Hands-on with the new LG Watch Urbane smartwatch
The calls for better-looking Android Wear smartwatches are slowly but surely being answered and just in time to compete with a certain Apple Watch and the new Pebble Time Steel. First Sony decided to give the SmartWatch 3 a stainless makeover, with the Moto 360 and the new Huawei Watch following suit.
LG’s G Watch R has led the way for attractiveness but its design definitely had more sporty appeal. With the G Watch Urbane the attention has turned to watch wearers who want something to compliment their suit instead of their gym gear.
There’s still a circular watch face, but now the plastic dial and bezel
is gone, replaced with a more expensive stainless steel. Despite the more expensive materials
used, the G Watch Urbane is at least still IP7 certified water and dust proof so you can jump in the shower with it.
LG has also
removed the screws and have made the bezels narrower as well but it doesn’t disguise that at 10.9mm thick, it’s still chunky around the wrist. Compared to the G Watch Urbane LTE though, it looks super slim.
silver and gold options but it’s slim pickings choosing
which one actually feels like it is comparable to an expensive Swiss-made watch. The silver Urbane is the more attractive of the two by some distance. In gold it just looks cheap, especially set against the genuine leather strap.
LG Watch Urbane (left) next to the Moto 360 (right)
Apart from the metal, it has all the same components found inside the LG G Watch R. That includes the 1.2GHZ Snapdragon 400 CPU powering performance and a 1.3-inch circular P-OLED display. The light-based optical heart rate sensor is still in the back and the straps can be replaced with 22mm wide bands.
Android Wear offers much of the same smartwatch experience and runs on the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop update. LG has made some tweaks like the watch faces, where it does a much better job than Samsung and Sony of actually pre-installing ones you’d want to use.
If this is LG’s attempt to smarten up its Android Wear approach, I’m not all that impressed. I didn’t think there was much wrong with the G Watch R, even if it was a little more sporty but the Urbane’s attempt to create something more elegant sadly doesn’t work.
LG hasn’t talked pricing for the Urbane but it’s likely to cost significantly more than the G Watch R. With the Apple Watch and the more impressive Pebble Time Steel also on the way, the metallic design is not really enough to mask Android Wear’s shortcomings.