Updated on 4-28-2015 by Kyle Wiggers: Added availability and pricing information.
On sale through Google Play and AT&T in April
As promised, LG put the Watch Urbane is on sale through the Google Play Store for customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and Spain. (South Korea got the watch slightly earlier.) The Silver edition is also available for purchase on AT&T’s website in the U.S., and the carrier will begin stocking it in brick-and-mortar stores beginning May 15. It’s a cool $349, a price point which matches the Apple Watch Sport but is still quite a bit higher than most smartwatches. Given a selling point of Android Wear devices so far have been their comparative inexpensiveness, it’ll be interesting to see how well the Watch Urbane competes.
New Android Wear OS, plus LG Pulse and LG Call features
When it reaches wearers, the Watch Urbane will have the newest version of Android Wear already installed. Announced by Google in April, the new software comes with Wi-Fi connectivity, a revised user interface, changeable font sizes, alterations to the way notifications are seen, and even the chance to draw emojis on the screen and send them to friends.
There are two new features which are exclusive to the Watch Urbane – LG Call and LG Pulse. Using LG Call, one can access favorite contacts and recent call lists on the Watch Urbane, then with a Bluetooth headset connected to the device, make calls to them. LG Pulse will continually monitor the wearer’s heart rate during a workout, and provide a complete report through LG Health at the end. LG Health is available only on LG smartphones at the moment, but a “coming soon” tag in the press release suggests it may arrive as a standalone app in the future.
Dressier design gives the Urbane a touch of class
This time, LG has moved away from the sportier design of the G Watch R to a dressier, more traditional timepiece look. The body is constructed entirely from stainless steel, and is more compact – by a millimeter each way – than the G Watch R, but the Urbane is slightly thicker at 10.9mm.
LG has opted for a hand-stitched leather strap, and because it’s a standard 22mm size and fitting, it’s easy to swap it out for another of your own choice. The Urbane’s specification is very similar to the G Watch R. The 1.3-inch screen has a 320 x 320 pixel resolution, and displays Android Wear, while a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor provides the power, along with 512MB of RAM. There’s also 4GB of internal storage space.
A PPG heart rate sensor is fitted underneath the main body, and there’s a selection of sensors inside including a compass, a gyroscope, and an accelerometer. Sadly, there’s no GPS onboard. The body is water and dust resistant, and comes in either gold or silver. Finally, the battery stays at 410mAh, which provided several days usage before needing a recharge in the G Watch R.
LG says it’s aiming the Urbane at both men and women, despite the name being more associated with males than females, and the face only coming in one size. The body comes in either rose gold or silver finishes.
Updated on 04-23-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news of the Watch Urbane’s U.S. and UK release, and that it will have the new version of Android Wear installed.
Updated on 02-14-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in an LG teaser video of the Watch Urbane, giving us a better look at the swish new device.
Article originally published on 02-16-2015