LG G Watch R review – The power of Android Wear in a beautiful round design
Previously, the main function of watches was to display the time but nowadays things are different. Smartwatches have become more and more popular these days and various tech giants have already revealed their new wearables. Take LG for instance. Following the example of another South Korean top company, LG has also decided to pursue market share in this developing niche with G Watch R.
Unlike most of its predecessors, G Watch R has a round display, just like ordinary watches. What’s more, LG G Watch R comes with Android Wear, which is designed specifically for this type of gadget. G Watch R is stylish and provides fast access to Google Search via voice commands. It also enables easy navigation, measures your pulse and tracks your sports activity. These are just a few of the things it lets you do and a wide range of users could definitely find it exciting enough.
Before we delve deeper into features and specs, here is an official introductory video about the device.
Its body is completely stainless steel and, as we said before, its round shape imitates traditional wristwatches. The watch has a thick metal bezel engraved with numbers and marks. The fascinating thing is that unlike most of its competitors, G Watch R is equipped with a concave 1.3” P-OLED display that could protect it from scratches and accidental face-down drops. The leather strap has ten holes for adjustment, which make it suitable for each and every one of you. Unlike Samsung Gear S for example, G Watch R does not have the traditional Home button we know from smartphones and tablets. Instead, the crown acts as the Home button. If you press it longer, you will go to ‘Settings’. There is also a mic, but it is only usable for voice commands, because it does not support phone calls, and there are no speakers.
The pulse sensor is in the middle of the back lid, along with the LG logo and some other labels. Also in the back is where you attach the piece responsible for charging the battery. The watch is 9.7 mm thick and its weight is 62 g without the charging module.
Another distinct advantage of G Watch R – it is IP67 certified and water resistant up to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes. In other words, you can wash your hands or take a shower with G Watch R strapped to your wrist without any concerns.
G Watch R features a circular 1.3” P-OLED display and to some extent it is similar to Moto 360. With a resolution of 320 x 320, LG G Watch R has an impressive pixel density of 246ppi. Thanks to its OLED display, you can enjoy deep black levels and nice contrast. It does not matter whether you are indoors or outdoors – it is bright enough so it won’t be difficult for you to view content on the watch. There is also a high brightness mode if you need some more light
The Way You Like It
LG G Watch R comes with a variety of themes suitable to your taste. You can select the one you like by pressing longer on the home screen. These themes also include some additional information such as the number of steps you have already taken, weather, time and battery info. In addition, there is a theme that shows the time in two different countries and features a compass. Most of the themes are in black and they perfectly fit the classic design of the smartwatch. Furthermore, there is a large collection of themes available for download in Google Play.
The G Watch R’s battery is 410mAh and we consider its endurance to be good compared to other smartwatches we have analyzed. However, that greatly depends on the user’s interaction with the gadget. It is supposed to handle moderate load for up to two days. The good news is that charging time is considerably short – it requires just over 30 minutes for a full charge.
Software and Capabilities of Android Wear
G Watch R runs Google Android Wear designed especially for such wearable gadgets. In order to connect to your smartphone, you will need to download the specific app from Google Play that establishes the connection via Bluetooth. The app requires Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or higher. You can check whether your smartphone meets the requirements here:
At this time, all wearables that run Android Wear have identical user interfaces. You only need to touch the screen once to go to the main menu. You can also use voice commands to perform different operations via Google Now. You can activate the Google app with the command “OK Google”, after which you can search on the web or in the main menu itself.
The Start button is located at the bottom of the menu, where you can find a complete list of installed apps. There are not many apps that are available for download at the moment, but their number increases constantly. For instance, we installed a calculator, a calendar and an app that shows what your smartphone camera takes in real time. You can also take pictures on your phone just by touching the watch.
Messages and emails
G Watch R doesn’t have any keys. Instead, you can use your voice to type and send messages. It only takes a few seconds, but you could easily be misunderstood and you might send it to the wrong person by accident. In any case, if you master this option, you will consider it to be very useful.
In order to make use of this functionality, you need to open the Google app on your Android smartphone and then go to Menu -> Settings -> Accounts and privacy and tick the ‘Contact recognition’ option.
When somebody calls you, the watch vibrates and three options appear on the screen – to decline it by sliding to the right, to accept it (but you must put your hands on your smartphone first), or to send a pre-composed message like ‘I can’t talk at the moment, I will call you later’.
If your watch is connected to your smartphone, it will display notifications for you. You get all notifications and you can see them by touching the bottom of the screen and moving your finger up. If you want to remove a notification, just slide your finger to the right. Some notifications allow you to slide to the left to see more information.
Google Voice Search
As you already know, G Watch R runs on voice commands. You can even do a Google search by using your voice. However, it’s possible only when your watch is connected to your smartphone, which in turn uses Wi-Fi or mobile data . The risk is that Google may misinterpret your request. If the search results are not enough for you, you can also view them on your smartphone just by pressing a button.
Select the ‘Play Music’ option of your watch to open the music library on your smartphone. You can use your watch to pause or skip a song and to control the volume. It is incredibly useful when you listen to music through headphones, as it grants you the opportunity to manage your listening experience without even touching your phone.
The navigation tool collects information from your smartphone. You can use your voice to set a destination for guided navigation, and then you will receive a notification each time you are supposed to make a turn. Your watch will vibrate to warn you.
Heart Rate Monitor
LG G Watch R’s built-in heart rate monitor lets you measure your pulse almost immediately. It also records information about your attempts to measure heart rate. This option is very important for applications that track your fitness activity.
In order to use Google Fit, you need to install it both on your watch and your Android phone. It detects walking, biking and running, lets you track your progress and saves all of the relevant data should you want to access is later. There are some other similar apps on Google Play. For example, Runtastic calculates the calories you have burned and uses GPS to track your route.
Though you may find it strange, you can also play games on your watch. You can download some from Google Play, but there are not many to choose from. They are not as exciting as they can be, but they are perfect for filling time when you just need to.
Drag your finger down to pull the status bar towards you. It reveals information about the current date and the battery. Also, from there you can turn the vibration onand off, change the mode depending on whether you are indoor or outdoor, and go to the settings menu. You can easily access the settings by pressing and holding the crown instead. From Settings , you can adjust the brightness, turn off or restart the watch, restore data, change the theme, turn on/off the Bluetooth feature and the airplane mode. In addition, there is an option to set your watch’s screen timeout.
LG G Watch R is designed for users on the go and hi-tech lovers. The useful smartwatch definitely looks stunning, but it’s up to you to decide whether you are willing to invest in a the device of that type.
- Beautiful round metal design
- Android Wear + a variety of apps and functions
- Good battery endurance and fast charging
- High-quality display
- CPU: Snapdragon 400, a smooth user experience
- No speakers
- No SIM card support
- Compatible only with Android 4.3+