LG on Wednesday launched the first Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches, designed in collaboration with Google, the LG Watch Style and Watch Sport. While the pricing for Watch Style, with its bare-bones features, starts at $249 (roughly Rs. 16,700), the beefier Watch Sport variant has been priced at $349 (roughly Rs. 23,400) by the company. Both the smartwatches will be available online and through retail in the US from Friday.
Apart from the Google Store, the Watch Style will be made available through Best Buy while variants of Watch Sport will be made available at Verizon and AT&T stores as well.
Notably, a series of comprehensive leaks regarding the wearables already provided detailed specifications about both the variants much ahead of the official announcement. The newly-announced LG smartwatches are the first wearables to run Android Wear 2.0 platform, which was launched alongside the watches.
Coming directly to the specifications on the smartwatches, the LG Watch Sport, which has been termed as "Android Wear's most powerful watch yet" by Google, is 14.2mm thick and will be made available in Titanium and Dark Blue (exclusively available through Google store) colour options while the LG Watch Style is 10.8mm thick and comes in Titanium, Silver, and Rose Gold colour options.
Both the smartwatches from LG feature circular, plastic OLED displays but the Watch Sport comes with a denser 1.38-inch 480x480 pixels resolution display with pixel density of 348ppi while the Watch Style features a smaller 1.2-inch 360x360 pixels resolution display with pixel density of 299ppi. The two smartwatches come with 1.1GHz Snapdragon Wear 2100 processors and feature a rotatable digital crown that can be used to interact with the Android Wear 2.0 user interface.
While both smartwatches come with 4GB of inbuilt storage, the Watch Sport variant packs 768MB of RAM compared with 512MB of RAM on Watch Style. The LG Watch Sport further houses a larger 430mAh battery compared with the 240mAh battery on the Watch Style.
The two LG-made smartwatches come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity but the Watch Sport model additionally features cellular connectivity (support for both 3G and LTE), GPS, and NFC radios. The NFC radios allow the LG Watch Sport model to make use of Android Pay feature in Android Wear 2.0, which is cannot be used on Watch Style. The LG Watch Sport also features a heart sensor as well.
The flagship Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches come with support for Google Assistant and come with an inbuilt mic for the functionality.
The official LTE support for LG Watch Sport is only for Verizon and AT&T and LG does not commit for it to work on other networks available in US, as pointed out in a report by AndroidPolice. Further, only these two networks will allow users to utilise same phone numbers on their watch as their smartphone.
The LG Watch Style comes with water and dust resistance rating of IP67 while the Watch Sport is a little more rugged and comes with an IP68 rating.
Interestingly, the ambient sensors on both these smartwatches sit beneath the screen itself, just like on Gear S2 and Gear S3 smartwatches, and automatically adjust brightness to give a boost to the battery life, as pointed out in a separate report by Android Police.
One interesting differentiation between the two variants comes in the form of bands. While the watch bands on LG Watch Style are swappable and can be replaced with ease, the Watch Sport variant doesn't offer the same functionality. Even though it might come across as a strange thing, as Watch Sport is the flagship variant, the company has reportedly provided fixed bands on the wearable as there are wireless antennas present on the band itself.
As the antennas, which are present on the part close to the watch body, are associated with important features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular connectivity, they cannot be replaced and are fixed with screws in place. The search giant says this engineering decision was taken to keep the device relatively svelte, reports AP.
Google says that after the US, the smartwatches will be coming to Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, UAE, and the UK in coming weeks.