The LG Watch Urbane has just been released as a competitive device for the Android Wear market. Available with a 1.3-inch P-OLED display, the device is the first to make use of this flexible technology; giving it a good angle under bright sunlight. Powering the device is a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM and Adreno 305 GPU. It comes with a built-in 4GB memory for easy storage. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity is available to connect with Android smartphones. The Watch Urbane is built with a stainless steel frame coated with either a silver or gold finish before it is attached to the 22mm natural leather straps. The watch also has received an IP67 certification, making it dust and water resistant for up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. The watch comes with a 410mAh battery that helps users get the most out of their Android Wear device.
The LG Watch Urbane offers the same features as the LG G Watch R, but the main added draw for this watch is the fact that it is more fashionable than it's less expensive counterpart. It's a good smartwatch that works as expected and is perfect for those who want an attractive timepiece. This is LG's third attempt at a smartwatch, and it's certainly the sleekest of the bunch.
The LG Watch Urbane costs about $100 more than its predecessor, and the only real difference is the aesthetics. However, when you're wearing a watch every day, the look and feel does become a crucial factor. The dimensions and internal components are virtually the same between the LG Watch Urbane and the LG G Watch R. The LG Watch Urbane is intended to be a unisex watch, but you would be hard-pressed to find many women that are going to think it's a stylish women's watch. For one thing, it's too big. The watch seems to be clearly made for upscale businessmen who want a watch that goes well with a suit. Most women are going to think the leather is too masculine, and the large dial isn't very delicate or light. For a price comparison, the LG Watch Urbane costs about as much as the cheapest Apple Watch.
The Urbane is advanced and is the first smartwatch that runs the latest Lollipop 5.1.1. Android software. This isn't much of a consideration though since most other smartwatches on the market will be able to upgrade to this new operating system shortly. The real reason to buy this watch over other timepieces is its appearance.
The display features a 1.3-inch P-OLED display with 320x320, 245ppi resolution. This is the exact same resolution offered by the LG G Watch R. The Moto 360 could be considered a comparable rival, and the Urbane is a bit smaller than the Moto by about 0.26 inches. While you can choose from several different watch faces, the Urbane does look pixelated when you choose some styles. For example, the Classic face has a lot of pixelation on the dial. For a classic face, you would expect the pixelation to be less apparent. The watch also fails a bit when it comes to displaying clear and vibrant images. For example, the moon on the Moonphase appear a bit blurred and could use some better attention to clear graphics that work with the display. The resolution itself is high-quality, but some of the symbols and images lack an attention to detail to help make this watch really shine.
Look and Feel
The decision to purchase the LG G Watch R or the LG G Watch Urbane comes down to what type of work you do and how you plan to wear the watch. If you're a fitness enthusiast and want to wear the watch on your outdoor runs, or while taking part in outdoor activities, you might be better off saving your money and going with the more robust looking G Watch R. If you're a businessman that needs to wear suits and have a stylish watch, the LG Watch Urbane might be the best option for your needs. One nice thing about the Urbane is that it comes with a stainless steel body that allows you to change out the strap. The current watchband is genuine stitched leather and complements the watch well, but the 22mm strap can be changed out for a band made of metal, silicone or any other compatible strap that strikes your fancy.
The watch body can be customized to your preference. Most likely, this was an attempt to appeal to women and men. You can choose between a rose gold or silver watch body. The rose gold, while traditionally a more feminine choice is still unlikely to appeal to people who have slimmer wrists. The bulkiness of the watch is the main issue, and it will likely dangle on people who have slim wrists. The bezel on the watch helps to make the LG Watch Urbane a bit smaller, as it has been slightly flattened. Some of the detailing that went into the sportier G Watch R is lost with the flattening.
The crown serves one main function -- a back button. Aside from the crown, there are no other buttons on the watch. While this is somewhat standard for a smartwatch, the combination of physical buttons with software provide more convenience and ease of use. One interesting aspect of the Urbane is that it's actually a heavier watch than the LG Watch R, despite the premium materials. The dimensions are nearly the same, but the LG Urbane does feel a bit smaller. The Urbane comes in at 45.5 x 52.2 x 10.9mm, while the G Watch R comes in at 46.4 x 53.6 x 9.7mm. The Urbane is also about 3.5 grams heavier than its predecessor.
On an average sized wrist, the Urbane is a comfortable timepiece and will not get in the way of your daily activities. For those with smaller wrists, the watch doesn't quite fit properly. The first issue with sizing is in the strap holes. There simply aren't enough high up to make it suitable for someone with a small wrist. It's possible to switch out the wrist band for a smaller one, but this may actually compound the issue since the 1.3-inch display is still going to look large on a small wrist. It's not an uncomfortable watch, but women and men with smaller wrists should probably take a test drive before committing to this watch. With such a high price tag, you want your watch to fit properly without the need for various adjustments and modifications. The overall feature-set isn't unique enough to make this watch a must-have. However, for those who find the watch fits well, it's actually a very good deal.
As mentioned previously, the Android 5.1.1 software is nice but it's not a reason to purchase the watch. Other watches are going to get upgrades and be at the same level very soon. One might argue that the device is better tuned for the 5.1.1 software since it was designed with the software in mind. However, there doesn't seem to be anything technologically unique about the watch to make a valid case for that claim. One nice feature about the new operating system is that it features an always-on screen that helps to conserve battery life. When your watch is at your side, the main watch face only displays partially. Bring it up to a viewable angle, and you'll see the full watch face.
Hands-free gestures are another nice add-on for this watch. In fact, it more than makes up for the fact that there are no additional buttons. Flick your wrist to navigate through Google Now cards or dismiss them from view. This is a nice feature, and it allows you to dismiss several notifications quickly. Gestures won't work to help you scroll through your email, and a dial on the side to support that function would be a nice feature. However, that feature is rare on any smartwatch, so it's not an indication of something that the LG Urbane is lacking.
The LG Urbane supports Wi-Fi, which means that it can connect to the network even if you don't have your phone nearby. This is a great option for those who work in office buildings, because it saves your phone and watches battery life. A complete review of the product shows that your phone still needs it's own Wi-Fi or LTE connection for the watch to work. However, it is nice since as long as you're connected to the same network with both your phone and your watch, you won't always need your phone nearby to utilize full functionality of the watch.
The Android Wear app comes with many enhancements. It's now less cluttered, more intuitive, and easier to create emoticons. Simply draw an outline or sketch of what you want and the watch will show you a list of related options to choose from. The new software allows you to send more than one emoticon message at a time, which is a significant enhancement that the Apple Watch doesn't have.
Apps and Fitness
The apps and fitness aspects of the watch are nothing really exciting. For the most part, you've got the same basic features that are available on the previous versions of the Android watch. Google Apps, Amazon, Find My Phone, LG Pulse and recent calls are all standard. You can also browse through Amazon listings using a vocal search, and then purchase each item using the one-click option or add it to your wishlist.
Specifications, Performance and Battery Life
The watch seems to last approximately two days under regular use. It uses a 410mAh battery, which is the same one found in its predecessor. There is also a magnetic charging cradle that adds convenience to the charging process. The watch features a 1.2Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM. Storage space comes in at 4GB and it has the ability to store your music on the device. It doesn't have any GPS, and this is supposedly due to battery life. However, you're probably going to need to recharge the device daily anyway since it only gets about 30 hours worth of uptime between charges. Killing a few hours of battery time for additional features wouldn't hurt. The heart rate monitor is a nice addition, and there is also an accelerometer on the inside of the watch.
This is a good watch, and despite the limitations listed in this LG Watch Urbane review, the watch shows a lot of promise and style for its cost. This watch is really ideal for those that liked the LG G Watch R, but would like something with a little more fashion-sense. The battery life is much better than most other watches on the market, and the design is really pretty breathtaking for a smartwatch. There are a lot of new features, and this is truly a watch that there is very little to dislike. The main complaint is that it won't fit right on people who have smaller wrists, and if you're just looking for functionality it doesn't provide anything beyond the LG G Watch R.
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