Not so long ago, Apple’s luxury smartwatch (Pebble) made a grand appearance on the tech scene. Meanwhile the rest of the market knew that contenders would be releasing something to stand against Apple’s slew of wristwatches.
LG watch Urbane is LG’s latest attempt at Android wear following the G watch and the G watch R. With Google’s I/O developer conference gone long by, LG’s release of this latest piece of tech gives a hint towards a big showdown of the Android smart wear at the conference.
What’s the new stuff about Urbane?
As compared to LG’s previous smartwatches, Urbane comes packed with a lot more action. LG’s first smartwatch, the G watch featured a square dial. The G watch R had a round dial with a sports look, but the Urbane watch flaunts a super classic look. Urbane has a round dial with chrome boundary and is 11 mm thick with a leather strap.
Pretty much like regular dress watches right? This is what makes Urbane a high wearing option. It goes well with formal outfits and does not give the perception of some alien gadgetry from the future. It also pairs nicely with casual outfits but maintains the classic, edgy look.
Moving on to the more technical details, Urbane is the first Android wear to feature the latest Android smart wear software. The prime features include the ability to connect to your cell phone no matter in which part of the house or office or in which part of the state, for that matter, it is in.
Urbane is waterproof and features a microphone and vibration feedback too. Urbane seems to have improved the Android smart wear’s user interaction a bit as apps are a lot easier to access now. All you need to do is press and hold down the side button.
Let us explore the LG Urbane smartwatch one feature at a time.
Overall, the design is impressive, the look, stylish but there are some shortcomings. The thickness of the dial makes it look good on men only. On a woman’s wrist, the dial may look or feel absurdly large. Also, the styling of the watch to make it look like an entirely ordinary analog watch might make it look a bit too formal for some people’s taste.
Urbane allows the users to connect remotely with their Android smartphones even across countries. It removes the limitation imposed by the Apple watch’s ability to connect to the phone only over the same internet connection. However, the feature needs some further polishing.
To be able to connect to a network that requires a pop-up login without a phone is impossible. This means that even if you are not on a publically shared connection, as long as a log-in is required, your watch wouldn’t be able to connect independently to the network that is a turn-off.
The Android smart wear software has significantly improved since its debut. The Urbane is an example of the better level of user interaction that the Android smart wear has achieved although there is still great room for improvement. As mentioned earlier, accessing the apps has been made a lot easier and can be done at the cost of holding down a single button.
The Urbane features a screen brightness assistant that keeps on adjusting the screen brightness automatically, hence saving you the hassle of going through cumbersome setting menus. The sound profiles have also been made easily accessible avoiding too many complications.
It also has a callback dashboard; a feature not only absent in the previous LG watches but also in all of the previous Android wear. Well, it does not let you make a voice call but lets you dial back a number that you have already received or made.
The only thing that may bother some users would be Android software’s tendency to serve notifications as screen filling cards. Since Android wear already has minimal screen space, thrusting users with cards taking up all of that screen does become a little annoying.
Also, the cards keep on coming back as they are predictive, so you have no option but to swipe them away each time. Moreover, the notifications just cannot be turned on or off instantly as the settings are identical to those of your phone, so the amendments need to be made there.
The Urbane does what most of the Android watches have already been doing. You can look for nearby restaurants and locate your neighborhood coffee house. Fitness, however, has been improved to a better level in Urbane. It has a built-in heart rate monitor that can be used to track continuously heart rate, or you can opt for on the spot heart rate following as per your liking.
The Google fitness app tracks your activities and syncs all that data back to your phone. The Urbane can connect to all Android smartphones with Android version 4.3 or above. Another great feature is that the watch is waterproof. This means that you do not need to take it off to wash your hands or even swim. It can survive a thirty-minute dip in one meter water depth.
Urbane has a built-in 410mAh battery that serves the watch exceptionally well. The watch goes on a day pretty easily with the always on display mode that graduates into an ambient dimmer mode after a few seconds. With the always-on mode off and the dimmer ambient mode always on.
However, the battery life can easily be extended to more than two days. The charger design closely follows that of the G watch R. the charger cradle attaches to the watch using magnets that attach to the metal contacts at the back of the watch.
All in all, the LG watch Urbane is undoubtedly the most elegant android smart wear to make the appearance yet. It comes with the considerable phone connectivity option that its predecessors lacked, but the price is bit of a constraint. This device is available currently for $259 which is expensive considering that mostly, it just does what all other Android watches have been doing.