LG Watch Urbane hands-on – Android Wear in metal

Vincent Nguyen - Mar 1, 2015, 6:00 am CST
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LG Watch Urbane hands-on – Android Wear in metal

You can’t accuse LG of slacking on Android Wear, with the LG Watch Urbane the third model to run Google’s smartwatch platform. Announced a few weeks back, but making its official debut here at Mobile World Congress 2015, the new smartwatch keeps the circular P-OLED touchscreen of its G Watch R predecessor, but frames it in a brand new, high-quality metal casing for a feel more akin to traditional timepieces.

So, the body has been slimmed down versus the G Watch R, and the bezels are slimmer too. LG has done away with the chronograph-like markings, which should leave the Watch Urbane looking less incongruous with alternative watch faces.

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The metal is polished and finished in either silver or gold, and it’s paired with a stitched leather strap. Altogether, there’s a feeling of quality a clear step above LG’s previous smartwatches, which erred on the plastic side.

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Pressed against your wrist is a heart rate monitor, while inside there’s a barometer and Bluetooth.

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As for software, this is Android Wear as we’ve seen it several times before. In fact, using the Watch Urbane is pretty much akin to using the G Watch R: a combination of simple taps and swipes to move through the interface, then voice commands for text entry and more complex tasks like setting a navigation destination.

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I’m still not 100-percent convinced by Android Wear – to be frank, I don’t think any smartwatch platform has got it entirely right yet – but the Watch Urbane is certainly a handsome way to wear it. In its favor is the fact that it doesn’t look too geeky: with a relatively classic face loaded, you could be mistaken for wearing a traditional watch. Neither is it too ostensibly masculine, something LG says was intentional.

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What’s still unclear is when you’ll actually be able to pick one up. LG is keeping quiet on release dates and pricing at this stage; we’ll update when we know more.



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