A smartwatch is meant to complement your phone; they allow for quick and easy access to notifications and a means to quickly and easily respond to them. In this respect, most smartwatches perform very well; with Android Wear being an intuitively designed software that is incredibly easy to use, even providing extra functionality such as turn by turn navigation, on screen music control and an integrated fitness application. But every smartwatch using Android Wear does this. What every smartwatch does not do, however, is function as a watch.
The LG Watch R is a watch first and a gadget second. This is most noticeable in its design: with watch like markings, a conventionally placed power button and traditional leather straps (which can be replaced by any standard 22mm strap with no special tools required). The LG Watch R looks and feels like a watch should – robust, weighty and very present on the wrist. Given its chunky build it could be compared to something you’d find from Nixon’s range, however, a chunky build is not something everyone wants, and it’s worth pointing out that it is on the larger end of the smartwatch range.
The watch also has excellent battery life. This is because the LG Watch R has a huge 410 mAh battery as well as a P-OLED display, meaning if you leave the screen on ambient mode, only the active pixels consume power. As a result the watch lasts approximately 36 hours with the “always on” mode active, and up to three days with the “always on” mode turned off. It is also charges very easily on its charging dock, taking roughly an hour to go from empty to full battery.
Ultimately it’s the combination of the watch’s design (the fact it looks like a watch) and the battery life (which is good enough to allow you to use the “always on” feature) that allows it to be easily integrated into day to day life. You can tell the time throughout the day without any awkward gesture, and all the bonuses of being a smartwatch are just that, bonuses; extra features that don’t compromise the main purpose of the watch.
The 1.3 inch 320×320 display, the 512MB of RAM, the 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, the pedometer and the in-built heart rate monitor, all allow for the LG Watch R to do everything a smartwatch does, and quickly. And for the $359 (RRP) you’re paying, you would expect that. Its design isn’t for everyone and its price may be prohibitive, but if you are looking to invest into a smartwatch then I’d recommend giving this one a look, if only because a watch is something you need to be able to wear, and this is a watch that’s very easy to live with.
Have you got the LG Watch R? Tell us what you think of it in the comments below…