If you’re looking for a truly rugged smartwatch to stay in touch while you’re leaping off mountains, the LG Watch Urbane LTE is probably gonna be your new best friend. We go hands-on at MWC 2015.
The new LTE version of the LG Watch Urbane looks dramatically different from the LG Watch Urbane and also the original G Watch R. This is definitely built for outdoors lovers, packing a seriously chunky metallic frame which blends into a full-on rubber strap to keep it glued to your wrist.
It’s so chunky that it looks a little full-on on my girly wrists and it pratcially swallowed the entire arm of some of the smaller women modelling it at LG’s event. However, on big, butch manly wrists it’ll look great.
There are three physical buttons on the right edge of the Watch Urbane LTE. The top one brings up the settings menu, which allows you to hook up to Wi-Fi, change the brightness, fiddle with the audio and so on.
The middle button is the main apps button, which brings up the spiral menu for selecting a feature. Just whizz your finger around the 1.3-inch OLED screen and you’ll navigate through the apps on offer, which is a pretty mighty list. It’s a cool menu but it’s also slightly awkward thanks to the compact nature of the screen, as your finger inevitably gets in the way and blocks your view.
And as you’d expect you get full 4G features, so you can take calls through the watch itself rather than routing through your phone. On top of that you get a host of cool apps, including NFC payment, fitness training (there’s even a special app for golfers to help judge their swing) and a nifty translator to chat with Korean or Japanese people, without bothering to actually learn their language. You can just speak into the Urbane LTE and then wait for it to translate for you. Hooray!
I also love how the Watch Urbane LTE allows you to change the hibernation screen to your own personal wallpaper support, so you can chunk a photo on there instead of the limited selection of watch faces, if that’s your bag.
But the most intriguing feature is definitely the walkie talkie app, which allows you to chat simultaneously with a few different people. I haven’t had a chance to check this out but it could be very handy for keeping in touch on outdoors expeditions. I’ll test that out for our full review.
The LG Watch Urbane packs a mighty 700mAh battery so hopefully that LTE support won’t kill it dead in less than a day, while there’s also a Snapdragon 400 processor rammed inside to keep it ticking over.