With the release of Android Wear 2.0, we also see the unveiling of LG’s latest set of smartwatches. The Watch Style and Watch Sport seek to fulfill two different needs for two types of users, with the Watch Sport being the clear flagship among the two.
We’ve known for a while that these new LG watches have been greatly influenced by Google in terms of design, and according to Android Wear Product Manager Jeff Chang, the partnership is similar to that of the Nexus program in terms of collaboration and goals. It might not carry a Pixel or Nexus branding, but they are accompanying Android Wear 2.0 to showcase its best features, and the Watch Sport in particular packs all the right hardware to take advantage of the new platform.
|LG Watch Style||LG Watch Sport|
|Display||1.2-inch 360×360 P-OLED|
(Gorilla Glass 3)
|1.38-inch 480×480 P-OLED|
(Gorilla Glass 3)
|Processor||Snapdragon Wear 2100 1.1GHz||Snapdragon Wear 2100 1.1GHz|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE, NFC|
|Battery||240 mAh||430 mAh|
|Dimensions||42.3 x 45.7 x 10.79 mm||45.4 x 51.21 x 15.5 mm|
|Straps||Leather, 18mm (User-replaceable)||Fixed (Contains hardware)|
Both watches come with P-OLED displays similar to those of previous LG watches, coming with the benefit of improved sunlight legibility and contrast. They also feature high pixel densities, with the LG Watch Sport packing a bigger 1.38-inch 480 x 480 panel (both are covered with Gorilla Glass 3 as well). The LG Watch Sport comes with some extra RAM, but the 512MB found in the more budget-friendly Style variant is enough for most Android Wear tasks. Both devices also come with the Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, which promises better power efficiency and smooth performance (although it’s still using old technology, and shouldn’t result in a big increase over the traditional SD400 solution — performance might be smooth, but not smoother).
As expected, they are both rated for water and dust resistance, with IP67 for the Style and IP68 for the more-rugged Sport. The LG Watch Sport is also one of the thickest Wear watches while the Style is so thin it doesn’t have room for a heart-rate monitor. Furthermore, the Sport version contains all the necessary radios to make the most of Android Wear 2.0 — Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and also NFC and LTE. The Style, by comparison, does not have NFC meaning it cannot take advantage of the Android Pay functionality that this update brings. They also come with rotating crowns for the user to scroll through lists, echoing the trends we’ve seen with the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Gear S lineup.
The Watch Sport comes at a hefty $350, while the Style is only $250 — this poises it as a solid competitor to the ASUS Zenwatch 3, one of the better and cheaper Android Wear options in recent times. Both devices pack batteries that should last a day of usage, but the additional radios on the Watch Sport will result in lower endurance than its capacity suggests. Luckily, the charging solution employed is a pleasant wireless charging cradle with a USB Type C port for power input. It’s also worth noting that while the Style comes with Italian leather bands that are easily removable, the Sport’s bands cannot be replaced as they contain vital radio components, similar to how the once-delayed Urbane LTE approached its connectivity solution.
These watches will be available for purchase starting this Friday, February 10. In the United States, you’ll be able to buy the LG Watch Sport and Style off the Google Store, but you can also pick up the Style at Best Buy or get the Sport through AT&T or Verizon (with an accompanying contract). The watch will also be selling in Canada, Russia, South Korea and the U.K. among others, over the coming weeks.
What do you think of these new watches? Let us know in the comments below!