LG has released its new G Watch R that delivers the best of both worlds – a device that brings the latest technology but with a classic design and style.
Released just a few months after LG’s first smartwatch – the square G Watch – the G Watch R has an impressive 3.5cm wide circular P-OLED screen.
And because of its traditional look, it isn’t immediately obvious that the G Watch R is actually a smartwatch.
It has a diamond cut brushed metal construction and a PVD coating along with a leather strap that is interchangeable with other standard 22mm watch straps.
This means users can change the look of the product to match their style.
It is only available in one size which some women may find too large for their wrist. It’s no thicker than a regular waterproof sports watch.
We got a few surprised reactions when they saw that the watch’s face was actually a screen.
When displaying the time with an analog watch face complete with hour and minute hands and a second hand, it can pass for a regular watch.
But the Android Wear under the hood and the ability to work with any Android smartphone it’s anything but regular.
Users can receive a range of notifications from their wrist including text messages and emails, social media notifications, weather reports and much more.
The G Watch R can also relay things like turn-by-turn navigation, stock reports, set reminders – basically anything you can get Google to do for you and find out for you can be viewed on the device’s circular screen.
There are also a range of Android Wear apps being released every day that will take the functionality of the G Watch R even further.
With a screen so small it’s not designed for typing which is why the main method of input is with your voice.
Simply say “OK Google” and the screen changes waiting for your enquiry. The voice recognition is excellent and got what we asked it right 95 per cent of the time.
It can also screen your calls so when you see the name of the caller you can choose to take the call on your smartphone or reject the call with a message from the LG G Watch R.
And of course, being a wearable device, it can also track your steps and take your heart rate with the sensor built into the bottom of the device that touches your wrist.
The sensor shoots a light into your skin to measure the blood flow before coming up with your pulse which can be saved and tracked.
The G Watch R is also water and dust resistant with an Ingress Protection rating of 67 (IP67) so it can be immersed in one metre of water for up to 30 minutes.
If you’re listening to music on your workout from your smartphone, the G Watch R can also control the music playback from its circular screen without the need to touch your mobile device.
The real world use of the G Watch R really made managing your notifications and emails as lot easier.
See what’s coming through with just a glance at your wrist allowed us to prioritise our tasks a little easier and to replay to only the emails we needed to.
As a timepiece we set the G Watch R to always display the watch face. It dims slightly when we’re not looking at it and goes to full brightness when we lifted our arm or turned our wrist to catch the time.
We did have a little difficulty reading the time on the reflective screen in bright sunlight – obviously a problem you won’t have with a regular watch.
There is an option to keep the screen blank and only have it wake up when you move your arm to see the time but we found in this mode it took a couple of seconds for the screen to wake up.
But this latter option puts less strain on the battery which has a 410mAh capacity. There’s also 4GB of storage and 512MB RAM.
With the always-on screen option the battery got us through a full day and into the next morning.
On the other dimmed screen option the battery could get through almost two full days.
And even when the battery does run out, you simply place it on the special charging plate to recharge completely in less than two hours.
The LG G Watch R does a great job combining technology with classic style.
It’s excellent design is backed up with impressive technology under the hood as well to provide timely notifications and a handy way access Google services with your voice.
Style gurus can draw comfort from the fact the interchangeable watch straps can be adapted to suit your own look.
And tech fans will be satisfied they’ve got the latest wearable technology right there on their wrist.
LG G Watch R