LG Watch Sport review: The best showcase for Android Wear 2.0

After being quite exciting in its early days, Android Wear really lost whatever luster it initially had over the last two years. Google did a great job getting a good variety of more traditional fashion brands on board for new and interesting hardware throughout 2015 and even into 2016, but with the announcement of Android Wear 2.0 at Google I/O it kind of put the brakes on buying watches as we all knew new hardware would be coming with the final release of the software.

With a bit of a setback pushing the Android Wear 2.0 launch to 2017, we had to wait a bit longer to see the platform's "launch" watches: the feature-packed LG Watch Sport and the svelte LG Watch Style. The latter has its own draw in that it's sleek and sets itself apart from previous big Android Wear watches, but the LG Watch Sport is a true evolution of what you think of today as a full-power smartwatch.

It's relatively big, thick and filled with all sorts of features that showcase the brand new refocused Android Wear 2.0 software. This is the launch product for what Google hopes is a new wave of excitement about Android wearables, and that means it has to get it right with the $349 LG Watch Sport — see how it all comes together in our complete review.

About this review

I (Andrew Martonik) am writing this review after one week using the LG Watch Sport, connected to a Pixel XL over Bluetooth and with an active AT&T SIM in the watch. For testing purposes I was using pre-release version of some Google apps; the watch's software was not updated during the course of the review. The LG Watch Sport was provided to Android Central for review by Google.

Moving pictures!

LG Watch Sport Video review

Sometimes video shows it best. To see a condensed version of the LG Watch Sport review in video form, check out the video up above! Once you're finished, keep reading to see all of the details about this new smartwatch from LG and Google.

LG Watch Sport

New big watch

LG Watch Sport Hardware

LG was there in 2014 for the original release of Android Wear, trotting out the boxy LG G Watch, and has also been one of the most active Android Wear partners since. So it's only fitting that it is the sole company kicking off Android Wear 2.0's introduction to the world. If you're an Android nerd like me you'll recognize the Watch Sport as a clear member of the LG Watch family, building on the history of round watches that it started with the G Watch R.

Before we get any further, here's a quick note on color options. The Watch Sport shown in this review is the "silver" model, which will be available everywhere this watch is sold. But there is also a "dark blue" model (looks black depending on the light) with black straps that will be available exclusively from the Google Store.

The LG Watch Sport is circular, thick and crafted out of a nice chunk of metal with a simple mix of lightly textured finish on the sides and a flat brushed finish encircling the display. Even though it packs a large 1.38-inch circular display, the metal casing keeps the bezel quite small. The two-tone brushed metal keeps the understated look going, making it less bulky feeling when compared to the likes of the Samsung Gear S3. LG has made the transition from metal to plastic on the back much smoother and less noticeable than Samsung as well.

This is definitely still a big watch, though, further necessitating the simultaneous launch of the thin-and-light LG Watch Style for the two-thirds or so of the market who just can't handle a watch as big as the Sport. At 14 mm thick it still sits up off of your wrist a considerable amount, making it tough to even stretch a long sleeve over it.

More: Complete LG Watch Sport specs

Of course that thickness isn't just empty space — there's a sizable 430 mAh battery inside, as well as dedicated LTE, GPS and NFC radios and a heart rate sensor. It also gives you enough room on the case for three hardware buttons: a crown that also rotates for software interaction, and two customizable shortcut buttons.

The other part of the story with the LTE and NFC on the Watch Sport is that they necessitate having integrated TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane) bands that aren't user-replaceable, as LG has tucked necessary radios into the bands themselves. Not only does that limit the flexibility of the band attachment points if you're trying to crank down the watch onto a smaller wrist, but some will also be put off by the lack of customization options. Again, this is where the LG Watch Style takes over with its standard swappable 18 mm lugs.

On the front of the watch, you'll find a typical great LG display. The P-OLED panel comes in at 480x480 resolution, and has a really small bezel that only slightly cuts into your screen real estate. It also offers an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness, without an unsightly flat tire. The display gets very bright but also very dim when needed, and generally looks great all around.

LG Watch Sport

Refocused, redefined

LG Watch Sport Software

Android Wear 2.0 is a massive departure from previous releases, as it completely rethinks what's important on a smartwatch. Speaking ahead of the launch with David Singleton, VP of Android Engineering at Google, he explained that user feedback programs showed there were really three areas that consumers wanted their watches to be really great: watch faces, notifications and fitness tracking.

Focusing on the core experience ... but also, look at all of this other stuff!

Watch faces are now proper useful pieces of information rather than simply "form over function" displays that sit there waiting to be covered by notifications and apps. With the introduction of an API structure for complications, developers of both watch faces and apps can build to each other's benefit. Watch faces can have slots for a number of complications, which are user-customizable with various system-level utilities and third-party apps alike. App developers can choose what data to surface when a user places their app in a complication slot, and watch face developers can choose how they want to display it.

Notifications have also been simplified to require fewer swipes and taps. Apps can surface their most-used function to be visible at the bottom of a notification, saving you an extra swipe to perform that common action. For example, messaging and email apps surface simple one-tap buttons for actions like replying to or archiving messages. These new actions can be seen surfaced at the bottom of many parts of the Android Wear 2.0 experience, saving you time while also hiding fewer buttons from view.

Our complete Android Wear 2.0 review!

Android Wear 2.0 is a complete overhaul of Google's wearable platform, from interface and design to apps and functionality. For the complete breakdown of everything that's new in the latest release, be sure to read our complete Android Wear 2.0 review.

Read our complete Android Wear 2.0 review here!

Interestingly, Android Wear also puts in many deeper levels of interaction for those who want to do more with their watch. The ability to add a standalone LTE connection to your watch is a great indication that Android Wear devices are now designed to operate (at least sometimes) independently of your phone. App developers can now create watch apps that don't require a companion app on your phone, and at the same time when you install an app on your phone it doesn't automatically push a companion app on your watch. I far prefer this approach, particularly if you're someone who won't be using a ton of apps on the watch itself — you can keep things clean, on your terms.

Google has also brought over a somewhat-limited version of Google Assistant to Android Wear 2.0. Through either a long press on the crown or a mention of "OK, Google" you can launch Assistant, and ask it just about anything you'd ask of your Pixel or Google Home. Integrations with things like smart home devices aren't yet here, but simple queries about the weather, navigation, messaging, search terms or simply launching an app all work just fine. There's a considerable speed difference between the watch and a Pixel performing the same task, though, limiting its realistic usefulness to situations where you don't have a phone or Google Home nearby.

Perhaps my favorite part about the Android Wear 2.0 update is its new emphasis on "rotational input." The new interaction method lets companies create smartwatches that can use other forms of input than just the touch screen, like LG did with a rotating crown on the Watch Sport and Watch Style. Rotational input isn't simply translating spinning hardware into touch, either — it's a whole new form of interaction that developers have to specifically target and choose what to do. For example it's used for scrolling throughout the interface, but zooming on Google Maps — developers can run with it.

The rotational input isn't just limited to crowns, though — it could perhaps be a fully rotating bezel, or something else entirely. I absolutely love using the crown throughout the interface — it makes getting through long lists a breeze, while at the same time making it easier to move precisely through an app without covering the content you're trying to navigate. And yes, I have to give the nod to the Gear S2 (and to a lesser extent, Apple Watch) for getting to this idea first.

LG Watch Sport

Big improvement

LG Watch Sport Experience

The combination of this refreshed Android Wear software experience and new hardware that actually feels modern gives me a renewed sense of hope about Android Wear. The new wearable-tuned Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor pairs up with 768MB of RAM to give you a slick and smooth experience, and if you keep to basic tasks you won't ever be waiting for something to load longer than you would expect. Heavier tasks like some full-blown apps (like Google Maps) or those that need heavy network access (like Google Assistant) take a few extra beats, but this is a few massive steps ahead of the performance on older models using a Snapdragon 400.

As someone who really has little desire to use the more advanced features of Android Wear (or really any smartwatch) because they quickly become frustrating on a tiny screen, I'm very happy with the way the LG Watch Sport performs.

Android Pay on the LG Watch Sport

Android Pay

Yes, you can finally pay for things with just your watch! Android Wear 2.0 introduces the mobile payments for devices that choose to include NFC (like the LG Watch Sport, but not the Watch Style). Setup is quick, assuming you've already configured Android Pay on your phone. You can set a default payment card on the watch, and see a payment history when you tap into each card.

Finding the tap-to-pay point is extra awkward when you're using a smartwatch.

You can quickly fire up Android Pay by opening the app or assigning it to one of the customizable case buttons, and it's immediately ready to pay. In the case of the LG Watch Sport you place the top portion of the watch — where the band meets the case — to the terminal, and it gives you a satisfying vibration to let you know the payment went through.

Paying with your wrist is nice if you live somewhere that has finally started to adopt new payment terminals with NFC. Just be prepared to get a few awkward looks as you figure out where, exactly, the tap-to-pay areas are on some of the newer terminals. It all looks so much more awkward when you're trying to do it with your smartwatch.

Fitness tracking

The "Sport" designation means this is a smartwatch suited for working out and generally sticking with you as you stay active, and that has come with a solid improvement to the default Google Fit app. By default Fit is mapped to the top button on the watch, which can launch you into a workout with a single tap. Of course all of the data syncs back to the Google Fit app on your phone, tracking your activities over time and breaking down all of your actions.

Google Fit received a much-needed update to cover most of your fitness needs.

With minimal setup you can get tracking right away with the LG Watch Sport, even if you don't set up the Fit app on your phone first. You can enter your height and weight, then be off to the races with tracking your daily step count, as well as your heart rate through a higher-end and more accurate PPG heart rate sensor. Google Fit can handle walks and runs pulling GPS data from your connected phone, or if you want to stride freely you can use its integrated GPS instead. Without starting explicit workouts Fit will track your movements and estimate when you went on a walk or run, but won't kick in the GPS without your permission. At the end of the day you get a nice breakdown of your steps, active time, calories burned and distance walked, if you're interested.

You can, of course, go beyond just walking and running with Fit — from standard gym machines to body weight exercises, Fit can help you track everything if you tend to vary your workouts. The size of the Sport could be a hindrance for some gym workouts, but that will be up to your personal preference. If you decide to bring the Sport with you, it can pair to Bluetooth headphones and play music without your phone — a forthcoming Google Play Music update will let you stream music over LTE and Wi-Fi as well. IP68 water resistance lets the Watch Sport handle sweat and rain without issue, but won't protect it when you go for a swim.

LG Watch Sport

Battery life

I recently reviewed the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier LTE, and quickly saw how much stress LTE and GPS could put on a smartwatch. Now I'm using an Android Wear watch with the same features, and am of course seeing the same results. Keeping LTE turned on significantly cuts into the battery even if you're primarily connected to a phone over Bluetooth, as the mobile data has to be idly available for incoming calls and connections.

Battery life is great, provided you don't actually use LTE.

On my first couple of days using the LG Watch Sport, getting settled in and using it more than typical to get acquainted with it, I hit 15% battery — which triggers "battery saver" mode — at around 4 p.m. after having taken it off the charger just before 9 a.m. that morning. That included a couple of walks pulling GPS from my connected phone, transferring some tracks that I downloaded in Google Play Music and several requests to Google Assistant — all with LTE and Wi-Fi turned on (they idle when Bluetooth is connected), and notifications pinging my wrist.

That's pretty good considering it's what I'd call above-average use, but that still means I'm putting the watch on a charger at dinnertime rather than making it the "full day" that LG claims. Further on in my week of testing when I was using the watch a bit more normally and trialed turning off LTE (as a majority of people will experience it), battery life improved dramatically. Standby battery was great, and I regularly went to bed after 14 hours off the charger with 30% battery left. So, not enough to get 2 days without charging ... but plenty left in the tank to always make it through a full day — again, so long as you don't use LTE.

LTE on your wrist

Mobile data on a smartwatch isn't something that everyone is clamoring for, and definitely isn't a feature you'll find everywhere in the market, but after dipping its toe in with the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE (that name ...) it's back at it again here. Just like Samsung's last few smartwatches, you can get a distinct data plan from your carrier — AT&T and Verizon at launch — that gives your watch its own connection that can be used for calls (yes, over the watch loudspeaker) and texts, all synchronized with your phone.

Few will be willing to pay $5-10/month for LTE on a watch.

You can also use that connection to operate the watch independently outside the range of your phone's Bluetooth connection. That means you can use Android Wear's new standalone apps to load maps, send and receive messages, stream fresh music from Google Play Music and generally keep up with the world. Adding LTE to the equation doesn't mean you have any more room to work with on the watch, though, so remember you're still dealing with a limited operating system on a 1.38-inch display.

Even though you can buy the LG Watch Sport from AT&T or Verizon, that doesn't mean you have to. You can buy it unlocked for the same $349 price from Google (and other retailers) directly, and simply use it with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (including GPS) as you would any other smartwatch. In the end I expect a small minority will see the value in paying $5-10 per month for LTE on their watch — I sure don't see the value in it myself.

LG Watch Sport

A new era

LG Watch Sport Bottom line

Google still has an uphill battle ahead trying to get a notable number of people interested in smartwatches. Comparing to the scale of Android phone sales, Android Wear is just a tiny blip on the radar — and it's going to take many iterations of this platform to improve adoption. Android Wear 2.0 and the LG Watch Sport are a great combination pushing toward that goal of getting Google-powered wearables on more wrists around the world.

Many technology enthusiasts will still be wooed into considering the LG Watch Sport, even at $349. The allure of a fresh smartwatch that fixes many pain points of previous Android Wear watches will be strong. It has a great display without a dreaded flat tire, a nice case that is unfortunately a bit too thick but has great build quality, and every feature you could want crammed inside. It's a proper antithesis to its launch companion, the LG Watch Style, and when viewed together as a product portfolio they both make more sense.

Sure, the LG Watch Sport won't be the watch for everyone — in fact, the cheaper and simpler LG Watch Style is perhaps more likely to succeed — but it's a great piece of hardware to put all of Android Wear 2.0's capabilities on display. The new software incorporates two years of feedback on how we use smartwatches, and in general does a good job of hitting the features we want most on our wrist. Quick and functional interactions with the basic features, along with a few extras for those who need to do more, make this a clean separation from Android Wear of the past.

The LG Watch Sport is for the wearable fan who wants to experience Android Wear 2.0 to the fullest right from the start, and see the latest Google has to offer on some great hardware from LG.

More: Where to buy the LG Watch Sport

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • That watch looks really good. Better than the renders. And I'm glad to see AW refined and get away from the awful UI it had previously.
  • I just, don't need LTE in a watch. I get that some people do, that is fine, but I wish there was a way to swap bands for those of us that don't need LTE. I haven't decided if this is a deal breaker for me or not because otherwise I can just buy it unlocked and ignore LTE altogether, my issue is with the reviews that state that the watch is pretty uncomfortable to wear. I am thinking it is another year of waiting for the watch that fits my needs to arrive, that being said I am assuming most watches that offer the "sport" features I would use will also have LTE by default. The Verge dings the watch for AW 2.0 being buggy, btw. I guess YMMV?
  • Absolutely agree. I will never buy a LTE watch ever again. Biggest waste of money for me.
  • I just wish that the Style had NFC. Wouldn't be a big deal for me now but I'm hoping that my bank adds support for Apple and Android Pay and if they do, I'd like to be able to use the watch for it.
  • I don't need LTE either, but I LOVE the GPS built in. This is comparable in price to other Running Watches, like Garmin, etc. I can just ignore the LTE and use it otherwise, right?
  • Absolutely, my issue is with the strap itself and the design sacrifices they apparently had to make to accommodate the LTE radios. IF you are fine with the strap and the rigidity of it, in addition to the thickness, you can absolutely just ignore it. There were just too many design sacrifices they had to make for LTE, for a feature I will not use.
  • So you can order an Uber with Google Assistant on the watch?
  • That integration doesn't seem to be live here. I assume this will require Uber's app to be updated for Android Wear 2.0 for the proper hooks first.
  • I may have missed it, but I did search the review. Is this water resistant? If so, what's the rating?
  • I don't see it mentioned in this review, but in the specs -> Resistance IP68
  • Thanks!
  • Resistant but don't go swimming with it.
  • When I can go swimming with a AW watch I'll retire my Garmin.
  • Yeah, I kind of find it absurd that we are stuffing every radio under the sun into this thing but that a watch with the word Sport in the title is not ok to wear while swimming. Look, I am no fan of Apple or their products, but in some respects they are so far ahead of AW smartwatches it is absurd. I just saw a picture of the thickness of the Sport compared to the second gen Moto 360 and it is unreal.
  • The kicker? They're NOT stuffing everything under the sun INTO this thing. A lot of it actually resides in the band, and it's still massive.
  • Ugh you aren't wrong, lol
  • I also can't understand that they would call it "sport" and not put Sapphire to cover the screen.
  • It's still called Sport because the vast majority of "sports" and activities have absolutely nothing to do with swimming. In some respects, yes, Apple watches are ahead. The Watch 2 is resistant to about 50m. Solid for a smart watch. But they focus on different features. That's kind of their shtick. I 100% agree on the thickness. 14mm? A little over half an inch? That's thick as hell. The Style cuts that down to ~10mm by dropping like 75% of the watch's hardware features. I was hoping we could do better than that with AW2. I look forward to seeing what other manufacturers can do.
  • If I am reading right; with IP68, you should be able to swim. IP68 is emersion in 1 meter of water. No diving, but swimming should be ok, and showers will be fine.
  • I mean, a meter is about three feet, I wouldn't want to go swimming with it on regularly. It isn't like the Apple Watch 2 which is specifically designed to be used while swimming.
  • My Urbane is IP68 and I have swam with it dozens of times. No problems.
  • IP68 — and you're right, it was supposed to be mentioned in the review and at some point didn't make it through a draft ... adding a mention back in.
  • Thank you!
  • You're welcome :) (And to my defense, we did list this in the spec sheet!)
  • Yay, I finally get to replace my OG Moto 360. I like the looks of this watch.
  • My OG Moto 360 is what caused my distaste for Android Wear. I am loving my Gear S2 and was just about to purchase a S3, Then this thing comes out. Looking for a comparison.
  • Agreed. I would love to hear/see/read how it compares to the s3.
  • Well the S3 has 2 day battery life even with LTE turned on vs this barely making it one. The S3 has all the radios in the watch itself so bands can be changed easily vs this one necessitating the radios in the band so no customizing. Those are just 2 things I noticed right off the bat.
  • S3 looks more like a traditional watch. Samsung Pay has MST so it can be used at almost any POS terminal. Rotating bezel is better than a rotating crown.
  • Nice !! Getting the Sport version from google store the minute it goes for sale.
  • Ugh. I like this, but if it only gets one day of battery life, it's a no-go for me. I'm not carrying that giant charger with me when I travel.
  • Yeah that is something on my mind too, I camp all the time, this would be useless to me while camping. That being said, I usually put my phone on airplane mode while camping anyways, but GPS tracking is nice for tracking hikes.
  • If you turned off always-on display and didn't use LTE, you could probably push through 2 full days.
  • The S3 does the 2 days with both those things turned on. I don't see the plus side to this watch over the S3 and that's coming from someone who also has an Urbane LTE v2.
  • My S3 lasts only one day with AOD and LTE always on.
  • I suspect you're using facer for your watch face because that kills the battery really quick as do some rogue apps that you may have on your phone. Either that or your LTE signal is very weak and your watch is constantly searching. I have a native watch face and just the necessary apps and I easily get two days worth with LTE and AOD.
  • So can you answer calls from this watch, both the non-LTE and LTE versions? Can you pair with a bluetooth earbud to have privacy when fielding such calls and to not have to take out your phone?
  • There is no "non-LTE" version, it's all the same watch. You can answer calls on the wrist, yes, and depending how you set your settings the call audio can be routed through the watch or just on the phone. You can also pair Bluetooth headphones to the watch, so yes call audio would be routed there as well.
  • I wish Lg had come out with a watch in between these two in terms of both size and capabilities. Oh well, good luck.
  • I think a lot of people are wishing for that.
  • Me for sure, literally if the Sport did not have LTE and had replaceable bands I would buy it day one. Hopefully an AW 2,0 watch later in the year fits the bill.
  • I like the effort with Android Wear 2.0 to address the user interface issues by using the crown to avoid constant swiping. But, I don't need LTE so this particular watch is out for me. On the other hand, I really want Pocketcasts on my Gear S3 but not holding my breath for that on Tizen OS. When a non LTE version of another android wear watch comes out that has all the other bells and whistles, maybe I'll give it a shot. Unless pocketcasts shows up on Tizen first.
  • I hope I am wrong, but I expect most manufacturers to follow Google, if you are already throwing the kitchen sink in your watch why not throw in LTE too. I really want to be able to change out my watch band though, I feel like a different band could easily class this watch up.
  • I wonder if the watch will work on Fi, I didn't see that mentioned.
  • Verizon or AT&T only I think.
  • It's designed to work on Verizon and AT&T only.
  • Why would Google drop the ball on this? Shouldn't they cater to Fi customers?
  • The problem is likely that they couldn't work in the call forwarding and wearable management for Fi into Android Wear in time. I don't blame them too much ... it's sad, but it's far more important for it to be on shelves in AT&T and Verizon than it is to have it available for Project Fi. In a world with limited resources, you go where the customers are.
  • Is that due to features like AT&T's "Number Sync"? I wonder if there will be a Google Voice AW 2.0 app in the future, would be cool if it could use the watch's WiFi connection for calls over your GV number. I'm really interested in this but like you I think I'd skip adding the LTE to my AT&T plan.
  • Well things like NumberSync and Message+ are just part of the process of setting up the watches to work on those carriers specifically. The bigger deal of incompatibility, though, comes from the watch just not having the radio bands to properly support T-Mo (and therefore Project Fi).
  • The current iterations of the Google Voice app don't do VoIP, so its unlikely it will do so on AW. The question is will Hangouts for AW allow for VoIP, like it currently does for Android and iOS devices.
  • I can't even get Hangouts installed on my LG Watch Sport. I've got a Project Fi data SIM installed and activated. I really wanted to be able to send text/SMS while untethered from my phone, maybe even make phone calls in an emergency while I'm out for a run (I hate lugging my phone with me when I run). But so far it's looking like I'm SOL. I really hope a standalone update to Hangouts is coming soon.
  • no fi, that is to smart of an idea. a google watch running on google service, thats insane!
  • This was a great review, thank you for the time and effort you put into it. As the owner of a large wrist, one of the specs I am always interested in is the maximum wrist size the band will support. This is even more important on this watch as the band is not interchangeable. Any ideas on the minimum and maximum wrist sizes this band will support? I called LG Support...they don't have any information on this watch...never heard of it and can't find the model number in their database. I wish watch manufacturers would include this in their specs.
  • I just answered this question over in our forums!
  • Both these watches are downright horrible looking. Such a disappointment, LG...
    They leave me with zero interest in replacing the GWAR. As for AW2.0, I like the rearrangement of the app drawer but I use a launcher on the GWAR already so nothing there is really new to me.
  • Well I think the important thing is that we're likely to see 10+ Android Wear 2.0 watches release this year. Choices!
  • Have you heard anything regarding a new Huawei Watch? I think they did a great job with the first one and ideally I would hold out for their next iteration that takes advantages of all the 2.0 features.
  • Ha you said "a dozen" twice in the video review - do you know for a fact there are lots on the way?
  • Just a hunch :)
  • True.
    My problem in having ANY hope though is that LG has so far been the ONLY Android Wear OEM that designed watches I actually liked.
    The other ones with a design that I find minimally acceptable either switched to Tizen (Samsung) or included a flat tire which I will die before accepting them on a smartwatch. Well and then you have the Chinese brands which I refuse to buy and Asus that ruined the ZenWatch 3 with that horrendous gold ring. So I think you now understand why I have little hope in this arena. LG was pretty much it and they just botched their line. Unless they're planning on sort sort of Urbane 3, I honestly think I'll have to be done with Android Wear once my GWAR bites the dust.
  • I'm going to get absolutely slated for this in here but I prefer the style of the Apple Watch over this! not gonna start a fanboy rant or anything but surely a Sport Watch especially for this kind of money should be water proof to use going swimming etc?
  • You might get crap for it but you are absolutely right, I am not a huge fan of the Apple Watch styling but the thickness and waterproof..ness just puts the LG Watch Sport to absolute shame. I suspect the vast majority of people don't need LTE in their watch, taking that out could have shaved some precious mm off the size of this thing.
  • Yeah I agree about the thickness, no real need for a LTE version, people can say what they like but the latest Apple Watch 2 has waterproofing, about a million watch bands both official and third party. I don't agree with a lot of what Apple does or charges but in the smart watch department I think they've done it right and I expected LG to better it today and in my opinion they haven't.
  • I agree the Apple Watch is nice but I'm just not a fan of square watches, so the round shape of the LG Sport appeals more to me. What I'd really like to see though is someone make a smart watch with a tonneau shape, that's my favorite and seems like it could work well for a smart watch.
  • If you get this then do yourself a favor and get a TruPhone prepaid SIM card. Ends up costing less than $2/month for the typical data usage of my Urbane 2.
  • Not to knock the whole smartwatch and wearable devices movement, but I personally got tired of it late last year. I understand that companies continue to be innovative and some individuals find Android wear useful. For me, I prefer to just wear a regular watch that just does what its supposed to do. I guess I became more appreciative of a regular watch and not have to bother myself with charging, updating, syncing, adjusting notifications, turning radios on/off, etc. It seems like a hassle a majority of the time. Is there anyone else that started out interested in smartwatches and realized somewhere along the line, "this isn't for me?" I'd prefer to stick to a few watches that require little maintenance and compliment one's sense of style.
  • Was that a micro USB slot on the left side of the watch, or some type of sensor?
  • It's the speaker.
  • Ah...that makes sense. Thanks.
  • Correct. The watch charges on its inductive charging stand. No wired connections here.
  • I'd really prefer something that is closer to the Style's size and functionality but the Sport's design. So take the Style and create a shell the looks more like the Sport and I'd be happy. The real issue is thickness. I need a watch that fits under a dress shirt cuff. My original LG G Watch does that. Give me Android Wear 2.0, a crown, and something thin enough to fit under my shirt cuff and I'm there.
  • "less bulky FEELING than a Frontier?" The specs don't lie: the Sport is a clunker compared to the Frontier, and that's with all the antennas in the band. Yikes!
  • Indeed, the literal size of it doesn't lie ... but the way the body is sculpted and simpler makes it feel a bit more sleek than the Gear S3 Frontier, which is quite bold and has a lot going on on the front.
  • In other words:
    Gear S3 Frontier = Manly Man Man Watch
    LG = No so much.
  • I don't want LTE and I do want a better band so I guess this isn't for me. Also, it could be bigger...
  • BIGGER? Dang. First I've heard that — everyone wants the watch to be smaller!
  • I'm a daily "casual wear" watch wearer with a growing collection. Current trends in "casual wear" watches are big and bold. Most of my collection falls in the 49mm to 63mm casing size range.
  • Looks bulky. I'll try it on to be sure, but will likely wait for something different. Don't need LTE at all. Waste of $
  • Did you actually get to use Android Pay on it? I am most interested in this. Also comparison to the Urbane 2nd edition LTE would be most helpful as it is a successor of that. The main change that I see between the two is ambient light sensor and better water resistance. Processor is a nice upgrade but the 400 should still tackle anything you need to do on a watch.
  • I did get to use Android Pay! It works just fine, as noted in the few paragraphs in the review. I dont have the Urbane 2nd Edition, but comparing to the original Urbane I can say the Watch Sport is nicer made and is a bit more neutral looking. The ambient display is awesome. The difference in processor ... not sure how much that will matter now, but of course the newer watch has more of a future in terms of supporting more intense apps and software that come later.
  • I wanted Android Pay also because my phone is rooted, but that also prevents it from working on the watch!
  • Hi, Great review!
    Can I use the GPS of the watch without the LTE connection and without connecting to my phone? is going to measure my run?.
  • Hi, thanks! Your watch can indeed locate you using its own GPS without the phone or an LTE connection. But just like any other full GPS device, it won't be able to locate you particularly quickly to start ... what most of us think of as "GPS" is actually "assisted GPS" using network triangulation to get a good starting point. It could take minutes standing outside to get a GPS Lock on just the watch with no phone, LTE or Wi-Fi turned on. So yes, it still has GPS capabilities no matter what. But it really prefers to lean on your phone or its LTE connection.
  • Thanks! any different from this GPS to any other sport watch with GPS for example Garmin vivoactive HR
  • So it doesn't do network triangulation even though it could?
  • Interesting so many people saying the LTE feature is useless.. honestly smartwatches have been completely unappealing to me without it. Why bother with a smartwatch at all if I still have to carry my phone when I'm out on a run/bike ride/hike etc? I'm stoked for this to be released in a couple days.
  • I couldn't agree more. I used a connected Gear S2 for a week and loved it. GPS accuracy was terrible though which was why I returned it.
  • Because some of us don't have to still carry our phone with us if we're out on a run/ride/hike. And the only one of those that would be a pain to carry our phone too would be running. I'd rather have a watch that is thinner or with a bigger battery than have LTE and a SIM slot.
  • This watch has a larger battery than my Gear S3 Frontier LTE, but lasts a much shorter amount of time. My Gear S3 has been getting between 40-48 hours on standalone and 92-102 hours on bluetooth only with AOD turned off. I will wait until this LG watch is released and in use to see if the battery life is better than in this review, but it will certainly not replace my Gear S3.
  • If you turn off always-on watch faces you can definitely extend battery life, but in general what you're describing is nothing new. Android Wear watches have consistently done worse in terms of battery than the Samsung Gear S2 and S3. To the tune of about a day less battery life.
  • Thanks Andrew! I will give any LTE watch a look, especially one that will likely have more of the Google based apps that are one of the biggest cons of the Samsung Gear watches. If I can get a minimum of 15 hours off the charger with LTE on, it can work for me. I am one of the consumers who need LTE/Cellular connectivity to make a watch useful since I need to be separated from my phone frequently when getting in and out of the truck. Thanks for the review! I had not even seen this watch prior to yesterday! :)
  • I dont need LTE, and the non-removable proprietary straps are a deal breaker. Sticking with my moto 360, gen-2.
  • Andrew... quick question. Did number sync work for you using the Pixel on AT&T?
  • Does it have standalone Play Music app? That's what I miss the most on my Gear S3 Frontier LTE. I don't take my phone for my runs, so choice is very poor for music, given all my music is on Play Music.
  • It does. You set it up so music downloaded in GPM on your phone also goes to the watch. An upcoming update will also add GPM streaming directly to the watch.
  • I see three indentations on the back; are those where a sim card remover tool goes to unscrew the back for SIM card placement? That's how I access my Urbane 2 LTE's SIM card slot. Also, is it a nano or micro SIM? To all those saying they don't need LTE, there are other options for you. I use mine in stand-alone mode every day when I go running, streaming music to my BT headphones. Full independence from my giant phone is priceless.
  • Will we see actual marketing for this? If Google wants AW to really take off, at least to Apple Watch levels, they realy need to get the attention of the average consumer.
  • Looks good, but regret it not being fully waterproof. Sorry, but no.
  • Will Tmobile carrier the watch?
  • It uses a regular SIM, so the unlocked version will work on T-Mobile. And various MVNOs.
  • As someone who has gone through several Microsoft bands, having something crucial to the watch in the band is a terrible idea
  • As someone who went through a couple original Bands and Band 2's as well, I agree. But... this is the first Android watch that I would consider getting to replace my current MS Band 2. Maybe I'm just a sucker for integrated straps. ;)
  • I like how it looks but LTE isn't necessary. It just needs NFC and GPS. Also, it should be waterproof. Kinda sucks that you can't change the straps but I typically don't change them anyway on a sport watch.
  • Agreed and doesn't having LTE and the SIM make it more difficult to make waterproof?
  • If this is the best showcase for Android Wear, I seriously need to consider switching to Tizen. It doesn't look bad, but it has no details. Just another model that plays it safe with a simplistic design.
  • It should be though. You want to be able to access your notifications and apps as quick and easy as possible
  • Well the notifications from AC work on Android wear :/
  • Maybe I'll buy a smart watch when they can go for a swim with me like my Garmin.
  • Maybe I'll buy a Garmin when they can receive and make calls and texts like my smart watch.
  • Casio's already can... and the Apple Watch Series 2 can do it, but clearly most people here aren't about to buy that.
  • I will look at Apple Watch when it has an independent connection. I know series 2 can do standalone fitness. But since I have had a standalone device since buying an original Gear S two years ago, I will not go back to a BT only device. To me, there is not enough value in any smartwatch when you have to have the phone with you to use its full function. Once you get used to being able to make and take calls, and send and reply to messages as if from your phone without having the phone with you, and go fitness tracking and music streaming, it's hard to go back. I do wish I could swim with the S3. Instead, I swim with Bragi Dash earphones, which track timing, laws and heart rate (and will upload data to mist fitness apps). And because they have 4GB of storage, I can listen to music while swimming
  • I was going to get the Sport to replace my G Watch R, but having read about wear 2.0 and looked at the images I'm going to get the Gear S3.
  • Yeah, I went from the GWR to an S3. Night and day.
  • LTE on a watch is the most gimmicky feature you can get
  • It's really not. Just YOU haven't found a use for it. Many have which is why so many watches are coming with it.
  • Until you say walk out house and make it all the way to the supermarket and realize you forgot your phone. I've used LTE only mode on my S3 maybe 5 times and it's come in handy. If I had to pay for the service, I might have gone with the Bluetooth only version.
  • "I have to give the nod to the Gear S2 (and to a lesser extent, Apple Watch) for getting to this idea first." Why apple watch to a lesser extent? It was out first and those crown in lg watches are indpired by the Apple watch more thzn Sansung gear...
  • Really thick to accommodate bigger battery..... battery life still sucks.
  • Except that this battery is smaller than the Urbane 2 which is the same thickness.
  • Oh for Jeebus' sake... ANOTHER watch that needs to be charged nightly. FORGET IT!!! Stop trying to cram an entire phone on my wrist...
  • I have to agree to an extent. How about a non LTE version with the 570mAh battery from the Urbane 2 that this is based on. I wouldn't mind charging my watch every day but I do mind absolutely having to because the battery is or is about to die.
  • Sent mine back to Google after one day. Compared it to Gear S3 Frontier w/LTE. No comparison. First, no interchangeable bands because the bands have antennas. Bands don't bend much so watch is really impossible to get under a shirt cuff. Not a problem with Gear S3. Next, watch looks geeky, especially compared to S3 Frontier, which looks like a nice sportswatch and has interchangeable bands. LG is over 1mm thicker than S3. To make S3 thinner on the wrist, I bought a thin steel Milan loop band. No problems with S3 and cuffs. Call quality was fine, but people can tell I'm on a speakerphone. Doesn't happen with callers on S3. Direct Play Store access is great. Display is bright and beautiful. Standalone battery life was very poor. Can't make it through a full day with only an hour or so of untethered standalone use. The S3 goes two full days with 2+ hours a day of standalone use, as Tizen is a lighter, more battery efficient OS. My biggest complaint is that there are not really many good standalone apps yet. Really thought Maps would work standalone, but no luck. Puzzling because on the S3, I use Gear Navigator Standalone, which uses Google mapping, routing, traffic and travel mode options without tethering to phone. No standalone music streaming besides Google Play. I use Spotify standalone on S3 I assume more standalone apps are coming, but between that and the first generation hardware HERE and weak battery life, I will wait to see what comes next as more vendors put out standalone devices.