Two Android Wear smartwatches, both alike in dignity. And shape. And from the first time we saw the Moto 360 compared to its square brethren, well, a good many of us knew that round was where it's at. But it turns out the Moto 360 isn't the only player in this space — LG's second Android Wear smartwatch — the LG G Watch R — also brings a round face, and a few other surprises.
We've already taken a pretty decent look at the G Watch R at the IFA conference in Berlin. A week later in Las Vegas, we got a chance to put it up against the Moto 360.
And you know what? It's not a bad fight.
It's been a bit of a trend to go after the size of the Moto 360 and the LG G Watch R. Pictures tend to not do them justice. They're not small, but neither are they huge. Certainly no bigger than some high-end (or highfalutin) watches you'll see. The display on the Moto 360 actually is a little larger — 1.56 inches for Moto, versus 1.3 inches for LG. While the overall resolution is roughly the same (320 by 320 not counting the little slice Motorola removed for the ambient light sensor and display connectors), the lower pixel density is apparent on the Moto 360. On the other hand, the Plastic OLED display on the G Watch R seemed to be a little softer. Neither of those things should be a deal-breaker, though.
LG also tends to take a swipe at Motorola having to lop off a bit of its display as well, and you'll hear the company touting the use of the entire display. Whether Motorola's not-quite-360 is something that'll keep you up at night is one we'll leave to you. Perhaps that full display just gives the G Watch a more finished look.
But that's also a little diminished by a bezel that just doesn't quite sit right with us for some reason. It's not the upside-down 30 — that's not uncommon (though this bezel doesn't rotate).
Both watches have buttons on the side — we're not really sold on the functionality of either. But if you have a hard time waking the watch by raising your arm, it's a nice fallback.
The undersides are mostly remarkable. Motorola's definitely looks better from down here, but then again that's an area that nobody but you is going to see. (The G Watch R uses the same sort of charging dock as the original G Watch, just in a different shape, while the Moto 360 uses Qi charging and doesn't require any visible mechanisms.
In our brief time comparing the two, it really was the watch faces that made both watches stand out. Not so much from each other but from every other watch we've seen. Motorola and LG both have some new custom faces that are far more interesting than the stock fare on early devices. LG takes advantage of the barometer on its watch, adding altitude as an option on a watch face. (There's also a dedicated camping watch face. Sadly, we left our pup tent at home this trip.)
This one might well come down to aesthetics, and there's nothing wrong with that. Some folks will prefer the more sleek look of the Moto 360. Others will prefer the more traditional look of the LG G Watch R. Us? We're going to hold out for pricing information before making that call.