We’ve already had LTE Smartwatches from Samsung and LG. These however ran Tizen and WebOS respectively. Now LTE comes to Android Wear as well in the ( take a deep breath ) LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition ( phew! ). Apart from its enormous name it comes with some added functions and a mysterious new version of Android Wear.
Having LTE and 3G in this watch will allow it to work without taking your phone with you which is great when your outdoors doing sporting activity. With 4 gigabytes of on board storage you’ll be able to take some tunes out with you and listen to them with bluetooth headphones. Built in GPS tracking will allow accurate location tracking out on your runs but it’s disappointing to see it’s not fully waterproof with an IP67 rating. Using the speaker and microphone you’ll be able to answer and make phone calls without reaching into your pocket so that could prove handy when your hands are full. Unfortunately the radio receivers are built into the straps so you won’t get the ability to mix and match with different quick swap bands as some watches will offer now. Personally looking at the press image I like the style of 3 out 4 of the designs and maybe there will be more choice at launch.
It will be able to work with both iOS and Android so if the Apple Watch has never really done it for you and you want something offering a different take then you now have another choice.
The three buttons on the side provide access to ambient mode ( middle button ), favourite contacts ( top button ) and the LG Health app ( you guessed it..bottom button ). It is also running as yet unannounced version of Android Wear which is why if you try to watch any hands-on YouTube videos nobody is actually allowed to show it working! You can get an idea in a glossy promo from LG which I’ll leave at the end of this article.
The watch has a revised heart rate sensor which is better protected from the elements than many other Android Wear devices. It also boasts and improved display packing a 1.3 inch P-OLED display with a resolution of 480×480 which is better than the already lovely Huawei Watch display. The added battery capacity of 570mAh will help offset the extra drain from the wireless connection but battery life remains to be seen once it’s tested in the real world. LG claim it’s good for 36-48 hours on a single charge which is pretty impressive if true.
It certainly looks on the thick side so if you want a slimline watch this not for you. To be fair to it they are packing a lot into it. The best thing is seeing people wearing it in real life photos which will certainly come.
It should be coming in November from rumours and possibly coming to the UK a few months later but a price and date remain unconfirmed. We’ve yet to be see how UK carriers will deal with the SIM in the watch and what we might be charged for it. From what I understand the calls are forwarded to your watch so you keep the same phone number. Let’s hope this is the implementation as having another separate phone number for your watch would just an awful solution.
This may just pack in everything I’ve been waiting for in a smartwatch so if the price is right and the data connection works on my network then I may well go for it.