Hs on: ’s round-faced G tch R looks great (on men)

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 4 Sep 2014

BERN—It won’t beat the Moto 360 to retail, but ’s G tch R might be the circular smartwatch that tech enthusiasts—the male ones at least—are clamoring for during the holidays. 

As a technology company, is a rather subtle member of the premium br club. It may not earn all the fanfare of Samsung’s franchise, it may not have dominant marketshare. But it definitely understs product design.

The G tch R is a perfect representation of ’s design prowess, it erases the embarrassment of the company’s first smartwatch effort. The R is a well-crafted device, doesn’t feel bulky uncomfortable like the original G tch, which now describes as a reference device. In fact, the G tch R looks like the closest thing to a real wristwatch that I’ve seen in the wearables scene.

A smart watch, a stylish accessory

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The G tch R.

This is the kind of device that my boyfriend or father would wear on their wrists. It’s exceptionally stylish with its matte-black finish genuine leather b, from afar it really does resemble a high-end TAG Heuer or similar sports watch. said it spent two years looking at the way that men’s fashion sport watches were designed before going to the drawing board with the G tch R.

As our editor-in-chief points out at the end of this video, the R’s strap lugs are a critical design element that help seal the deal.

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A heart-rate monitor resides on the back of the G tch R.

Compared to the G tch, the G tch R is relatively light unobtrusive. I still think it’s a bit big for a wrist the size of mine, but at least it doesn’t make my arm ache. I also appreciate that is sticking with a typical watch buckle rather than some of the other fastening mechanisms available. This makes it more comfortable to wear easier to adjust. A slight tilt of the wrist is all you need to glance at your notifications on its 1.3-inch display.

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It’s morphin’ time? 

OD is pretty darn good

My previous experience with ’s OD technology wasn’t positive, but it works for this device, I’m glad to see that the company tapped into its existing resources for the niche wearables market. If nothing else, it shows that understs it needs to differentiate itself from the competition.

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That round part on the left is the OD panel in its naked form. 

The OD display is marketed as being visible in bright sunlight, but I didn’t get a chance to test this for myself. That said, says it offers a 100 percent color gamut up to 300nit luminance. After five seconds, the watch will also go into ambient mode, which will dial down the device’s battery use from 130mto 13ma significant difference, says, that will help the G tch R stay powered-on for up to two days on a single charge. 

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The G tch R’s screen brightness isn’t too bright or saturated. 

Despite its dignified aesthetic, still designed this watch for one particular demographic: men—men interested in a sporty design.

I’m a woman, my biggest beef with the wearables market is that almost nothing is tailored to smaller wrists. I asked why the G tch R wasn’t more gender-neutral, a spokeperson could only offer that the company led on a design that it believed would sell best. As the wearables market matures, however, hopes to develop products that cater to a wider spectrum of users. ckily for the ladies, it’s still en vogue to wear a man’s watch, you can also swap out the R’s stock strap for something else. Still, you’ll have to contend with the actual watch body, which skews decidedly butch.

Unfortunately, all of the watches I played with were in demo mode, so I couldn’t evaluate the software experience. But, hey, we’re talking about an Android ar watch: They all pretty much offer the same UI. I did get a long glance at ’s custom watch face, however, I liked how realistic it looks. has done an admiral job in replicating the design of a mechanical watch. It also helps that ’s on/off button looks like a traditional watch crown.

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It has a crown you can push spin, just like on a regular watch. 

The G tch R would have probably made more of a splash had it been announced at I/O, but then again this isn’t a watch for developers. It’s a device that will be marketed toward technology-loving, style-conscious consumers. Maybe Diane Von Furstenburg will ditch Glass take a liking to Android ar devices instead—at least then we’ll start seeing some watches designed for women.

The G tch R will be available in late October.