Smartwatches have been a thing for quite some time now. Nevertheless, it's a product category still struggling to find its feet, not to mention a compelling reason for normal people — those who live outside the tech bubble — to buy in. In the case of Android Wear, the software's still pretty basic, and the early hardware has been much closer to a smartphone on your wrist than a true evolution of this centuries-old device category.
There have, however, been a couple of notable exceptions. The first was Motorola's Moto 360, a futuristic watch that scooped up its share of praise before it'd even landed on store shelves. The second is the LG G Watch R, a device which tackles the smartwatch problem from a slightly different angle.
As Motorola prepared to ship a smartwatch that could easily pass as a prop in a sci-fi movie, LG's first round wearable drew inspiration from the watches of the here and now, with a chunkier, more industrial look. Beyond the aesthetics, the G Watch R promised to address one of its predecessor's major functional pain points with a new, brighter plastic OLED display.
So now that we finally have the LG G Watch R in our hands, how does it shape up? Is this the Android wearable we've been waiting for, or just another imperfect smartwatch? Read on to find out, in the Android Central review.
About this review
We're writing this review after five days with a U.S. retail LG G Watch R (LG-W110) paired with a variety of different Android smartphones on alternating days — first, the HTC One M8, then the LG G3, then the Samsung Galaxy S5.
For most of this time our review unit was running Android Wear version 4.4W1, build KIW52H. On the last day before publishing this review, our watch received an update to version 4.4W2, build KNX01R, which eliminated some performance and stability issues we were seeing on the earlier firmware. (We've included more details on the 4.4W2 update in the software section.)