The second round Android Wear watch is a looker, but you'll have to wait for it
No more teasers. This is the LG G Watch R — the South Korean manufacturer's second Android Wear smartwatch. It's also the second round entry we've seen this year, the Moto 360 being the other. And it looks like folks are going to have some hard choices to make later this year.
Yes, we said later this year. (Which means we fibbed just a bit when we said "no more teasers.") The LG G Watch R won't be available until October at the earliest — fourth-quarter 2014 is all we've got at this point, and it wouldn't surprise us in the least to see it launch alongside the L version of Android — and we don't yet know the price.
That said, the LG G Watch R is a looker for a number of reasons.
First things first, we're fans of the round Android Wear watch. The Moto 360 immediately caught our eye as well, and these things just look more like watches than displays on our wrists. And if you're looking for the black bar that blemishes the bottom of the Moto 360, well, it's not there. As LG teased from the get-go, the G Watch R uses every part of the display, tucking the connectors and the like behind the bezel of the watch. The body is stainless steel.
There's no black bar to distract from the look of this round smartwatch.
Then there's the display itself. LG's using a 1.3-inch P-OLED panel at 320 by 320 resolution. (The Plastic OLED is the same tech used the LG G Flex, for what that's worth.) LG says you'll get "stunning image clarity even under bright sunlight" — that's been a pretty major issue with Android Wear watches thus far, so we'll see.
For the strap, LG's using a standard 22mm leather band (calfskin, if you must know), and you can swap it out for something else if you prefer.
The rest of the internals are pretty much what we've come to expect from this first generation of Android Wear devices. The LG G Watch R is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor running at 1.2 GHz. It's got 4 gigabytes of internal storage, with 512MB of RAM. The battery is (just barely) the largest we've seen thus far at 410mAh. Sensor-wise, we're looking at a gyroscope, accelerometer and compass, plus a barometer (an altimeter widget showed up on a watch face in one of LG's teasers) and a heart-rate sensor.
There's a lot to like there — at least on paper and in the limited number of pictures LG's put out thus far. (Poor Photoshop jobs notwithstanding.) We'll have to see how it stands up in sunlight, and how the overall look (including with the dimmed always-on feature) and feel pan out. And we'll have to see how it stands up against the Moto 360, which we've actually been able to try out and should see more of next week.
Stay tuned. We've got a little while to wait on this one, it seems. We'll get a better look at the LG G Watch R next week at the IFA show in Berlin. In the meantime, be sure to swing by our LG G Watch R forum!
LG READYING SNEAK PEEK OF NEW G Watch R AT IFA 2014
New Android Wearable First to Feature Full Circle P-OLED Display
SEOUL, Aug. 28, 2014 — Following the June release of one of the first-to-market wearable device powered by Android Wear™, LG Electronics (LG) is quickly expanding its wearable product offerings with the unveiling a new Android Wear device — the LG G Watch R at IFA 2014 in Berlin next week. The LG G Watch R will be the world's first watch-style wearable device to feature a full circle Plastic OLED (P-OLED) display that utilizes 100 percent of its circular display.
The most eye-catching feature of the LG G Watch R is its 1.3-inch full circle P-OLED display that produces stunning image clarity even under bright sunlight and superb clarity when viewed from any angle. Powered by a powerful 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, the LG G Watch R offers 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM and a durable 410mAh battery. This Android Wear device will effortlessly run all compatible apps available in the Google Play Store and with an Ingress Protection Rating of IP67, the LG G Watch R is designed to run for up to 30 minutes in one meter of water.
With Android Wear™ at its core, the LG G Watch R delivers essential and relevant information exactly at the right time and place through voice recognition notifications. With a suite of LG health and fitness apps, users can also monitor their heartbeats with the support of the embedded photoplethysmograpgy (PPG) sensor. And the smart notifications provide users with important reminders of missed calls and messages, upcoming meetings, events, and local weather forecasts.
With an artisanal elegance, the LG G Watch R boasts a refined aesthetic that is reminiscent of traditional timepieces. Replete with a circular watch face, this elegantly crafted Android wearable has classic curves encased in a strong, durable stainless steel frame and carries a suite of watch faces that are accessible with a simple touch of the display. Its interchangeable 22mm calf skin leather strap also complements its overall aesthetic, giving it an air of modern prestige.
"What we've noticed in the year of the wearable is that this is a category that can't be compared to smartphones and tablets," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "Wearables are also accessories and consumers will want more than one to choose from. So we wanted to complement the modern design of the original G Watch with the classic look of the G Watch R. Customers can't go wrong with either device."
The LG G Watch R will be available in key markets early in the fourth quarter of 2014. Prices and details of availability will be announced locally at the time of launch. Visitors to IFA can see LG G Watch R up close in Hall 11.2 of Messe Berlin from September 5-10.
- Chipset: 1.2GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400
- Display: 1.3-inch P-OLED Display (320 x 320)
- Memory: 4GB eMMC / 512MB RAM
- Battery: 410mAh
- Operating System: Android Wear™ (compatible with smartphones running Android 4.3 and above)
- Sensors: 9-Axis (Gyro/ Accelerometer/ Compass), Barometer, PPG
- Color: Black
- Other: Dust and Water Resistant (IP67)