It's an affordable Android Wear 2.0 (the latest version) option for those unimpressed by the competition.
LG isn’t the only manufacturer with a brand-spanking new smartwatch. Verizon, not to be outdone by the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style, announced the Wear24 on Wednesday, a watch running Google’s Android Wear operating system.
The Wear24 was made in partnership with ODM Quanta, a Taiwanese company better known by the branded laptops, desktops, and media players it builds for commissioning companies like HP, Dell, and Lenovo. It’s a Verizon exclusive, unsurprisingly, and one of the first smartwatches to ship running version 2.0 of Google’s Android Wear operating system.
The Wear24’s a compelling package, to be sure. Its “slim and modern” 13.5mm body is IP67-rated, meaning it can withstand up to 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. And under the hood lies 512MB of RAM, a beefy 450mAh battery compatible with off-the-shelf wireless chargers, a NFC chip that supports tap-to-pay mobile transactions, and a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with 290 pixels per inch. It boasts full compatibility with Verizon’s LTE network, too, meaning the Wear24 can make and receive phone calls and texts without the need for a smartphone.
Thanks to Android Wear 2.0, the Wear24 ships with loads of useful features. New watch faces boast “Complications,” miniature widgets for notifications and shortcuts for apps that put upcoming calendar appointments, fitness goal progress, and more at a glance. A new version of Google Fit, Google’s cross-platform fitness tracker, tracks your pace, distance, heart rate, and the calories you’ve burned during workouts. And new messaging features let you respond to texts and messages with a keyboard.
One of the bigger additions is the Google Assistant, cloud-powered AI software capable of performing actions like setting reminders, finding directions to a specified point of interest, telling you the weather, booking a restaurant, and more.
The Wear24 will launch online and in Verizon stores next month for $300 with a two-year contract, which lines up roughly with the carrier’s Watch Sport pricing ($330 on a two-year contract or $380 full retail).
It might seem odd that Verizon’s effectively competing against its partners with the Wear24, but it’s not the first time. In 2013, it launched the Ellipsis, an Android tablet designed to compete with affordable 7-inch tablets like the Kindle Fire HDX and Nexus 7. That lineup has since expanded to include an 8-inch Model, the Ellipsis 8, and the 10-inch Ellipsis 10.
Verizon notes that the Wear24 is compatible with its $10 Single Device Plan, which provisions 1GB, unlimited talk, and unlimited text for a connected device. Alternatively, existing subscribers can add the Wear24 to their plan for an extra $5 per month.