This is the LG Watch Urbane. It’s the most premium Android Wear smartwatch in the market but it’s not designed for everyone like some other Android Wear smartwatches and even the Apple Watch. It’s a big watch, designed primarily for men and fashionistas. It looks like a traditional classic watch and a lot of people will actually notice it on your wrist but they won’t confront you about it or ask you too many questions like they would with a traditional smartwatch since it looks so much like a traditional watch.
So with that said, the frame is made entirely of metal with one physical button on the side. There’s a heart rate monitor and a 5-Pin connector underneath to charge the Urbane so it doesn’t charge wirelessly, which is a bummer. But it’s not more difficult to charge using the included cradle. There is a leather strap included with the Urbane that’s stiff but stylish. And it will become more comfortable to wear on the wrist when it’s more broken in and you can always replace the strap if you so desire. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s big; especially on my small wrist. It’s also kind of chunky but once again, it’s very stylish and very classy and definitely resembles a traditional watch.
The LG Watch Urbane is running the most up to date version of Android Wear, that being Android Wear version 5.1.1; which has a ton of new features and improvements such as Wi-Fi support, there’s a new app launcher, and there’s also new gesture controls. I think these are the most noteworthy features in my opinion but with the new Wi-Fi feature, you can still receive notifications when you journey far away from your smartphone, assuming you’re connected to Wi-Fi. You can easily launch apps from the home screen by simply swiping to the left. There’s no need to install an app launcher via third party anymore. And gesture support is actually really, really useful when you’re driving or if you don’t have a free hand. You can just swipe through the notifications by flicking your wrist and it actually works pretty well. It can be fine-tuned if you like since you kind of have to vigorously flick your wrist. But these are the kind of features I like to see on wearable devices and I’m just glad Google did it with Android Wear version 5.1.1.
In terms of performance, the Urbane performs really well and performs similarly to the LG G Watch R since it has the same internals—that being a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. I can’t say it’s flawless since it’s not terribly fast. I did run into some hiccups and stuttering here and there. But for the most part, it kept up with my daily tasks. One design flaw that I don’t like that I also mentioned in my G Watch R review was that it’s not as easy to swipe through notifications when the metal frame of the watch is raised above the display. It’s just a minor annoyance but it is worth mentioning it’s not quite as easy to navigate as say the Moto 360.
The display is really sharp though. It’s an OLED display with a 320x320 resolution and an eye pleasing 348ppi index. Apple would call this a Retina Display. Text and colors are very sharp. The OLED display technology can take better advantage of some of the Always-On functionality that Android Wear version 5.1.1 does offer without killing the battery life. If I do have the Always-On mode activated, battery life is significantly affected. I have more trouble making it through an entire day on a single charge since I do try and use it often. With it off though, I have no problem getting through a full day. It might not be able to get through two days with light usage but I always find myself connecting it to a charger anyways just before I went to bed for the peace of mind.
For $349, the LG Watch Urbane is one of the most expensive smartwatches on the market. If you’re looking for a stylish smartwatch, then this is the one to get. But for the price and still developing Android Wear operating system, I do find it hard to recommend for most people. Once again, unless your primary reason of buying it is for a fashion statement, most of the unique features found on the Urbane will come to many other Android Wear smartwatches in the coming months so it’s not like the new gesture support or the Wi-Fi support or even the new app launcher is exclusive to the Urbane. It’ll make its way to the Moto 360, for example, which costs almost a fraction of the price.
So this is my review, my opinion and my thoughts of the LG Watch Urbane. Let me know what your thoughts are by leaving me a comment down below.