwatch into international markets rather than it’s domestic China.
Likewise, under the watch’s skin we do not know anything about the hardware or other features. Information such as the processor type, memory, storage and additional sensors has not been revealed. The majority of smartwatches released to data use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor paired up with 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage. They come with Bluetooth 4 and a number of different health and fitness sensors such as GPS, a heart monitor. Some devices have onboard wireless radios over and above Bluetooth; the Sony Smartwatch 3 comes with onboard WiFi although Android Wear does not (yet) support the technology. It’s also unclear how many watch faces the device has included, which could be very important if the device is sold in mainland China but customers cannot easily download new watch faces.
It’s not quite been a year since the first three Android Wear smartwatches have evolved and we are seeing what we might call late first generation devices, which seek to learn their lessons from the first batch of devices. With Google having locked down the Android Wear software, manufacturers are doing the only thing they can do in order to differentiate their product: they are working on the design. The recent launches and leaks point towards the Android Wear smartwatch becoming a smaller, more traditional watch-like device. What do you think? Has the relatively large size of the first generation of Android Wear smartwatches kept you from buying one? Let us know in the comments below.