LG G Watch Review
2014 is the year of smartwatches. Multiple smartwatches gained popularity this year. Ranging from Pebble to multiple smartwatch platforms. Then Google’s Android Wear enters to unify OEMs in creating the smartwatch of the future. One of them is the LG G Watch, a square Android Wear smartwatch that wants to cling on your wrist the whole day.
Design and Construction
The G Watch from the Korean company doesn’t have any iconic design language to boast. It’s a rectangular piece of industrial design with a 1:1 display covered in smooth glass. The generic design easily complement the wearer with virtually any easy outfit.
Built with a mixture of plastic and metal, the smartwatch feels solid and sturdy. Although careless users like me can easily scuff the metal frame of the watch. Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 protects the screen, so scratches are not issues.
The face of the device reveals a square 1.65-inch IPS LCD with a relatively sharp resolution of 280 x 280 pixels (240 ppi). It is accompanied with an acceptable bezel but not as attractive as the Moto 360’s. As mentioned earlier, this part is covered with Gorilla Glass for protection.
Quality is great and the brightness can punch up really high when under the sun. On the contrary, this bright display can be a trouble in dark places like a cinema. The smartwatch can attract attention when set at “always on” setting, so keep that in mind when entering dim places.
The smartwatch runs the first version of Android Wear and it shows its infancy. The operating system of Google for smartwatch basically shows your notification on your wrist plus a few other features and tiny apps. Swiping is the key input method throughout the system.
Swipe up to check on your cards, swipe right to dismiss individual cards, and swipe left to check on your available actions. While on your stand by screen, you can swipe down to mute notifications. Don’t worry about the operation because Android Wear will run you through this and more features upon first usage. It’s really simple although I wish I can do more with it, especially with apps. Maybe with version 2.0?
You can choose from multiple watch faces ranging from formal to playful. If you wish to keep the watch on stand by you can do so but it will consume more juice throughout the day. You can also reply to your messages (SMS, e-mail, Messenger, etc.) through the watch using your voice which Android Wear picks up and understands well.
Performance and Battery Life
Powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 400 running at 1.2GHz, the G Watch provides smooth navigation and a lag-free experience. Swiping from cards to cards is a breeze. The smartwatch even connects instantly once paired. Just turn on the Bluetooth of the paired smartphone and the Android Wear app will connect the phone for you. No need to manually connect every time the device gets disconnected. The catch is, you can only pair the smartwatch with a single smartphone at a time. If you need to use it with a different parent, you have to reset in order it pair it with a new device.
The built-in microphone manages to catch my voice fairly well in multiple environments, though I don’t see any practical usage of voice reply from the time being. A short reply like Okay, Got it etc. will do just fine but I would still prefer to respond by typing in my message. And lastly, the smartwatch can count your steps. I doubt its accuracy but it is nice to reach a certain daily step goal to keep fit.
All these features are backed up by a 400mAh battery which could last a whole day with average to moderate usage. Sadly, it won’t last as long as a Pebble Watch that has an e-ink display.
A smartwatch is still a mere accessory for our smartphone. If you don’t have one, you’re not left behind. But if you do, you’re a member of early adopters experiencing the next big thing in mobile accessory. The LG G Watch is a viable candidate to give you a feel of that constantly-connected lifestyle in today’s fast-paced world. It may not turn heads for design, but it will definitely have the attention of curious consumers.
LG G Watch specifications:
1.2Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
1.65-inch IPS LCD (280 x 280 pixels)
4GB built-in storage
Dust and Water Resistant (IP67)
37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95mm
What we like about:
• Biggest battery among Android Wear smartwatches
• Smooth performance
• Wide range of watch faces
What we didn’t like:
• No heart rate sensor
• Generic block design
• Android Wear is in its infancy