Android Wear rumored to be getting speaker support and on-watch calling features

19 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

LG Watch Urbane is so uncomfortable you’ll never want to wear it.

The LG Watch Urbane is the Korean company’s third smartwatch in under a year, a shiny, metal-covered, round Android Wear watch to compete with Apple’s Watch – and with a price tag to match.

The Watch Urbane, LG’s latest Android Wear smartwatch, is what you get when you take the company’s G Watch R, replace its plastic case with stainless steel and swap out the generic leather strap with a stitched one. The lugs are unnecessarily bulky, making it’s virtually impossible for the Urbane to remain strapped to your wrist; there’s always some kind of gap in between. These specs aren’t super important on a smartwatch since you’re not really doing anything power-intensive, except tracking your heartbeat and maybe playing music. Battery life from the 410 milliamp-hour battery is the same as just about every smartwatch available right now — it easily lasts a full day with moderate usage, but you’ll have to charge it up every night.

There’s a heart-rate sensor on the underside of the watch, but it’s no different than on any other smartwatch; you have to be incredibly still and it takes a couple of seconds before you get a reading. Things like connecting over any Wi-Fi network, always-on apps, hand-drawn emojis, pattern lock security and wrist-gesture controls, as well as improvements to the overall user interface, finally make Android Wear smartwatches feel like a more polished platform. Above and beyond the features standard to Android Wear 5.1, the Urbane includes Wi-Fi for connecting remotely to your smartphone and a heart rate monitor, which must be manually activated.

You can dial phone numbers, peruse your favorite contacts and check your recent calls, but unfortunately, you can’t make or receive calls with the Urbane. LG Call also allows users to trigger phone calls on the connected smartphone if they download a separate app on their phone and connect Bluetooth headphones.

The Urbane also includes Android Wear’s new lockscreen, but I could not get it to show up when the watch was taken off, and only occasionally when the watch was charging.

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