And it is even prettier than the first one i.e. the Moto 360.
It is the most attractive smartwatch available so far, plus it does a lot of things right and the battery life isn’t bad either.
But the question is, does it satisfy the $300 price tag? Let’s try to figure out.
- Price : $299.99
- Display : 1.3″ Full Circle P-OLED – 320 x 320 resolution
- Compatible with : devices running on Android 4.3 and later
- Battery: 410mAh
- Operating system : Android Wear
- Processor : 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
- Memory : 512 MB RAM
- Storage : 4 GB
- Dimensions/Weight : 46.4 x 53.6 x 9.7 mm/62 g
- Connectivity : Bluetooth LE
- Sensors : 9-Axis (Gyro, Accelerometer, Compass), PPG (Heart rate monitor), Barometer
In-depth LG G Watch R Review
The design sets it apart from other Android Wear smartwatches, however, under the hood, it’s business as usual. In addition to the usual glitches associated with Android Wear, it faces the some additional issues because of the circular design, just as we saw in the case of the Moto 360.
After the recent update, Android Wear has improved quite a bit yet some issues still need to be addressed, especially in case of round watches as the text gets truncated at the edges and some apps also feel cut off.
Other than the slightly more powerful 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, the watch comes with specs that we have seen in almost all the Android Wear-based watches. The LG G Watch R has 512 MB RAM, and 4 GB internal storage. Unlike the Sony Smartwatch 3, it lacks support for GPS.
Design and display
The design is a major, major improvement over the original plain black, uninspiring square LG G Watch. The first thing you’ll notice about the LG G Watch R is that its design is more masculine than unisex. But it’s not too big and wouldn’t stand out like a sore thumb.
The watch looks pretty much like a classical wristwatch with a steel body housing the circular display and a non-rotatable dial with time markers on it. They will look out of place when you’re using a digital face, but look extremely elegant with analog ones.
Even the strap is much better than the rubber one we saw in the LG G Watch. It’s genuine leather and looks pretty nice, though a little stiff.
It’s not the first round smartwatch – Moto 30 has that honor, but the two watches are clearly different from each other. While the Moto 360 looks like a disc with a strap, the LG’s watch has etched notches with angled metal ridge. But what really sets the two watches apart, and what gives the LG G Watch R an upper hand is that it makes full use of the circular face while the Moto 360 compromises a fair chunk at the bottom for the ambient light sensor.
There is a home button on the side that pretty much resembles a crown – making the watch look absolutely like a traditional analog wristwatch.
The watch comes with a 1.3 inch screen with a 320 x 320 pixel resolution. It’s fairly smaller than the 1.56inch display of the Moto, but the good thing is that the smaller area means the G Watch R has a higher pixel density and a better and clearer display. On top of that, the OLED display is kind on the battery, and is also fairly readable in harsh light.
Charging and battery life
The charging mechanism isn’t as stylish as the one we saw in Moto 360’s case. It needs a little magnetic dock, in which you have to plug the micro-USB cable.
The good thing is that LG G Watch R has a longer battery life than any other Android Wear smartwatch. With the screen in always-on mode, the watch may last from a day to a day and a half, however, with the always-on mode off, the battery life may stretch up to two and a half days.
Sure, that’s not ideal, but that’s the best in the class we have seen so far.
The watch has a 410mA battery – that’s the most powerful battery we have seen so far, (though it’s just 10mAh higher than the original LG G’s). As mentioned earlier, the OLED display puts a lot less burden on the battery. These two factors team up to give the G Watch R a decent battery life.
Dust and water resistance
Feel free to wash your hands or take a bath while the watch is on your wrist, because it’s rated IP67 dust and water resistant.
Let’s talk about the features other than the Android Wear’s standard ones i.e. Google Now, voice recognition, navigation, step counter etc.
There is nothing new other than the heart rate monitor and some exciting watch faces from the features of the original LG G Watch. The heart rate monitor is present at the back of the watch, and it works as well as the heart rate sensor that’s present in the Moto 360 and the Samsung Gear Live.
In addition to the plain watch faces of Android Wear, there is a host of LG’s own. The latter ones of these make the watch stand out. Almost all of them are based on classic analog faces, with metallic-looking hands and dials. Most of these offer some sort of additional info other than time and date. For example, the fitness face shows your step count in a secondary dial, world clock displays the times from two additional times zones, the hiking face has a compass, and so on.
The G Watch R has a built-in microphone to understand your voice commands, but there is no speaker. Thanks to the recent update, you can fill the 4GB storage with your favorite tracks and listen to them on a paired Bluetooth headphones set.
Beautiful design, angular metal body and well-crafted watch faces make the LG G Watch R the most attractive smartwatch around. And the good battery life earns it some additional points. And if you’re a dedicated Android fanatic, this is the watch to go for.
The only issue with the watch itself is its high price. It surely is better than the Moto 360, but is it 50-bucks better? You have to find the answer according to your needs.
Android Wear has still a long way to go. In other words, LG has come up with a great hardware, but it’s the software that isn’t up to the mark yet. So if you want to get a smartwatch that truly marks the new era of communication, you’re still in for a wait.
DESIGN & DISPLAY9/10
COMPATIBILITY & CONNECTIVITY6/10
FEATURES & APPS8/10
- Attractive design
- Full circular display
- Good battery life
- Solid build
- OLED display makes everything look better
- Not a unisex design
- Stiff strap
- Incomplete software
- Android wear isn't ideal for round face as yet