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LG Watch Urbane LTE review – hands on

LG Watch Urbane LTE front

Classy 4G-enabled Watch Urbane LTE runs WebOS

Along with its new Android Wear Urbane model, LG was showing off a rather different kind of smartwatch: the Watch Urbane LTE. As the name suggests, the watch has built-in 4G, but it also runs LG’s own Wearable OS operating system.

Wearable OS is based on WebOS, as found in LG TVs and formerly of Palm. The touchscreen interface consists of a carousel of icons, which scroll smoothly round with your finger rather like a classic telephone dial. Icons and text are sharp and colourful on the 1.3in 320×320 OLED display, and the watch’s quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB RAM seem up to the ask of running Wearable OS.

LG Watch Urbane LTE menu

The are quite a few apps in the menu, such as fitness (there’s a built-in heart rate monitor and pedometer), music and remote smartphone camera shutter as well as phone and messaging. As the watch has a mobile connection, you don’t need a phone to make calls or send messages, but it will also link to a companion app on Android. Unlike the Urbane, with its single button to wake the screen, the Urbane LTE has a trio of buttons on the side: one to go to the home screen, one to go back and one to bring up the Settings menu, cutting down on the number of gestures you have to use to access various functions.

In order to power the wireless functions without the watch’s battery life dropping down to less than a day (LG claims it’ll last a day and a half) the Urbane LTE has a larger 700mAh battery, compared to the 410mAh of the Urbane. The built-in 4G does add size to the watch – it’s significantly chunkier than the Urbane – and quite a lot of weight.

You can really feel the 115g weight of the watch on your wrist, which would take some getting used to – it’s almost as heavy as a smartphone. Some of the heft is also down to the watch’s construction; the all-metal chassis feels very well made, and the watch is certainly a classy object. Even the tough, flexible adjustable rubber strap feels posh.

Tech companies such as Samsung seem to be keen to change the way we pay for things, and LG is no exception. The Urbane LTE has built-in NFC and a Cashbee app, which currently works in collaboration with a Korean payments provider.

And there’s the rub with this beautiful watch – it’s only going to Korea, and there’s no word on when European customers will be able to get their hands on it.

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