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

Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on the ways to watch all the March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for March 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Mobile

Most Android antivirus apps fail to provide malware protection, study shows

A study by AV-Comparatives analyzed the effectiveness of Android antivirus apps in protecting against the 2,000 most common malware threats. Alarmingly, only 23 of the apps were able to detect 100 percent of the malware samples.
Deals

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Walmart to launch it’s own low-priced tablet, powered by Android 9.0 Pie

Walmart will soon launch its own low-cost, kid-friendly tablet, which will be powered by Android 9.0 Pie. The price and release date for the device are still unknown, but it will reportedly feature a MediaTek processor with 2 GB of RAM.
Mobile

Safeguard your Sony Xperia 10 smartphone with one of these cases

If you're looking for some protection to keep your Sony smartphone safe, or you want a different style, we've got you covered here with a list of the best Sony Xperia 10 cases. There are clear cases, rugged cases, wallet cases, and more.
Product Review

Sony's Xperia 10 falls frustratingly short of budget brilliance

Better know for premium products, Sony does also have a budget smartphone range, but can the Sony Xperia 10 compete with great cheap phones from Nokia and Motorola? We put it through its paces to find out how it measures up.
Mobile

Sony's Xperia 10 smartphone boasts a 6-inch screen and is now available

Sony took the wraps off of three new phones at Mobile World Congress 2019, including the new Xperia 1, which is the company's new flagship phone and the first with a 4K OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
Mobile

FCC to help first responders pinpoint 911 callers in multistory buildings

When someone calls 911 from their cell phone, wireless carriers provide operators with an approximate location. Now the FCC wants the carriers to provide vertical location data to pinpoint 911 callers inside multi-story buildings.
Mobile

Latest Samsung Galaxy smartphone will pop up on April 10

Samsung will show at least one new Galaxy phone off on April 10, it has confirmed in a teaser tweet. The Galaxy A90 may make its first appearance, and it's rumored to have a pop-up camera and a notch-less screen.
Mobile

Leaked ZTE concept phones are crazy, possibly fake, and totally worth seeing

Renders of what may be ZTE concept phones may show how the manufacturer could avoid using the notch on future devices. They're crazy -- and maybe not even real -- but they're definitely worth looking at.
1 of 2