Our review of the LG G watch running Android Wear OS
The wearable space is hotting up with the introduction of products like LG’s G Watch – one of the first to run the new Google Android Wear operating system.
The device has 1.65-inch display and connects via Bluetooth to any smartphone running Android 4.3 and higher.
So, despite sporting the LG logo, the G Watch can connect to other brands of smartphones.
This is due entirely to the fact it is running Google’s new Android Wear – a lite version of its smartphone operating system designed for wearable products.
And naturally Google wanted all compatible Android smartphones to play in this new space.
Samsung’s Gear smartwatch can only connect to Samsung devices although the company has just released the Gear Live running Android Wear.
LG’s G Watch is an impressive first attempt at a smartwatch with easy and useful integration with the smartphone in your pocket or in your bag.
It has a slick design adopting a less is more approach. Some may interpret this as boring but for our money it has an elegant simplicity.
There are no buttons on the device with the touchscreen and your voice the only ways the user can interact with it.
It is no bigger than a regular watch and has a thickness of 9.95mm.
G Watch has a standard 22mm strap so it can be interchanged with other straps, which are readily available in jewellers and watch stores, to suit both male and female users.
We found the screen was bright enough to easily read outdoors and, because the display is always on, you can always read the time. Once you move your arm this activates the back light.
When connected to your Android smartphone users can view notifications like text messages, emails and incoming calls.
It will also remind you of calendar appointments and how many steps you’ve taken and all with a gentle vibration to let you know there’s something to look at.
This information is presented on the watch in on-screen cards which can then be expanded and viewed in full on the linked smartphone.
But it’s not all about what the device tells you – it’s also possible to tell the G Watch what to do and this is where the real power of the product lies.
You can tap into the best features of Google Now right there on your wrist. Want to do a Google search? Just talk to the G Watch the same way you’d type into the search window.
You can get the G Watch’s attention by saying “OK Google” and then it waits for your enquiry.
The Google voice recognition is super accurate even when speaking in noisy environments.
With the G Watch you can also set reminders, check the weather, make notes, dictate and send text messages and emails, set a timer and start the stopwatch.
Users can also ask for directions while their walking, running or driving and be able to glance at the G Watch for the next turn.
And of course there are apps that can work hand in glove with the G Watch but there aren’t a whole lot to choose from right now but there will be a flood of them in the near future as more wearables are released.
What you won’t get with the G Watch is a heart rate monitor so your exercise is limited to the amount of steps you’ve taken.
But the G Watch is water and dust resistant. You could take a shower with the G Watch so you can see the calls and emails you’re receiving and take a shallow swim to a depth of 1m.
The G Watch’s onboard battery lasts about two days and is recharged with the included small charging base.
Battery life was reasonable – you’ve just got to remember to charge the watch – a concept that many people aren’t used to yet.
The LG G Watch is a useful product that can enhance and streamline your interaction with your smartphone.
The device itself is easy to use and doesn’t look too bulky on your wrist.
But the question is will young and savvy users wear it? The most active smartphone users are young men and women who don’t wear watches anymore.
The LG G Watch has a good chance of turning these customers into watch wearers while others might wait for the next generation of devices which will no doubt be packed with even more features.
There’s also a large number of people who are waiting for the heavily rumoured iWatch from Apple to materialise – if ever.
But, in the meantime, anyone who decides jump aboard the smartwatch train with the LG G Watch will still enjoy the ride.
LG G Watch