LG Watch Ur­bane

Tech Advisor - - REVIEWS - Chris Martin

With its de­sign and build su­pe­rior to most An­droid Wear smart­watches, the LG Watch Ur­bane fetches a higher price. While most cost be­tween £150 and £200, the Ur­bane will set you back £259, although it’s still cheaper than the en­try-level Ap­ple Watch, which costs £299.

Look­ing very much like its pre­de­ces­sor, the G Watch R, the Ur­bane has been up­graded to a full me­tal casing, and is avail­able in a sil­ver op­tion and a more bling­tas­tic gold.

A watch like this is sup­posed to be big and heavy, and if that’s what you’re look­ing for then great, but some may find this de­vice too bulky and un­wieldy for their wrist. Weigh­ing 67g and mea­sur­ing 46x52x10.9mm, the Ur­bane is hardly svelte, though it’s thin­ner than the G Watch R be­cause it doesn’t have the dished bezel around the screen.

The sil­ver model comes with a black leather strap, while the gold op­tion is paired with a brown strap. You can swap them out for any strap with 22mm pins, which is handy. As ex­pected, the leather is stiff at first but soft­ens over time mak­ing it more com­fort­able.

Like its sort of pre­de­ces­sor, the Ur­bane has an IP67-rated de­sign mean­ing it’s wa­ter­proof. LG warns that you shouldn’t keep it sub­merged longer than 30 min­utes though, or take it to a depth greater than 1m.

The de­sign is the big change here when com­pared to the G Watch R. The hard­ware and specs re­main the same, so you’ll get a 1.3in (320x320) P-OLED screen, a Qual­comm Snap­dragon 400 pro­ces­sor and 4GB of in­ter­nal stor­age.

The screen is crisp and has de­cent bright­ness, so you can read it easily in­doors and out. How­ever, you’ll prob­a­bly want to switch the al­ways-on fea­ture to save bat­tery since there’s no am­bi­ent light sen­sor for au­to­mat­i­cally ad­just­ing bright­ness.

There’s also 512MB of RAM, the same heart-rate mon­i­tor on the un­der­side and other sen­sors in­clud­ing a barom­e­ter, ac­celerom­e­ter and com­pass. The Watch Ur­bane lacks GPS, though. As with other heart-rate mon­i­tors on watches, tak­ing a read­ing is very much hit-and-miss, so you of­ten need to press the watch firmly on to your skin to help it out.

A big new ad­di­tion is built-in Wi-Fi, which means you can still use the Watch Ur­bane even with­out hav­ing it con­nected to a com­pan­ion de­vice – mi­nus any phone-spe­cific no­ti­fi­ca­tions such as calls and text mes­sages, of course. You can se­lect this op­tion when set­ting up the watch with the An­droid Wear app.

The 410mAh bat­tery is the same size as that found in the G Watch R and is charged via a mag­netic dock – that’s why there are five cir­cu­lar me­tal con­tacts on the rear. In terms of bat­tery life, you’ll get just over a day, but if you turn off the ‘al­wayson’ func­tion, then the screen will con­sume less power and you’ll get a cou­ple of days from the Watch Ur­bane if your us­age is light.

As well as Wi-Fi con­nec­tiv­ity, the Watch Ur­bane has more tricks up its sleeve thanks to the re­cent An­droid Wear up­date. The menu is now split into three sec­tions, which con­tain apps, con­tacts and avail­able com­mands. It’s a welcome change and makes us­ing the op­er­at­ing sys­tem a lot eas­ier than pre­vi­ously.

The apps menu will dis­play re­cently used ones at the top, but don’t get too ex­cited about the LG Call apps be­cause the watch doesn’t have a speaker so it’s just for ini­ti­at­ing a call on your con­nected phone.

Ver­dict

There’s a lot to like about the LG Watch Ur­bane with it’s Wi-Fi con­nec­tiv­ity and the new ver­sion of An­droid Wear. Since in essence, it’s the same de­vice as the G Watch R in terms of hard­ware, your pur­chase hinges on the de­sign. It’s ex­pen­sive and bulky, and we can’t see it ap­pear­ing to the masses, so the G Watch R is still our rec­om­mended choice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.