The ‘world’s first smartwatches with Android Wear 2.0 operating system’ title goes to LG Electronics and Google. LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style will be available for sale in the U.S. starting 10 February 2017 while the rest of the world, including Asia will have to wait a little longer till the end of the month to snag one at select retail stores.
They are the first watches in the world with Android Wear 2.0
So, what’s the big fuss about a new watch operating system? First off, the Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch OS is the biggest update by Google so far, and comes with its own app store. What it means is that in 2.0, there is a standalone Play Store that you can access and download apps directly onto your watch minus the smartphone. Sending messages with the watch has also been improved with options to chose from a list of quick replies that Google calls ‘smart reply’ to handwriting characters on the surface of the watch.
“Android Wear 2.0 focuses on making smartwatch experiences better and faster – including watch faces that bring glanceable data, fast and fluid messaging, and a new fitness experience that helps you track workouts and stay motivated with music,” said David Singleton, VP of Android Engineering, Google.
It comes with ‘complications’
As the first smartwatches to come preloaded with the 2.0 operating system, LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style will come with the Google Assistant built-in and receive its processing power from the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor.
Both LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style watches come with round displays with a rotating side button for reading messages, scrolling through menus and browsing notifications. The round watch faces are also customisable, allowing you to add up to eight ‘complications’ (fancy name for widgets) for you to access important information at a glance.
Main differences between the 2 smartwatches
LG Watch Sport
The word ‘sport’ is already a give away. The LG Watch Sport is designed for those who are loves exercise and active. Other than being the first Android Wear smartwatch to use Snapdragon Wear 2100, it is also 4G LTE capable, making it virtually independent of the phone.
The 1.38-inch full circle P-OLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 is housed inside a stainless steel frame with a dust and water resistance rating of IP68. The LG Watch Sport features a photoplethsmogram (PPG) sensor that can track your heart rate more accurately both during rest and exercise as well as a built-in GPS. Other features include NFC support for Android Pay.
LG Watch Style
Running the same processor as the Sports version, the LG Watch Style is a sleeker, smaller and slimmer smartwatch. 3.41mm slimmer to be exact. While LG Watch Sport is available in titanum and dark blue, the LG Watch Style is available in flashier colours like silver, titanium and rose gold and watch bands that are easy to swap in and out of. LG Watch Style has a IP67 rating that protects the watch from dust and surviving a drop into a fish tank no deeper than one metre for up to 30 mins.
“LG and our partners at Google managed to include a tremendous number of innovative technologies into the LG Watch Sport and the LG Watch Style,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “This dynamic duo of devices offers cutting-edge functions in terms of personalisation and empowerment, freedom and convenience to meet diverse consumer tastes.”