04
Sep
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LG says it has been working on the G Watch R for two years. Whether this is true or not, the manufacturer now positions the original G Watch as a "reference device," which makes sense given their partnership with Google on the product and its speedy release after Google I/O. At any rate, the G Watch R is positioned as a product more in keeping with LG's design philosophy and the key elements the company (and more specifically its designers) believe make a good, compelling smart watch.

Unfortunately for our hands-on, we are not able to publish photos of the watch outside of demo mode, but what we can discuss is the hardware.

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There haven't been many clear looks at the hardware of the G Watch R yet, but from what I had seen in photos, I didn't feel compelled by its design. The bezel, which by LG's own admission is bigger to house display connections and waterproofing mechanisms, is not as imposing at it seems, and the watch overall is considerably lighter than it looks. Its 46mm overall diameter is not too huge, even on a thin wrist like my own, and the screen seems sufficiently big and bright, though its 320x320 resolution does betray itself with some tapering rows of pixels near the sides.

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The metal used in the device's chassis seems solid and premium, and the leather strap the watch comes with needs some breaking in, but does feel fairly decent on first blush. LG says other straps are under consideration but the watch is compatible with all 22mm watch bands, giving users plenty of options.

At the bottom edge of the watch is a microphone for accepting voice commands, and on the side is a dial (like a real watch) which acts as a power button. If you turn the dial nothing happens, but a long press will conveniently send you to the watch's settings menu.

Around back there's a heart rate sensor and pogo pins for charging. The G Watch R will have a charging cradle much like the original G Watch.

As for specs, the G Watch R will have a 1.3" display at 320x320, 512MB RAM and 4GB storage, a 9-axis sensor along with PPG and barometer, a mic, IP67 certification for water and dust resistance, and an expected release timeframe of October 2014.

Update: WSJ says the release date is October 14th, though it doesn't go into specifics regarding exact territories that would get it first.

In the end, the G Watch R is definitely a compelling Android Wear device. It looks nice, it isn't too heavy, and it has the specs you'd expect from the current generation, but what would make it a great device is an update to Android Wear (which is apparently coming soon)- the nascent platform still has a its own issues.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Deeco

    No thanks.

  • Corey Watford

    Literally minutes away from the moto 360, I think ill wait

    • Peter Blanco

      Is there a time the event starts? Or were you just saying because it's today?

      • Corey Watford

        Sadly haven't heard any time of the exact event, but it's in Chicago, which is an 1hr behind where I live, but im just watching my Feedly tab for any updates

    • wokerz

      What time is moto's kicking off??

    • Matthew DiGiacomo

      Nope. No news until tomorrow.

  • jlmcr87x

    Horrible....

  • Leif Sikorski

    Again no ambient light sensor?

    I might be wrong, but the ring looks a lot like it could get very annoying when you try to do touch inputs or swipe through the menus.

    • someone755

      Looks like it to me too, but to be honest, when are you going do need the edges?
      Does Wear even use edges for navigation?

      • Leif Sikorski

        I think some apps like android wear mini launcher makes use of gestures where you have to swipe from the edge, but I'm not 100% sure.

        • Nicolas POMEPUY

          Yes you're right, Wear Mini Launcher (and other apps) use the edges.
          Even the systems uses the top edge to allow the user to switch to "silent mode"

      • turdbogls

        top edge for mute, but other than that, I dont think so....but that doesn't mean an update can't fix that.

        • nxtiak

          Wear Mini Launcher can use all edges (configurable) to open an app launcher list.

    • Cory S

      I agree. But, it's also just gorilla glass. The bezel will go along ways on protecting it.

  • sivkai

    I have mixed feelings about this. Awesome to see a full circle (unlike the Moto 360) but the watch still has a 'cheap' look to it. Looks like one of those's kids watches you can buy for ten bucks.

    • Leif Sikorski

      At the cost of having a large bezel. I'm still unsure what I prefer, but I at the moment I prefer the look of the Moto.

    • nxtiak

      Doesn't look cheap to me, I like this very much. Looks better than my $500 Citizen Nighthawk

    • Kevin

      Really? For a decently made watch like this, I'd expect to pay $50 at the very least, if not $100. Look at prices on Amazon.

    • Joan Vilariño

      The Asus Zenwatch is winning in design against this and moto ... that two seem like having an oreo cookie tied to your wrist XD

      • lean

        WHAT???? ZenWatch is a fail with design. Who would buy this watches for kids when they cost €200? Never thinked asus can make somethink horrible like this after zenbooks.

        • Joan Vilariño

          Well I guess each one has his likings here... I find it a nice "classic" design, with leather, metal a copper color... while the G Watch R seems like a toy watch from the coner's chinese electronics store...

          But hey... diversity is good

        • david

          oddly enough i like the zenwatch too, very much so.
          though i can't really explain why.

          • Joan Vilariño

            Well designs are like butts, everyone has its own ... if you like more a 'classy' look, you'll go for the zenwatch, if you like sport, the Sony SW3 or the LG G Watch R, if you like Oreo cookies, the moto..

        • Joan Vilariño

          ,... ERROR ....

  • Ryan Steddy

    I thought I preferred the square watches but I really like this.
    Also thanks for writing the article without mentioning or lusting over the 360 as pretty much every article seems to.

    • david

      Funny, it was the other way around with me when I saw the Zenwatch (yeah I know, I seem to be alone with that).

  • Yura Kazimirov

    Sorry, LG, you wont get my money. 2 years and what they have is this?.... T_T

    • Sim Floyd, Jr.

      Yeah, not impressed either.

  • Sim Floyd, Jr.

    I hate that horrible, large looking ring around the screen. This is NOT what I was expecting.

    • Grayson

      Did you not see the same render everyone else did previously? This looks like the render, so not sure why you weren't expecting this.

      • ari_free

        They might have thought it was part of the screen that you could change.

  • Peter Blanco

    For the average consumer, this isn't bad.
    Like everyone else, I still think the 360 looks more refined. BUT this looks closer to a "typical" watch than what we've seen yet and that's what we need for smartwatches to have any acceptance in mainstream society.

  • Andrew Palmer

    Hardware dial around the edge is the deal breaker for me.

  • Defenestratus

    Why does something that have a dynamic watch face have a static, hardware ring around the face? Thats tying the user into a particular watchface style. What if the user wants a digital or segment watchface? The ring is totally out of place.

    • http://halljake.com Jake Hall

      To hide the fact that the watch needs a bezel...

      • http://www.lettersfromdave.com daveloft

        because it's actually a square display under that thick round bezel.

        • http://www.AndroidExplained.com Doug Lynch

          Has this been confirmed or is it just speculation?

          • Turrican76

            No, it's to hide the display drivers. That's why the Moto 360 has that black space under the display. I prefer the way LG choose to hide it.

          • http://www.AndroidExplained.com Doug Lynch

            That's what I thought

          • Imparus

            I thought the black bar was for the ambient light sensor

          • cdfghg

            The black space is for the display drivers. It had enough space for an ambient light sensor, so they put one on there. The space would've been wasted if they hadn't.

    • Kartik N

      They could have at least put a slide rule on that ring and made it rotate so that it has some purpose and function regardless of what is being displayed on the screen.
      I had high expectations from the renders as the watch could have provided the more sporty yet classic look. I already have a Citizen World Chrono AT, Baume et Mercier Capeland and I'm waiting for a more premium and exclusive option to arrive.

    • lean

      No guys. These smartwatches have addational battery for screen. So they can show time after all systems are down.

    • Brad

      That's the sore thumb that makes it a no-go for me

    • http://androidintvfilm.tumblr.com/ wade_county

      Pretty much. This is a diver style watch, if you want a digital style watch then this isn't the watch for you. Maybe a Gear Live might suit your needs.

      • vgergo

        I should be allowed to want a different look every week

    • KapteinStein

      I like the ring from a purely aesthetic point of view. The fact that it doesn't look like a digital watch is what appeals to me, and for analogue watchfaces it does have a function. Don't really use the rings on any of my analogue watches neither, but I like that they are there.

      • Sergio

        Exactly! And the ring also serves one special purpose nobody has mentioned, a bump guard... On my regular watches, these ring has saved my watch many times!

    • rmkilc

      Because technology isn't there yet to have a bezel-less watch face.

      • yippiedad

        Moto 360 is basically bezel - less so the technology is there. But it's probably much more costly than to just use a square LCD display and just cover the corners with a ring to make the face appear round. I much prefer the Motorola 360.

        • rmkilc

          No. Look at the bottom of the screen. It requires a bezel there.

    • Mark Washington

      As was mentioned, it looks better in person

    • Lee

      To protect the screen.

  • Tomáš Petrík

    I wonder how it copes with long words/names in the lower or upper part of the display.
    If it had the ambient light sensor, I would be inclined to get it, but now I am not sure.
    Plus, the "hardware" analog watchface around the screen is frustrating for those prefrering and willing to download a digital watchface.

  • Shane Redman

    It sits under the bezel like I feared and you still need a "cradle" for it at nights...no thanks

  • Ban wasteful Bad Ideas

    I like the round design. Too many smart watches look like a small brick duct taped to your arm.
    All those square designs look as sexy as an ankle monitor for house arrest.

    If I wanted any big square thing strapped to my wrist - it would be a PipBoy 3000.

    • ari_free

      They are probably much easier to use as smartwatches

  • vyktorsouza

    it looks so weird, it's like if it doesn't fit the OS

  • tonylee427

    real thing looks so far away from the rendering,Moto360 still the most beautiful smartwatch.

  • Stoffers

    The dial should adjust brightness considering it lacks an ambient light sensor. Would make it much more useful than just a spinning power button.

  • turdbogls

    not digging the look of the 2 tone.....please tell me this comes in an all black, or all stainless finish.

    other than that, I like that this actually looks like a watch (no, the 360 doesn't look like a watch)

  • nxtiak

    Wow, I like it! Was hard to tell in the renders and stock photos, but these real life photos look great! Much more like a normal watch which I have a lot of. I like it. Think I'll get it instead of Moto 360.

  • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

    The 30 is upside down. Fail.

  • kpjimmy

    Looks ok, and I believe will appeal to some. Same thing with the LG G Watch. Some like it, some didn't, and some like me grown to like it.
    Being a watch hobbiest, I can say this one will not make it to my rotation. Looks ok, but looks a bit on the 'cheap' side for me. Some may think otherwise and that's ok, if we all thought and felt the same way, the world would be a boring place. Glad there are more styles for round models, however, I am still looking at the Moto360 even if it's not 360. lol

    • nxtiak

      I'm also a watch enthusiast (I have about 25 watches, $160-$200 range, with 1 $500 Citizen Nighthawk), and I LOVE the look of the G Watch R, it looks like a real normal watch. These real life pictures look great, much better than the renderings.

      • kpjimmy

        I agree it's better than the renderings though, but like all things in fashion, you cannot please everyone.

        • Doof

          The important thing is all the big manufacturers are making smart watches now, so even though they aren't perfect yet, it should force them all to compete and hopefully innovate, and also give broad options for consumers to choose from

  • David Fleck

    This reminds me of a dive watch, not a fashion watch.

    • kpjimmy

      I have a few dive watches and I don't dive lol. I just like the style of them. I am however a desk diver. :)

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    I don't like the outer ring at all. It makes the screen look smaller, is absolutely pointless, and will interfere with the touches and edge swipes. This reminds me of the feeling something like a fat Defender case on my phone which makes edge swipes super obnoxious.

    Moto 360 all the way IMO. The only downside there is the cut-off at the bottom, we'll see just how annoying it gets soon.

    • Doof

      Seems like everyone is having to make trade-offs and sacrifices at the moment. Might not be until the second gen of Wear devices that we start getting some that tick all the boxes

    • kashtrey

      Agreed, Wear is largely contingent upon swiping which will get annoying on a screen recessed between some pretty large bezels. Any touch targets towards the edges will also be annoying to hit.

      I don't mind the design, but as many have said it will look ridiculous with digital faces and the bezel makes the screen look tiny.

      Also, LOL at the people who thought this was going to be smaller than the 360. This looks just as big, if not bigger (probably marginally thinner but marginally wider).

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Well, the screen is smaller, but the total package isn't.

    • Mlibbey

      You said the outer ring is pointless, but isn't it there to fit everything(drivers etc) that the Moto 360 couldn't so they can have a full circle? Am I wrong?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        I mean pointless from the aesthetic point of view.

    • http://www.AndroidExplained.com Doug Lynch

      Have you tried edge swipes or are you just assuming? The ring looks angled, so it looks like it will actually help guide your finger with edge swipes.

      I agree that the Moto 360 looks better(even though I liked how the G Watch R looked in the original press renders), but this style is just not for me.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        I haven't tried it, just going based off looks. I've used cases that are tapered like this, and it just sucks.

    • ari_free

      At least it looks like a real watch, just not your style. The Moto 360 will look really dated once everyone else is able to make a true 360 watch. The cutoff has nothing to do with any style.

  • Philip Leaper

    I'm digging the fact that the screen is set back from the outer ring. Means it's less likely to suffer scrapes and scuffs on the glass - a watch is significantly more likely to suffer that, especially something like the moto360, which really sticks out. I haven't decided yet, but this will be a factor for me.

    • david

      That's a good point.

      But the set back screen might be annoying when swiping to the edges.

    • Joan Vilariño

      I have an Smartwatch SW2 for almost a year now.... not a single scratch .. and the glass is exposed

  • jc914

    No Qi charging? Com'on...

  • akemsley

    No thanks. I'll just stick to my LG G watch for the gym, and a Moto 360 for work.

  • Jax Spade

    I WAS excited from the renders for the LG R watch but that balloon quickly deflated after reading this...I am tired of pogo pins!! I have stopped wearing my LG G watch because it became a nuisance to charge. And you have a flat tire or a out of place watch bezel thing? So, I would rather a small black bar across bottom instead of what actually has showed up... but thank goodness we get options!! More Watches for ALL!!

    • fabulosospucas

      ^ This. I, for one, love this design, and don't mind the bezel at all (you all have a fixation with bezel less tech that is, well, worrying), but those pogo pins! How much time has Qi charging been around? It should be standard by now.

  • http://androidintvfilm.tumblr.com/ wade_county

    Traditional watch hardware with no pics of a watch face?

  • Tom Harman

    The more i see it, the more i like it.

  • Guest

    Is the promo code tied to your gmail account?

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Wat

  • Jon

    I'm disappointed that (at least for now) you *have* to buy the leather strap. That pretty much excludes about 4% of potential US consumers right off the bat, and a huge % of consumers in India, who have moral qualms about buying leather. But I recognize that offering a second band choice would cost money in terms of tooling/production/marketing/etc.

  • TOBUY

    Almost there... IMHO:

    PROS
    - looks like a "watch", but lose the number markings. I like the bezel, but not the tick marks. I think the bezel will help protect it. I beat my watches up. So far, I think this is the best design so far.
    - battery life (to be seen, but one of the bigger batts right now)
    - 22mm generic watch band is nice to get rid of stinky leather

    CONS
    - no ambient light sensor. come on... I don't want to get yelled at in the movie theater.
    - needs GPS to be used by itself, i.e. working out
    - O2 pulse oxy to take work outs to next level (just a big wish there)
    - needs wireless charging

    I like this better a little more than the 360. For some reason, overall I like the 360, but the style looks like something "stuck" on your wrist, rather than flowing with some "meat" on it. Then again, I have medium sized wrists, so I like big watches. Again, my opinion.

  • X

    At least put an ambient sensor in the "0" of the 30 on the bottom bezel.

  • ChicagoPete

    Having spent my youth working in a watch shop, I can tell you that the button on the side is called a "crown".

  • wireless

    why didn't they copy the moto 360's QI charging its more universal than a cradle moto 360 might still be better

    • hp420

      probably because with all the extra stuff crammed in there they couldn't fit the charging coil without adding some serious heft to it.

  • Matt L

    Recommend over Moto360?

  • hellerox

    At least it looks smaller than my Ambit Suunto 2

  • Jephri

    Some people just really like rings.

  • hp420

    wait...no android wear???? what is it running??

  • steelew

    This is the one I want

  • Duncan_J

    Younger me would have wanted this, when Diving defined my style (life if I'm honest) I would have gone nuts for this. Does it have a depth gauge!!!! But modern me prefers style and sleekness. Sorry LG I like you and this watch is nice but I'm still going 360. but everybodie else should get this so there is stock of the 360 for me :)

  • david coffey

    I've been sold on the moto 360 this entire time up until today. This is the watch for me.

  • Metric Flaps

    Looks kind of cheap with that plastic ring. Not buying.

  • recharging?

    Is "recharging-by-rotor" technology patented? Such technology might be helpful for longer battery life(though rotor-generated power could be insufficient to fully recharge battery)

  • NT

    extremely unattractive when not in a heavily produced photo. Its the same rectangle as the first one with a round face sitting on top of the rectangle. Not identical obviously but pretty close. If it was actually a round form factor that would be much more interested. Picking up the moto 360 in 8 hours when it launches :-) (to accompany my rectangular white LG G watch which I also love when I'm dressing casually) . It is true the 360s display has a hiccup in the perfect circle but at least the device itself is an actual circle!

  • Guest

    Dont worry folks
    Sony is just following LG here
    introduce a bland smart watch in a hurry n join the Android Wear Band Wagon

    in 2 month u can see Sony Launching the next version of this watch which
    will b a properly designed one unlike this prototype watch
    n ppl who buys this will b feeling bad, just like the G watch early adopters

  • Bigleo 29

    Fuck all that shut with the moto 360 and this watch they both have great round displays but LG did a wonderful job making a watch that looks natural and completely round the black one is fire and is going to kill the moto 360 don't get me wrong now the moto 360 is a flash bitch now it's very simple and classy but the display isn't all the way round due to the driver on the bottom now the watch is rounded perfect but the display shouldn't show the driver at all and I think they made a big mistake but it's still in a class of its own but LG G R got them with a completely round display and body

  • brenden morris

    A gif made from the Official Teaser Trailer. I so hope this is true! Maybe it's not. We'll see.

  • Jerry Rich

    Are you kidding me? The LG thing looks cheaper than the Motorola round watch. What were they thinking?

  • Sruly J

    I really wanna get in on the Android Wear fun. Unfortunately, since I have pretty small wrists, it looks like the 360 is out of the question :(
    So I'm pretty much stuck (for now) to getting the LG G Watch (for ~$100, depending on color. A gold one went for $100 with only one bid, I regret not bidding, and I've seen the black ones go for ~$115, although one ended at $85, but I didn't have a chance to raise my bid), or the G Watch R. I like the round display of the R, but the ring kills it for me a bit :/

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