LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport hands-on preview: The mighty Google has at last taken the wraps off its latest Android Wear 2.0 update and with it comes some shiny new wrist-worn wearables courtesy of LG.
We got to take a closer look at the latest LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport, to test the newest Android Wear 2.0 operating system and what these new wearables have to offer.
LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport: Display, design and build
As you’d imagine from the name it’s the LG Watch Style which really turns heads. This beauty is built with polished sides and a brushed surface to offer up a real premium finish. Thanks to the new custom P-OLED display that build also allows for those bezels to fall away, giving the screen a really impressive framing. Despite all that, the tech is crammed into what is the smallest Android Wear device yet, something that really helps it give standard watches a run for their money in the comfort stakes.
The LG Watch Style uses custom quick release straps available in three main colours; silver with natural leather, rose gold and cream leather or black on black. Silicon bands, which are better suited to active users are also available to buy direct from Google.
The LG Watch Sport also offers a minimal build at 14.8mm tall for comfort and an ability to fit on the arm without taking up room. That should mean it’s barely noticeable while training and will slip in and out of a sleeve easily. There is also an impressive P-OLED display used in this watch and the whole thing is IP8X rated (in other words you get strong water resistance). Good news if you enjoy training in all weather conditions. The Watch Sport will be available in titanium and dark blue finishes.
Both watches promise all day battery life, but that’s not something we could test in our hands-on time.
Read next: Android Wear 2.0 tips and tricks
LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport: Connectivity and sensors
The LG Watch Style is more about the design and overall look and feel, so it features fewer smarts than the Sport. As such there’s a lack of NFC, GPS or cellular radio support built in. It will, of course, feature Bluetooth and WiFi support, so Android Wear 2.0 will work for voice search and any other smart internet required services via your phone or home network.
The LG Watch Sport, as the higher price suggests, does include NFC, GPS and even nanoSIM support. Those antennas in the bands mean this watch can be used even without a connected phone. This should be ideal for running with music and GPS but also while remaining connected to the internet so even maps and navigation are viable without your smartphone.
LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport: Android Wear 2.0
Some of the major updates in Android Wear 2.0 focus on standalone use, thanks to a strong selection of new apps and its own Google Play Store. This should result in a faster experience with richer apps designed specifically for the platform. It should also mean finding apps is far easier in that dedicated app store.
Google’s Material design is also included on the new Android Wear 2.0 for a far better finish that feels more intuitive and high-end. This is designed to work better with round screens and uses a launcher that’s far more intuitive, especially with the new action drawer at the bottom.
A new update also means third-party app developers can display their data on the watch face. So rather than just time, date and maybe battery life, all sorts of data can be pulled in for at a glance notifications on the lander screen.
Notifications are also improved with smaller icons and information that take up less room. There is also a progress bar so you know how many cards you need to swipe through leaving you feeling more in control than before.
A new swipe style keyboard and handwriting recognition have been added. Although how easy you’ll find that will likely come down to personal preference.
One addition we love is the ability to stream Spotify right to the watch even without a phone thanks to that modem connectivity.
LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport: Pricing and release date
UK pricing and availability are yet to be announced but we can use the US announcements to gauge what to expect.
Both the LG Watch Style and the LG Watch Sport will be launched on February 10th in the US, priced at $249 for the Style and $349 for the Sport. Since there is a cellular radio in the Sport you’ll be able to share your mobile number across the watch and your phone. Whether this will also be the case in the UK on local networks remains to be seen.
Stay tuned for more in-depth reviews on both of these wearables soon. And take a look at our Android Wear 2.0 hub for all you need to know about Google’s smartwatch OS.