Is Oppo really making an Apple Watch-rivaling smartwatch?

Oppo smartwatch
(Image credit: Oppo)

There might not be throngs of people scouring the web for news about Oppo's upcoming smartwatch, but it might be worth starting to get a little more interested.

A new leaked render of the watch has emerged, and while we don't have a firm release date, price, or anything approaching a full spec list, it seems we're not far off launch.

The leak shows a moodily-lit device, which has the same square design as teased a couple of times from Oppo employees (not least president of global marketing Brian Shen, who's leak is shown further down), but with an odd interface.

Oppo Smartwatch

(Image credit: Weibo)

Some have speculated that it shows the smartwatch running Wear OS, but if so, that would mean it's running a skin on top of the platform (not impossible - Xiaomi did the same thing) but with a font that looks curiously similar to Apple's own.

There's also a possibility that this will be Oppo's own smartwatch operating system - something possible given the odd font - but whether that would be attractive enough to the wider public remains to be seen.

It also - like the Apple Watch - is rumored to pack an ECG monitor inside - although whether it's got the necessary clearances internationally to activate this feature in places like the US and UK remains to be seen.

Who did this?

It's also unclear where this leak has originated from - some place the source as from 'Digital Chat Station' on Weibo, while others claim it's from notable leaker Ben Geskin.

Looking closer at the image, it really does seem like a live image given the hair on the carpet and reflections in the screen - but we've seen greater efforts from Photoshop users to craft a fake, so that doesn't really confirm anything.

It's not a direct copy of Apple's smartwatch interface (if this leak is true, and not just a fancy render from a fan) as that uses a more tile-based format, but it does suggest that Oppo would be looking to stand out slightly in the smartwatch world.

The header image on this story (first shared from an Oppo exec on Weibo) hints at a March 6 launch (and again, nods to the Apple Watch 5 stylings) - so we won't have long to wait to find out if this is, indeed, a leak or a faked render.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.