To tell the truth, the first round of Android Wear devices aren't all that expensive if you think of them as luxury watches. But if you think of them as notification-based accessories for your $500 smartphone, yeah, they're pretty pricey. Big box retailer Best Buy is here to alleviate some of that sticker shock with a sale on the LG G Watch. You can pick up the black or white/gold version for $179.99 right now, $50 off the retail price.
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).
The first Android Wear devices have had a few issues related to charging. First the Gear Live charger started breaking, then the pins on the G Watch were corroding, and if you broke either charging mechanism, good luck getting a replacement. Now you can at least replace the G Watch dock by picking up a spare in the Play Store and direct from LG.
Reports began circulating over the last couple of days about an OTA update making its way out to owners of the LG G Watch, bumping the build number from KMV78V to KMV78Y. No official changelog has been posted for the update, but it looks like its main purpose is to fix the growing problem of corrosion buildup on the exposed POGO pins located on the back of the smartwatch.
Photos collected by Ariel Ruff.
The Samsung Gear Live got an extra OTA update a few weeks ago, and now it looks like it's the G Watch's turn. There are scattered reports today of an OTA update rolling out with build number KMV78Y. The current build is KMV78V.
Big things are happening for the smallest of Android devices. Over the last month, we've seen several attempts to extend the capabilities of Android Wear, some have worked out, while others haven't fared so well. Most of the activity has come in the form of 3rd-party apps, so there hasn't been much action for dedicated modders. That is, until today. Team Win just posted its first official custom recovery for the LG G Watch (dory).
Like other Google I/O attendees, I picked up an Android Wear device at the conference. I went with the LG G Watch. What follows is not really a review so much as my experiences and thoughts about Wear thus far, having lived with it literally every day since picking it up. I'll include some of my opinions on the platform (ignoring for now the hardware), and what I think might be relevant insights and comparisons to Google's other efforts (like Glass).
Manufactures have been scaling back the included extras that come with hardware for a while now - you won't find included headphones or cases with any of the latest flagship phones. But you can generally rely on getting a USB cable and a wall-wart charger at least. Such is the case with the current Android Wear devices, the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live. But if you have one, you'd better hold onto that charger like it's made of gold, because it might as well be.
We've already seen a short video where Android Wear is used to do simple things like toggle lamps and open a garage door, but Armando Ferreira took that concept and applied it to all the things. In this video demoing home automation with Android Wear, he toggle lights, a popcorn maker, and a PC, but doesn't stop there. He also uses his G Watch to adjust his home's thermostat, turn on the TV, and get a notification if any of the doors or windows in his house are opened.