LG G Watch R photo © Smartwatchcity.com
Overall impression – 2 years in the making, this is probably the most complete all-round (pun not intended) smartwatch out there for those who like their watches to look like watches, first and foremost.
Pros: Quality steel body with leather strap as standard, great looks coupled with great performance
Cons: A little large and chunky for small wrists, a little higher in price than the comparable Moto 360
Price: £229 / US$350
If the Moto 360 is turning heads through its sheer style, the rugged (albeit rather cumbersomely-titled) LG G Watch R is a handsome timepiece which will sit proudly on your wrist. With a watch face larger than most Rolexes (for example) and touching on the preserve of pan-sized Breitlings it may appear chunky on small-framed individuals. At over 60g (10g heavier than the Moto 360), this really is a timepeice oozing machismo, a sentiment echoed in one of its teaser campaign shots featuring a bloke posing on a classic Triumph motorbike. There is quality here, but it is reflected in the price, coming in higher than the Moto 360 at around US$350 or £230. An IP67 dust and water resistance rating, rapidly becoming the norm for smartwatches, is also incorporated.
Display: round, 1.3″, P-OLED, 320 x 320
Featuring a true, completely round watch face, the G Watch R hails a relatively small 1.3″ P-OLED display. The colours are bright and strong giving a very authentic-looking watchface. Not quite as stylish as the Moto 360, the G Watch R nonetheless cuts it as a fashionable timepiece. With a rugged look more reminiscent of classic sports and diving watches, in part due to the rather large (and immovable) bezel around the edge, it should appeal to a broad market. With some 18 different watch faces to choose from, it will provide a look for almost any taste. Certainly sharper than the Moto 360, the display is estimated (with no official confirmation) to be in the region of 250 ppi. Unlike the Moto 360, however, there is the lack of an ambient light sensor.
Performance: 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, 512 RAM, 4GB
With a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, 512 RAM and 4GB storage, the G Watch R comfortably handles any task thrown at it without even a hint of lag. Screen swipes result in a satisfyingly smooth action.
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, no GPS nor NFC
Unlike some other Android Wear devices, a good connection to the phone was consistently maintained, and setting up is straightforward enough.
Battery & Charging: Decent battery life from 410mAh battery, charging cradle which attaches magnetically to the watch
The high-capacity 410mAh battery is purported to give up to 2 days life, however, this can only realistically be achieved when kept in standby mode which draws a fraction of the normal power. But this certainly is not bad when compared to other watches in this class, and gives that little bit of leeway in unexpected situations when out and about. Charging is done using a little puck-like dock which features a micro USB port so it can itself draw power from a range of devices. The watch back attaches magnetically to the dock, and the ‘juice’ is delivered via a set of small pins on the back. As with a number of smartwatches out there, propriety charging systems are being used to ensure the device remains as light and slim as possible.
OS and Apps: Android Wear with Google Now, and all the associated apps
As with other Android watches the G Watch R comes bundles with Android Wear and Google Now. As is becoming standard now there is an optical heart sensor built into the base and an inbuilt pedometer keeps a track of your daily activity. Amongst the range of faces available there are functional ones such as a hiking face which incorporates altitude, number of steps taken and a compass. You also have the usual complement; maps with navigation, social media apps with notifications and sports and weather alerts as well as the range of Google’s Android Wear apps available, but not all will be suited to the round screen.
Control and interface:
The crown doubles as an on-off switch as well as to access the menu. A wrist-flick also wakes the watch, as does a tap, both these methods now a firm staple of smartwatches out there. And Google’s voice command also work well.
Compatibility: Phones running Adroid 4.3 Jelly Bean and above. Not compatible with Apple phones