LG has officially announced that availability of the Watch Urbane will begin this week in South Korea, with twelve other countries getting it on the Google Store some time before the month is out (as in, before the end of next week). The thirteen countries in total are: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The press release says pricing will be announced "at the time of availability," though maybe we can expect a leak or two before the thing shows up on the Google Store. Given that its predecessor, the G Watch R, started at $300, I'm guessing we're looking at a $350 price tag here at least. We also don't know if the steel and rose gold finishes will be priced differently yet, though I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't.
As far as hardware goes, the Watch Urbane is pretty much just like the G Watch R apart from the case and strap materials, they even look very similar. LG claims they've reduced the size of the circular bezel a bit, but otherwise, all the guts are the same - Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.3" P-OLED display, 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM, and a 410mAh battery.
The Watch Urbane does get a couple of new features other Wear devices don't, though - LG Call and LG Pulse. LG Call will let you see your recent calls and favorite contacts so you can dial somebody from your watch (handy!), and LG Pulse sets the watch to a special fitness heart rate mode, measuring your pulse every second (with no time limit, as LG seems to think is important to note). This feature will eventually integrate with LG Health, though it sounds like that might not work right out of the box.
The Watch Urbane will also run Android Wear 5.1 out of the box, meaning Wi-Fi support, amongst a host of other new Wear features, which is good. And hopefully some bug fixes. I would really like the bug fixes.
One important note is that LG didn't actually announce when the watch was shipping, just when consumers would be able to place orders. Though I wouldn't bet on a long wait if they'll be able to take your money by the end of next week.
LG has confirmed Korean pricing for the Watch Urbane is ₩396,000, which converts to roughly $365 (US). You can probably expect it for less than that when it arrives in other countries, though - Korean prices for the original G Watch R were also substantially higher than US retail when converted to dollars. Perhaps the Watch Urbane will cost the same $300 as its predecessor after all.
SEOUL, Apr. 23, 2015 ― LG Electronics (LG) will begin the global rollout of its premium LG Watch Urbane this week in South Korea to be followed by key markets in North America, Europe and Asia in the weeks to come. Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States will be able to purchase the LG Watch Urbane on Google Store starting this month.
At MWC 2015, the LG Watch Urbane received numerous awards and accolades from consumers, media and industry thought leaders for its modern design, full-circle Plastic OLED (P-OLED) display and overall usefulness. The LG Watch Urbane carries over the 1.3-inch P-OLED display from the LG G Watch R but features a less prominent and lower profile bezel. Its dimensions are smaller overall and thinner, without reducing the size of the display or the battery.
Responding to consumers’ desire for style as well as function, the LG Watch Urbane has a full metal body with a stitched genuine leather strap. The stainless steel body is available in a luxurious polished rose gold and silver, accentuated further with a narrow bezel that gives the device the sleek lines of a classic timepiece. Unlike many other competing smartwatches, the band can be exchanged with any replacement 22mm leather, silicone or metal strap for the ultimate in convenience and personalization.
LG Watch Urbane is the first new smartwatch powered by the latest version of Android Wear which works seamlessly with smartphones running Android 4.3 and above. Some of the features available for the first time on any Android Wear device include Wi-Fi connectivity, always-on apps to keep the display from going dark when running, navigating or even grocery shopping and an improved UX that makes launching favorite apps and getting in touch with friends easier than ever before with everything now front-and-center.
The latest OS allows users to send emojis by drawing them directly on the LG Watch Urbane. Draw a smiley face, a clock showing a certain time or any other pictures and Android Wear will match your drawing to the closest Unicode emoji for sending to another Android Wear watch, smartphone, or computer. Other improvements include the ability to change the font size and see notifications even when looking at another function on the display, such as directions. What’s more, the screen on the LG Watch Urbane can now be set to lock automatically when it is removed from the wrist.
Included in LG Watch Urbane are two new and useful features not available on other Android Wear devices: LG Call and LG Pulse. LG Call allows the wearer to access recent calls and the favorite contacts list on the connected smartphone to dial out directly from the watch. When connected to a Bluetooth headset, there is no need to remove the phone from one’s pocket to place a call. And LG Pulse takes health monitoring to a whole new level by measuring the wearer’s heart rate every second during exercise with no maximum time limit. At the end of the activity, LG Pulse will report the average heart rate over the entire duration of the activity and display a heart rate graph on LG Health (coming soon).
“The LG Watch Urbane is the third Android Wear device introduced by LG in the past year which demonstrates our commitment to this platform,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “More importantly, LG Watch Urbane is a perfect example that Android Wear watches can be functional and beautiful and a useful accessory that complements any wardrobe. No one would mistake LG Watch Urbane for a computer on your wrist.”
Price and additional purchase details will be announced locally at the time of availability.
- Chipset: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400
- Operating System: Android Wear™
- Display: 1.3-inch P-OLED Display (320 x 320, 245ppi)
- Size: 45.5 x 52.2 x 10.9mm
- Memory: 4GB eMMC / 512MB LPDDR2
- Battery: 410mAh
- Sensors: 9-Axis (Gyro / Accelerometer / Compass) / Barometer / PPG (Heart Rate Sensor)
- Color: Rose Gold / Silver
- Other: Dust and Water Resistance (IP67)