First look: LG's G Watch

First look: LG's G Watch
$268; available July 26.

Hardware

Packed into LG's G Watch is a Qualcomm 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 4GB of internal storage, 512MB of system memory, built-in Bluetooth ability and a nine-axis motion sensor.

On a full charge, its 400mAh lithium-polymer battery is supposed to last for 11/2 days. It comes with a charging cradle. The 63g device is IP67 certified for water and dust resistance, so it is splashproof and dustproof.

Design

At first glance, the G Watch looks like Sony's SmartWatch 2, except that it has a rectangular face, while the Sony's is square. The G also has the most elegant design I have seen on any smart watch to date.

As minimalist as it gets, the G has no buttons on the front or sides - only a tiny reset button and charging connectors at the back. It comes in black (LG calls this "titan") or white gold.

The black version is all black while the white version has a gold mid-section and a white plastic rear. Only the top glass is black. Both versions have matching rubber straps. You can easily change straps, as the G Watch uses a 22mm standard-width watch strap. Display

The watch has a 1.65-inch (280 x 280 pixels) touchscreen colour display with in-plane switching (IPS) technology, which prevents colour shift when viewed from an angle.

The screen looks bright and sharp. Unlike many smart watches with touchscreens, the G Watch's display is always on.

To conserve battery power, it dims when left stationary for some time. To wake up the display, just raise your hand or turn your wrist. Software

Running on Android Wear, the LG G Watch is compatible with any smartphone running Android 4.3 or later. To pair them, download the Android Wear app from Google Play Store and turn on your smartphone's Bluetooth.

As the G Watch has no other button but the reset one, you can power it up by placing it in the charging cradle. When you launch the Android Wear app, it will detect the G Watch and a few taps are all it takes to pair them.

The G Watch can receive any notification that your smartphone gets. But mostly, it serves as a display for Google Now, with weather and pedometer updates. One hopes more third-party app support will come.

This smartwatch can pick up some voice commands. Move it close to your mouth and say "OK, Google" before giving the commands. You can ask for your schedule today or ask it to take down some notes.

While it was able to understand me when I said: "How's the weather today?", it was unable to pick up "Directions to Westgate". Instead, it heard "Directions to Red Kit".


This article was first published on July 09, 2014.
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