Lots of people are getting excited about Android Wear 2.0, and that means answering the next inevitable question: do I want the LG Watch Sport, or the LG Watch Style? Though both watches run the new software and launched at the same time, they are on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of size, hardware and capabilities.
For those who are trying to get acquainted with the two new watches from LG, and perhaps make a decision between the two, we have all of the information you need.
Size and design
It doesn't take long to see the design differences between these two watches. The Watch Sport is big and ... well, sporty. The Watch Style is sleek, compact and unassuming. Before looking at any of the features, a majority of people will have a better feel about the Watch Style just in terms of how it will fit on their wrist. When it comes to the Watch Sport, and its over 14 mm thickness, fewer people will feel comfortable with such a hunk of metal at the end of their arm.
The Watch Sport's display sits larger at 1.38-inches across to the Watch Style's 1.2-inches, but also has a larger case around including protruding lugs with integrated bands that can't be replaced. It should also be noted that the Watch Style's three color options — silver, titanium and rose gold — offer far more choices in terms of looks, particularly once you factor in being able to replace the bands with any you choose.
All of that aside, the base internals are near identical. Both watches run on the latest Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, and though the Watch Sport technically has more RAM at 768MB to the Watch Style's 512MB, the extra overhead needed for the cellular radio takes up much of that extra room. The displays have different resolutions, but are the same great quality P-OLED panel and both offer automatic brightness without a "flat tire" at the bottom.
Hardware and features
Beyond just the looks, there are clear feature differences between the two smartwatches. The LG Watch Sport is filled with far more, including LTE, GPS, NFC for Android Pay, a speaker and a full-fledged heart rate sensor. The LG Watch Style doesn't have any of that. The smaller watch doesn't have the room for all of the extra frills, and even misses out on the extra customizable hardware buttons that the Sport has — all you get is the rotating crown that doubles as a button.
Aside from hardware-dependent features, though, you do get the complete core Android Wear 2.0 experience on the Watch Style that you find on the Watch Sport. Thanks to the similarities in hardware and display, software and apps will look great and operate with the same speed on either one.
Finally, the watches use different types of chargers that match their overall size. The LG Watch Style uses a small magnetic charger puck that's roughly the size of its case and snaps on the back, while the Watch Sport uses a large charging cradle to accommodate its fixed bands. This may not be a huge deal, but if you travel a lot it could be of concern to you.
Which one is for you?
As you can tell, there isn't a whole lot of overlap in terms of the markets for these two watches. There's a core of smartwatch fans — or extra-active people — who will appreciate the extra features of the LG Watch Sport, but most who want something that looks and feels great while offering all of the basics will prefer the LG Watch Style.
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