The smartwatch market undoubtedly belongs to Apple right now, but OnePlus isn’t letting that fact bog it down too much. Competing with Apple means thinking outside the box — which explains pretty succinctly why OnePlus is now teasing a Harry Potter-themed smartwatch.
OnePlus has added a teaser for the new edition of the OnePlus Watch to its Indian website, including a watch shrouded in darkness and a brief message: “Calling all Witches and Wizards.” Through the darkness, a brown leather strap with the Hogwarts crest is visible in the teaser photo.
Interestingly enough, OnePlus has only added the teaser to the India-specific version of its website; other country-specific OnePlus sites have not yet added the teaser. It’s unclear whether this means the Harry Potter Watch will only be available in India or if it might later launch in other OnePlus markets.
Pre-empted — The (hopefully) magical collaboration is perhaps not as much of a surprise as OnePlus would’ve hoped. Two separate leaks pre-empted the official teaser: an APK teardown of the OnePlus Health app and a well-known tipster suggested in August that it would be launching that month.
Six faces — Most details of the watch are, as you might expect, still unknown. The official teaser image shows only the special Hogwarts-crest leather band, with the watch face itself entirely dark.
That tipster from August (and the APK teardown) suggested the watch will come with six exclusive faces: one for each Hogwarts “house,” one with the Hogwarts seal, and one featuring a picture of the Hogwarts castle. Otherwise — as with the limited-edition Cyberpunk 2077 Watch — the hardware will remain mostly the same. Maybe a fresh coat of paint around the face, if we’re lucky.
Time to get creative — The OnePlus Watch occupies a unique place in the smartwatch market. At just $159, it fits somewhere between a high-end Fitbit and a low-end smartwatch. It has a sharp AMOLED display and uses a real-time operating system; but there’s no always-on mode and no voice assistant and, as Input’s Ray Wong confirmed in his review, it’s pretty buggy.
With the OnePlus Watch’s specs, it’s never going to really compete with the Apple Watch, which hits just about every mark a smartwatch user could need (assuming, of course, they’re an Apple user). To survive (and, perhaps, to thrive) OnePlus has to carve out new niches for its products. Special editions centered on popular cultural references are a perfect way to do just that. You can’t exactly go out and buy a Harry Potter-themed Apple Watch.
But then again, you can’t buy the Harry Potter OnePlus Watch yet, either, and you may never be able to outside India.