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OnePlus Watch confirmed for early 2021, but big questions remain

OnePlus will launch its first smartwatch in the early part of 2021, company CEO Pete Lau has confirmed, five years after original plans were scrapped.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Lau said the upstart mobile maker is finally delivering on an item at the top of the wishlist for the company’s army of loyal fans – a OnePlus Watch.

“Many of you said you wanted a watch, and as you might have heard over the weekend—we’re making one, to be released early next year. Wishes do come true,” he wrote on Twitter (via Android Police).

Rumour had it the company’s first smartwatch would arrive in October, but a launch was postponed according to reports in the US. However, now it’s officially full stream ahead for the device.

Related: Best smartwatch

What form it’ll take remains to be seen. Previous reporting on the matter has suggested the OnePlus Watch will not run Google’s WearOS operating system.

The reliable tipster Max Jambor predicted the company would take an alternate route with a homegrown operating system. We’ve also seen reports claiming the watch will have a Galaxy Watch-style circular face, rather than the squarer Apple Watch-like design.

A OnePlus smartwatch was rumoured as far back as 2014 and two years later, the company revealed it scrapped plans to join the-then nascent scene. Carl Pei said at the time that OnePlus had “completed the design” but “still decided to scrap it” as it wanted to stay focused on smartphones. For what it’s worth that watch also had a circular display.

The company will enter the smartwatch arena at a time when it’s probably at its most competitive. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch range continues to edge closer to perfection, while the Apple Watch Series 6 is its best yet.

The OnePlus Watch, or whatever it ends up being called, will be the next expansion for the company. It now makes televisions and headphones too. Whether the wearable arrives as soon as CES 2020 next month, or alongside the OnePlus 9 later on remains to be seen.

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