It's official: smartwatches are a thing, especially now that Google is on board with its own Android Wear SDK for wearables.
LG and Motorola both announced that they're releasing smartwatches based on Android Wear. Unfortunately, details are thin. Here's a look at the scant information unveiled today.
LG: G Watch
LG announced that it's working in conjunction with Google on the G Watch, an Android Wear-powered smartwatch. Like the LG-manufactured Nexus 5, it will respond to commands like "OK Google" so you can ask it questions. But then, that doesn't seem special—it appears that's a core part of the Android Wear interface.
There isn't much more information offered about the G Watch, other than it's meant to help developers "offer the best Google experience for users." Essentially, it's the stock, "Nexus" smartwatch. LG said it will announce more details next month, though the watch should be expected in the second quarter of 2014. Oh, and it's rectangular. We don't know the size, price, battery life, tech specs, or precise release date, but "second quarter" will be here before you know it.
Motorola: Moto 360
Motorola was serious when it said it would launch a smartwatch this year.
It's called the Moto 360, and from the company-provided video, it prides itself on its round shape.
Like the always-on Moto X smartphone, the Moto 360 will respond to "OK Google" to answer your queries. And unlike the latest onslaught of wrist wearables, the Moto 360 will feature a round face and a premium build. Motorola promises that it will "feel comfortable and familiar on your wrist."
Motorola's smartwatch will be globally available in several styles, including leather and metal bands. You can sign up for Motorola's mailing list to get updated when it's officially available. Price, specs, and precise release date were not announced.
Only the beginning
These first two Android Wear watches are only the beginning. Given the complete lack of important details like price, size, and hardware specs, it's obvious that LG and Motorola were aiming to get their announcements out as quickly as possible following Google's announcement of the Android Wear SDK.
Of particular interest is LG's insistence that it will introduce the watch in the 2nd quarter of this year. It might be on the market when Google I/O rolls around in June. With the SDK available now, and watches coming in just a few months, will Google's effort feel half-baked?
Certainly, the Motorola watch seems intriguing. It seems far more like a watch and less like a small smartphone strapped to your wrist. But there's still so much we don't know about these devices. We do know this—you're likely to hear more from LG and Motorola over the coming months, as well as other manufacturers, like HTC, which recently confirmed that we should be expecting a wearable device of some sort from the Taiwan-based company later this year.