(Pocket-lint) - It would be fair to say that LG has hit Android Wear with some vigour over the past few years: LG G Watch was one of the first Android Wear devices, followed by the LG G Watch R. LG Watch Urbane in followed in 2015 and the Watch Urbane 2 was launched, withdrawn, then reintroduced in early 2016 - and never made it to Europe.
Well wipe the slate clean, because the new LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style make everything else that LG has done in wearables look a little silly. This is a new generation of Android Wear 2.0 devices, built in collaboration with Google.
LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style: Design
- Two designs - sporty or fashion
- 316L stainless steel cases
- Digital crown for navigation
LG has launched two new Android Wear watches that have been built in close collaboration with Google. These two devices are the launch devices for Android Wear 2.0, so are designed to showcase the new hardware-dependant features that the software offers.
LG Watch Sport
- 45.4 x 51.21 x 14.2mm
- Titanium or dark blue colours
- IP68 water protection
The LG Watch Sport is very much the hero device for Android Wear 2.0. It has a chunky and sporty design, with a fixed elastomer strap. The Watch Sport features three buttons to the right-hand side of the casing, which is available in titanium or blue colours. The central button is a digital crown which can be rotated to navigation the Android Wear interface, while the other two buttons default to Google Fit and Android Pay, but can be customised.
The back has a pronounced bump which incorporates the optical heart rate scanner. This makes the device rather thick overall, but given the hardware that you're getting, it's not actually that big at 14.2mm thick. The aim of the bump for the optical heart rate scanner is to ensure good contact with the skin, regardless of how you're wearing the watch.
You can't change the strap on the Watch Sport as it integrates the LTE antenna.
As a sporty device it carries an IP68 rating to keep it safe from running in the rain. We've seen it, we've worn it, and we've played with it, so be sure to read our first impressions.
LG Watch Style
- 42.3 x 45.7 x 10.79mm
- Rose gold, silver, titanium
- IP67 water protection
The LG Watch Style has a fuss-free and elegant design, firmly focused on the fashion market, carrying an Italian leather strap, which has a quick release mechanism, so you'll be able to quickly change MODE straps.
The central button a digital crown allowing navigation of the Android Wear interface and there are no other buttons, unlike the Watch Sport.
One of the interesting design details of the LG Watch Style is the slim bezel around the device. This, Google tells us, comes from a custom display with minimal bezels to give a sleeker look.
The LG Watch Style is the smaller of the two watches.
LG Watch Sport and Watch Style: Hardware specs
- Sport: 1.38in, 480 x 480 pixel display (348ppi), LTE, GPS, HRM, NFC
- Style: 1.2in, 360 x 360 pixel display (299ppi)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100
The LG Watch Sport has a 1.38-inch display with a 480 x 480 pixel resolution, making it one of the highest resolution watches so far. The Watch Sport has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 chipset, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a battery capacity of 430mAh.
It also features a heart rate sensor, and offers LTE connectivity, NFC and GPS, for a completely independent experience. The LTE is optional - if you don't insert a SIM card then it will work without LTE.
The LG Watch Style has a 1.2-inch display with a 360 x 360 pixel resolution. There's 512MB RAM and 4GB of storage, with a 240mAh battery and it's also powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset.
LG Watch Sport and Watch Style: Software
- Android Wear 2.0
- Google Assistant
The LG Watch Sport and the LG Watch Style have been crafted to showcase Android Wear 2.0 in two very different styles. The LG Watch Sport goes the whole hog, offering he LTE-powered disconnected experience, meaning you'll be able to stream your music when out running without the need to have your phone with you.
The LG Watch Style on the other hand offers a sleeker experience, free from all the sporty fuss that is often attached to wearables. This is designed to keep you connected, but without it looking like you're wearing a computer on your wrist.
Android Wear 2.0 bring a brand new visual experience to watches, with completely redesigned watch faces allowing for complications, like adding the weather, steps or data from other apps, to keep you informed at a glance. There's also a new menu than you can scroll using that new crown. The crown can also be used in-apps to do things like change the volume or the setting on your heating.
Google Assistant is also a major change, giving you Google's context aware AI assistant, so you can find a restaurant, book a table, and navigate there with ease and all through voice control. If you don't fancy voice, there will also be a swipe keyboard with predictive text, as well as quick replies to messages, like those you get in Gmail.
LG Watch Sport and Watch Style: Release date and price
- 8 February announcement
- 10 February availability in USA
The LG Watch Sport and the LG Watch Style will be available from 10 February via AT&T and Verizon. Best Buy and Google Store will also be offering the devices.
The LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style will be available in other regions soon, but there's no word on an exact timeframe.
The LG Watch Sport will cost $349. The LG Watch Style will cost $249.