After a few teases of its premium follow-up to the G Watch, LG has finally let loose official details for the G Watch R. The immediate takeaways: a 1.3" P-OLED [Plastic Organic LED] display, stainless steel body, a heart-rate monitor, leather strap, Q4 availability in "key markets" and, not surprisingly, no pricing at this time.
As far the insides go, this is basically still just the G Watch. It has the same Snapdragon 400 CPU, the same 4GB of storage, the same 512MB of RAM, the same IP67 rating, and a very-slightly-larger 410mAh battery (compared to 400mAh in the G Watch). What the 1.3" P-OLED display will mean for battery life we don't know, though OLED displays do manage greater contrast ratios than LCDs, and LG seems to be playing this up, saying the "1.3-inch full circle P-OLED display that produces stunning image clarity even under bright sunlight and superb clarity when viewed from any angle." Perhaps the G Watch R will outshine the competition, as it were. We don't know if LG's latest watch is sporting an ambient light sensor, though, and the company isn't talking on that point yet.
The G Watch R isn't a successor to the G Watch, but rather a premium option for those looking for something a bit more stylish and watch-like, according to LG. The 1.3" display is definitely a bit on the small side, though, with Motorola's not-quite-fully-circular LCD on the Moto 360 measuring 1.5", the GWAR could be at a dimensional disadvantage. While the GWAR's overall display surface area is actually slightly greater than that of the standard G Watch, less of that surface area is going to be usable in many practical scenarios, just because of the way Android Wear looks and functions. It also does appear that the outer band of second tick-marks is in fact a physical part of the watch, not the display, so the G Watch will have a substantial "bezel" (if you can call it that) to it.
Picking up a heart-rate monitor to compete with both Samsung and Motorola is probably a good call, and honestly, I'd probably be a lot more willing to wear something like the GWAR than I would the G Watch or Gear Live. The Moto 360 does look nice, though I think LG's effort here is the most "watch-like" to date, though of course whether or not that's a good thing is entirely subject to your personal aesthetic values.
We'll likely be hearing more about the G Watch R at IFA next week in Berlin, so stay tuned.
LG READYING SNEAK PEEK OF NEW G WATCH R AT IFA 2014
New Android Wearable First to Feature Full Circle P-OLED Display
SEOUL, Aug. 28, 2014 — Following the June release of one of the first-to-market wearable device powered by Android Wear™, LG Electronics (LG) is quickly expanding its wearable product offerings with the unveiling a new Android Wear device — the LG G Watch R at IFA 2014 in Berlin next week. The LG G Watch R is the world’s first watch-style wearable device to feature a circular Plastic OLED (P-OLED) display and utilizes 100 percent of its watch face.
The most eye-catching feature of the LG G Watch R is its 1.3-inch full circle P-OLED display that produces stunning image clarity even under bright sunlight and superb clarity when viewed from any angle. Powered by a powerful 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, the LG G Watch R offers 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM and a durable 410mAh battery. This Android Wear device will effortlessly run all compatible apps available in the Google Play Store and with an Ingress Protection Rating of IP67, the LG G Watch R is designed to run for up to 30 minutes in one meter of water.
With Android Wear™ at its core, the LG G Watch R delivers essential and relevant information exactly at the right time and place through voice recognition notifications. With a suite of LG health and fitness apps, users can also monitor their heartbeats with the support of the embedded photoplethysmograpgy (PPG) sensor. And the smart notifications provide users with important reminders of missed calls and messages, upcoming meetings, events, and local weather forecasts.
With an artisanal elegance, the LG G Watch R boasts a refined aesthetic that is reminiscent of traditional timepieces. Replete with a circular watch face, this elegantly crafted Android wearable has classic curves encased in a strong, durable stainless steel frame and carries a suite of watch faces that are accessible with a simple touch of the display. Its interchangeable 22mm calf skin leather strap also complements its overall aesthetic, giving it an air of modern prestige.
“What we’ve noticed in the year of the wearable is that this is a category that can’t be compared to smartphones and tablets,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Wearables are also accessories and consumers will want more than one to choose from. So we wanted to complement the modern design of the original G Watch with the classic look of the G Watch R. Customers can’t go wrong with either device.”
The LG G Watch R will be available in key markets early in the fourth quarter of 2014. Prices and details of availability will be announced locally at the time of launch. Visitors to IFA can see LG G Watch R up close in Hall 11.2 of Messe Berlin from September 5-10.