Just two months after releasing the pedestrian G Watch, LG on Wednesday unveiled the much more stylish G Watch R, a round-faced Android Wear smartwatch that could make you think twice about buying the Moto 360. We haven’t yet seen the G Watch R in person, but based on LG’s images, it could be the most stylish Android Wear watch yet.
Both the G Watch R and Moto 360 have circular displays, but LG’s new wearable looks more like a traditional men’s sport watch. While the Moto 360 is just a simple round case, the G Watch R uses substantial lugs for its strap attachment points.
The lugs add a lot of visual interest, and make the G Watch R look more like a TAG Heuer or Timex than a piece of consumer electronics—especially when adorned with a chronograph-style digital watch face.
Most of the specs of the G Watch R mirror those of other Android Wear devices. Indeed, the processor, storage, RAM, and battery capacity should all look familiar to anyone who’s been researching smartwatches lately:
- Processor: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
- Display: 1.3-inch P-OLED Display (320x320)
- Memory: 4GB eMMC and 512MB RAM
- Battery: 410mAh
- Dust and water-resistant to the IP67 spec
- Sensors: Gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, barometer, PPG (heart rate monitor)
There are two important details worth focusing on. The first is the display. The round plastic-OLED display, with a resolution of 320x320, is completely circular. This is in contrast to the Moto 360’s display, which features a non-functional black “slice” at the bottom (this is where the display’s control circuitry is housed). The upshot is that LG can brag that the G Watch R “utilizes 100 percent of its circular display.”
The G Watch R also adds a built-in photoplethysmograpgy (PPG) sensor, which is a fancy way of saying “heart rate monitor.” Samsung includes a heart rate monitor in all its Gear devices, and they’re not terribly accurate or convenient, as they can’t provide continuous heart rate measurement during exercise. If LG’s isn’t any better, it’s not worth getting excited about.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the G Watch R. LG hasn’t announced the watch’s price, size, weight, or charging method. That information will have to wait until its formal preview at IFA in Berlin next week. Nor do we know pricing and availability, save that the watch won’t arrive until Q4 2014.
The G Watch R’s stylish good looks have us intrigued, however.
While the Moto 360 is going for a minimalist, unisex appeal, LG’s latest Android Wear device looks very much like other men’s sports watches. It’s something we would put on our wrists even if it weren’t a smartwatch. And this may be its best feature of all.