Move over G Watch - LG has just announced the stunning G Watch R, a circular smartwatch with gorgeous looks
It was only earlier this week that LG was teasing an unannounced circular smartwatch for a reveal at next month’s IFA show in Berlin, but the company has decided not to wait, or share the limelight with Motorola’s Moto 360, which is expected to go on sale next week; it officially announced the G Watch R late last night.
In a press release posted to the official LG News Room, the company confirmed the wearable it had been teasing does indeed have a circular display – and unlike the Moto 360, there’s no black bar at the bottom edge to make room for an ambient light sensor, so the screen takes up 100% of the watch face. LG has opted for a 1.3in, 320×320 resolution P-OLED display rather than LCD, which should hopefully improve battery life when using a predominantly black watchface. Although the screen is smaller than the Moto 360’s 1.5in display, LG has concentrated on making the G Watch R look as little like a smartwatch as possible.
The screen is surrounded by a stainless steel bezel and frame, which is IP67 certified for use in 1m of water for up to thirty minutes. With a leather strap and single button where you’d find the crown on an analogue watch, you would have to look twice to work out that the G Watch R has any smart features.
Tap the screen, however, and you’ll get notifications, music playback controls, daily step tracking goals and dedicated Android Wear apps when paired to an Android smartphone.
The announcement is only slightly surprising, as although LG only recently launched the vanilla G Watch a few months ago, it was met with lukewarm reception from critics and users alike over its plain looks and plastic build. Inside, the two models are practically identical; both use a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, paired with 4GB of on-board storage and 512MB of RAM. They both run Android Wear, Google’s smartwatch-centric version of Android, and both have a 410mAh battery. The G Watch R gains a PPG heart rate sensor on top of this, however.
LG expects the G Watch R to go on sale in Q4 this year around the world, but has made no mention of price. Considering the rather plain G Watch itself costs £160, we would expect this premium version to cost at least £200.
Hopefully we’ll get a look at one in the flesh next week, when IFA kicks off in Berlin.