LG has just launched a smartwatch than can make phone calls on its own, without having to rely on a smartphone. The LG Watch Urbane LTE recently made its debut at a price of $589. But wait -- LG's newest wearable device is only launching in South Korea. Well, at least for now.
Apart from possessing the ability to make phone calls by itself, the LG Watch Urbane LTE can also send and receive text messages, make push-to-talk calls with other smartphones on the same network, and facilitate mobile payments through the use of near field communication (NFC) technology. And this smartwatch is doing all of these on its own, without relying on another device, particularly a smartphone.
It certainly helps that the LG Watch Urbane LTE comes with is own universal SIM card. Because of this, phone calls made using the smartwatch run over a 4G LTE network.
Generally speaking, most smartwatches today only have limited functionality when it comes to making and accepting phone calls. This is because they are usually tethered to a smartphone. Basically, when you are planning to get a smartwatch, you are expected to get (if you do not have already) a smartphone in order to make full use of all the capabilities of the wearable device. Moreover, both the smartphone and the smartwatch must be compatible with each other. Thus, Android Wear smartwatches can only be paired with smartphones that run on Android and support such wearable devices.
In terms of independent operation, the LG Watch Urbane LTE is really a solid step forward. The other cool thing about this LG smartwatch is that, if you want to, you can still pair it with a smartphone. That is because it runs on a version of LG's WebOS system, which actually works with devices that have Android 4.4 (or higher) installed as their mobile operating system.
As for its specs, the LG Watch Urbane LTE comes with a 1.3 inch plastic organic LED screen and is powered by a 1.2 GigaHertz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chip. It also comes with a 700 mAh battery. Its metal body is specially designed to resist corrosion and scratching.
Perhaps a most pressing question for American customers is: will it ever be available in the United States or in countries outside South Korea? LG, which is based in South Korea, is not sure of that itself. It appears that much will depend on how well the LG Watch Urbane LTE will sell in its maker's home country.
Interestingly, a sister smartwatch called the LG Watch Urbane is scheduled for release in the US and is expected to be carried by AT&T. However, this one is more of a traditional smartwatch that still relies on a smartphone to operate. As for the LG Watch Urbane LTE smartwatch, US customers will have to keep their fingers crossed.
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