Why does the OnePlus Watch 2R exist?

The OnePlus Watch 2R is coming alongside other new devices from the brand, but with official teasers rolling and a big leak revealing the full specs, we can’t help but wonder why it exists in the first place.

Earlier this year, the OnePlus Watch 2 made a splash as one of the best Wear OS smartwatches in recent memory. It delivered killer battery life, great hardware, and excellent performance, all for a solid price too. Now, the device is getting a sorta-sequel in the OnePlus Watch 2R which increasingly looks near-identical to the Watch 2.

In a press release today, OnePlus offered up the first official images of the OnePlus Watch 2R, OnePlus Pad 2, and OnePlus Nord Buds 3 Pro, all launching in the US later this month. OnePlus explains in that press release that the Watch 2R is a “follow-up” to the main Watch 2, and mentions the tweaked design and similar specs.

The OnePlus Watch 2R is the follow-up to the hugely successful OnePlus Watch 2, which debuted with a revolutionary Dual-Engine Architecture. Like its stablemate, the OnePlus Watch 2R not only boasts an impressive 100-hour battery life but also features ultra-precise dual-frequency GPS. With an understated premium design, it comes in two eye-catching colorways, showcasing a lightweight aluminum watch body with a distinctive bezel — a nod to classic wristwatches.

With that alone, it really sounds like these two devices aren’t all that different. The only thing that OnePlus calls out as new is “ultra-precise dual-frequency GPS,” which the Watch 2 didn’t offer.

In a leaked spec sheet posted by Ishan Agarwal, we get an even better look at how similar these two devices are.

The dual-chip setup is the same with Snapdragon W5 running Wear OS and a BES2700 low-power chip handling the lighter tasks. The display is the same at 1.43-inches in size, and it also features the same 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Battery life is quoted at 100 hours, and it seems to even have the same health sensors and tracking options.

There was only one change on the spec sheet that we could see. Water resistance is still IP68, but drops from 5ATM to 2.5ATM. That shouldn’t affect many folks, but between that and GPS being the only differences outside of the design, it’s hard not to wonder why OnePlus is spending time on this device.

But, we’ll see soon enough. OnePlus will launch the Watch 2R alongside Nord Buds 3 Pro and Pad 2 on July 16. In the same press release issued today, OnePlus confirms that Pad 2 will feature a 12.1-inch display and that Buds 3 Pro will offer 49db of noise cancellation.

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