LG shows us what’s up its sleeve: First impressions of the G Watch

The LG G Watch has been official for several months, but information on the device was thin. That has all changed at Google I/O, where the new smartwatch was completely revealed, and will subsequently be put on sale through the Google Play store. Despite early indications it would be, the G Watch is not the first Android Wear smartwatch to be put on sale. It will be joined by the Samsung Gear Live, pitting the two arc rivals against each other once again.

Update by Nick Mokey on 6-25-2014: I’ve added our first (albeit brief) hands-on impressions of the G Watch today at Google I/O. We’ll have a full review in the next week or so.

LG has brought a compelling package along to the fight though. The G Watch has a 1.65-inch LCD touchscreen boasting a 280 x 280 pixel resolution, which is slightly lower than the Gear Live’s pixel count, but has equipped the device with a Snapdragon 400 processor. That’s the same model found in smartphones such as the Moto G. The big chip is accompanied by 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage space. 

Built from stainless steel, the G Watch’s body is covered in something called PVD, which stands for Physical Vapor Deposition, and is known for being light and durable. The 22mm strap can easily be swapped for one of your own, but comes as standard in black or white silicon. If you choose the white strap, the G Watch’s body is in a fetching gold color. Like the Gear Live, the G Watch also has an IP67 rating, so it’s resistant to water and dust.

LG makes a big deal about the always-on touchscreen, which permanently displays the time, and will also show incoming call information and notifications, along with GPS directions, calendar entries, and music playback controls. Android Wear is voice controlled, and you can reply to text messages or perform web searches without interacting with your phone. Like the G3 smartphone, LG is pushing the G Watch as an easy-to-use device that will simplify your life.

In our brief hands-on time with a semi-functioning demo unit, the G Watch felt every bit as bulky as earlier, slab-like predecessors such as Sony’s SmartWatch SW2, but felt admirably sturdy. A design milled from a piece of stainless steel makes itself felt. The generic black silicon watchband is nothing to write to GQ about, but we trust most style-conscious owners will swap it out for something more personal anyway. LG claims it went with an IPS LCD over OLED because of superior power consumption and color accuracy — while that may be true, it doesn’t have the vivid OLED pop that would set it apart from similar competitors. That said, the biggest selling point with every Android Wear device will be Google’s new software, and we haven’t been able to fiddle with that yet. Stay tuned.

The G Watch will be sold through the Google Play store from June 25, and it’ll be available in the United States, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Korea, and Japan. A further 27 other countries will see the G Watch sold through retail stores soon afterwards, including Australia, Singapore, and Russia. The G Watch will be priced at $230 and will ship “around” July 7.

CONTINUE TO PAGE TWO FOR A ROUNDUP OF NEWS AND RUMORS PUBLISHED PRIOR TO THE G WATCH’S LAUNCH

Wearables

With weeklong battery life, the new Honor Watches are a real Dream to wear

Honor has unveiled the new Honor View 20, one of the best smartphones of the year. Alongside it, however, the company also took the wraps off of the new Honor Watch Magic and Honor Watch Dream.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘American Crime Story’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, and more.
Wearables

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.
Computing

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus photo leaks with dual front-facing camera

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Social Media

Google will begin shutting down the classic Hangouts app in October

Google confirmed that it will begin retiring the classic Google Hangouts app in October. The company will start by pushing users to move to the new Google Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
Smart Home

Starbucks coffee delivery lands in 6 more cities via Uber Eats

Starbucks is in the process of expanding its coffee delivery service far beyond Miami. Available via the Uber Eats app, the service has just launched in San Francisco, with five additional cities joining in the coming weeks.
Mobile

How to make a contact group on an iPhone

There's no obvious way to crate contact groups on your iPhone, but you can do it through iCloud or you can install a third-party app to help. We explain both methods as we explore how to make a contact group on an iPhone.
Mobile

Xiaomi shows how its folding smartphone will look, and you’re going to love it

Xiaomi is the latest manufacturer to show off a folding smartphone prototype. The unnamed phone has a different design than others we've seen, adopting a double fold where the sides of the screen fold over the back of the device.
Mobile

These patent images may show the new Moto Razr folding phone

The Motorola Razr V3 is one of the world's most iconic phones, and it could be making a stylistic return in the form of a foldable Motorola smartphone -- but it may cost around $1,500. Is the nostalgia worth it?
Mobile

HMD Global confirms which Nokia phones will definitely receive Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

AT&T and Rush System are using 5G to create the 'hospital of the future'

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.
Mobile

Here's how (and why) to use safe mode with an Android phone

When you have an issue with your phone, safe mode can help you determine whether a third-party app is to blame. If you’re wondering how to access it, or how to turn the feature off in Android, then you have come to the right place.
1 of 2