LG G Watch review

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Introduction

Ok, listen up. You don’t need a smartwatch. The market is already flooded with a plethora of devices with plenty of apps and services, making the necessity of owning a smartwatch redundant. But hey, times are different, and our needs and wants are increasingly confused. So let me begin again. If a smartwatch sports enough features that truly enhance your already connected life, then you should really want one, which is essentially the same thing these days as needing a smartwatch. After all, we’re living in the age of tech, and we deserve a device for almost every exposed part of our bodies. Of course, device manufacturers are all too keen on our insatiable consumer appetite for devices, which is why Samsung, Pebble, and now LG have entered the smartphone market (with Apple not too far behind).

You might have seen a Pebble Smartwatch or even a Samsung Gear watch, but LG is so new in the game I bet you’ve never seen one in person. Lucky for you, I got my hands and wrists on one for your reading pleasure. Consumer, meet G Watch. G Watch, meet the people who will make or break your success.

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Appearance and Feel

First off, The G Watch feels solid. With a dark gray band and a matte finish that holds a basic black square body, the design could easily be perceived as either stylishly simple or just plain boring. Personally, I prefer a sleek-looking watch that has more to offer than meets the eye. But knowing most early adopters of smartwatches crave the attention that comes with wearing a tiny computer on their wrist, the G Watch isn’t the one that’s going to fulfill those desires. The band is made of silicone that provides a secure, yet soft feel around your wrist. Although the body itself isn’t so large as to overburden a smaller-sized wrist, the G Watch is nonetheless a bit larger than the average metal watch.

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Features

Do you own the latest Android phone? If not, then you’re out of luck because the G Watch only works with the latest Android phone, requiring Android 4.3 and beyond. Essentially,the G Watch is a tiny Google Now device. Although it must be noted that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, so don’t move on just yet.

The G watch runs on Android Wear just like the new Samsung Gear Live and looks nearly identical in operation. The Google Now “cards” work well on a small platform, delivering quick bits of information that seamlessly caters to your preferences. Weather, stock updates, text messages, short emails and notifications from Facebook and Twitter are perfectly tailored to the G Watch. Also, the voice controls work relatively well with the same opening line of “OK Google” to activate your phone. Just be sure to speak clearly as trying to correct a misquote isn’t always the most convenient. Overall, the G Watch is fast, to the point, and is more than adequate in fulfilling basic functions that will spare you the trouble of having to constantly take out your ever larger phone.

If these are the conveniences and features you’re looking for in a smartwatch, then you should definitely give this smartwatch a try. Unfortunately, the G Watch’s battery life is hardly impressive, turning all that sleekness into a nifty bracelet awfully quick if you forget to dock this baby at the beginning or end of your day. At least, the G Watch charging dock is one of the best I’ve used so far. With an equally simple design, the dock has a grip-like bottom and a magnetic draw that ensures a great connection to your smartwatch.

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“Is this the right smartwatch for me?”

At a $229 price point the answer depends on what you, the consumer, wants out of owning a first generation device. If getting your texts and weather on your wrist are important, then this is for you with all the aesthetic trappings of a Steve McQueen techie ready to impress your friends. Built for basic use and going from point A to point B without much flair, let the G Watch be your scooter getting you to your destination in subtle style. On the other hand, if you want cruise control, air conditioning and heated seats to transport your fancy butt in luxurious style, then save that hard earned cash for the next model with the features you just can’t live without. Or rather, the features that you really want.

 

About Author

Having worked in retail tech sales for the better part of a decade, Steve has been on the front lines of consumer electronics and seeing their impact on modern culture. From his humble beginnings at Circuit City, Stephen has gone on to help introduce the Nook eReader and tablet to the world, and to manage a store at RadioShack. Currently, he is working for AT&T Mobility. One of Steve’s goals is to bridge the gap that can exist between what a “techie” thinks is important in a device or service and what is important and practical for the average consumer.