Do you need an LG Smartwatch?

lgOne of the most recognised names in electronics has turned their sights on to wearable tech.

Once known as Lucky-Goldstar Co. Ltd, LG Corp. has been in the chemical, plastics and then electronics business since 1952. Based out of South Korea, the electronics giant simplified their name to LG in 1997 to appeal to the western market. Using the tagline ‘Life’s Good’ they have established the brand as a reliable manufacturer of household appliances, televisions and mobile phones.

The LG corporation has a worldwide network that expands into 30 countries, providing not only electronics but chemicals and telecom services. The chemical side of LG manufactures an array of products in many industries, including cosmetics, batteries and medicines.

Telecom products distributed by LG include phone services and mobile and broadband networks. They also provide telemarketing and consulting services for businesses. In South Korea they operate the Coca Cola bottling company, manage various real estate holdings, and operate professional sports teams.

LG Smartwatches

LG Smart watchesThe LG G smartwatch was the brands first venture into wearables using Android Wear as its operating platform. The display is a square design, similar to most of the early smartwatches released in 2014. Despite its awkward design, it has all of the functions of Google Now. Notifications from your mobile device are displayed and you can use the ‘OK, Google’ catchphrase to command the smartwatch.

Following the LG G was the LG G Watch R, the same watch, only with a round face that makes it modern looking. It also uses Android Wear which syncs with any mobile device that is running Android 4.3 or higher. Apps for the device are available through the Google Store, as they are for all smartphones that are running with an Android operating system.

The next generation is the LG Watch Urbane, which has all the same internal features of the previous LG smartwatches, only in a metal encased body. Coming in either silver or gold, the LG Watch Urbane has a leather band which is interchangeable with any standard 22mm watch band.

The round display is 1.3 inches and bright with 320 x 320 pixels. Like the other smartwatches from LG, the LG Watch Urbane will water resistant to a depth of up to one meter.

You will find the LG G Watch R for sale at electronic retail outlets like Harvey Norman for $359 AUD, while the square faced LG G Watch is $259 AUD. The LG Watch Urbane has yet to be released, and no official pricing for any market has been announced.

What is Android Wear?

The first smartwatches introduced were run using independent operating systems of various qualities. This made them slightly unpredictable in terms of how they functioned. To combat this problem, Google developed a mobile operating system that synced the same way with any Android device. Android Wear was released in 2014 and is used by a number of smartwatch manufacturers, including LG, to run wearables.

What sets Android Wear apart is that it is almost identical to Google Now, the platform used on most Android smartphones. This makes it easy for the wearer to learn its various functions. Even across the different brands, the software is exactly the same, only dependent on the hardware it is encased in. For example, voice command using ‘Ok, Google’ is there but if the smartwatch is not equipped with a speaker you will not be able to access that function.

In addition to LG, Motorola, ASUS, Sony and Samsung have all announced plans to, or already have, released smartwatches using Android Wear. Individual apps are purchased or downloaded for free at the Google Play store. The list of available is seemingly endless, with new ones being added continually. You can customise your LG smartwatch with fitness apps, games, music and more, all from this online store.

LG activity tracker

LG has also developed wearables to track the wearer’s fitness activities through the day. Designed like a bracelet, the LG Lifeband Touch Activity Tracker is not Android Wear but rather compatible with both Android and iOS mobile devices. In addition to tracking steps and enhancing sports training, the fitness tracker from LG is also capable of receiving call and text notifications. These come in different sizes and are listed for $199 AUD.

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