OnePlus Watch is getting an always-on display after abysmal reviews

OnePlus is rolling out an update that should improve activity tracking.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Following a swathe of brutal reviews earlier this month for its first smartwatch, OnePlus has released an update that might resolve some of the device's key issues. It also revealed some features it's planning to add later, such as an always-on display.

The first update for the OnePlus Watch is rolling out in the US and Canada. It'll expand to other regions in the coming days. Along with bug fixes and better system stability, OnePlus claims the update brings improvements to GPS performance and more accurate activity tracking for running and walking. The company says it optimized the heart rate monitor and notification sync algorithms, turned on notification icons for the most-used apps and improved the raise-to-wake function.

Better activity tracking should come as welcome news for early OnePlus Watch owners. Engadget reviews editor Cherlynn Low found the device failed to keep a correct tally of step counts, noting that "on one of my treadmill runs, it lagged the machine by a third of a mile, which messed up my pace." Gizmodo's Victoria Song, meanwhile, wrote that "step counts were off by more than 10,000 steps."

As well as the always-on mode, OnePlus revealed what else it's working on. If you have a smartphone running Android 6.0 or later, you'll eventually be able to control the device's camera remotely from a connected OnePlus Watch. An AI watch face, 12-hour time format and support for German, Italian, Spanish and Polish are on the way. OnePlus also plans to switch on all 110+ workout modes.

These refinements and added features might not be enough to completely salvage the reputation of the OnePlus Watch, but it's a start.