Wearables are personal. Putting a smartwatch on your wrist is like making a statement — I’m cutting edge and I’m stylish. That’s the reason why smartwatches have evolved from square displays made out of plastic to stylish timepieces crafted from polished steel and glass. And this is one of the most stylish smartwatches at Mobile World Congress 2015 – the LG Watch Urbane.
The LG urban is stylish because it doesn’t look or feel like what a typical smartwatch. The round watch face, the polished metal body and a selection of quality straps made out of leather, metal and various other materials, means the LG Urbane is built to last with a timeless, classic look.
The LG Urbane is stylish because it looks like a very well made mechanical watch. The centre piece of the Urbane is its bright and clear 1.3-inch plastic-OLED display (320×320/245ppi). It may not be as advanced as the 1.4-inch AMOLED display and on the Huawei Watch with its Sapphire glass high 400×400/286ppi resolution but the display on the Urbane is still very good to look at.
There are two versions of the available. The standard version, which runs on Android Wear and will require you to pair with a smartphone to work. And the LTE version with built-in LTE and can work without the need to be pair to a companion device, thanks to the proprietary LG Smartwatch Platform.
The LG Smartwatch platform is based on Palm’s WebOS and that gives LG Urbane LTE additional feature like being able to run apps, make phone calls, send messages and even use the watch as a walkie-talkie all without the need to pair to a smartphone. The Urbane LTE also supports NFC payments.
The extra features in the Urbane LTE also means that it gets two additional buttons that allows you to navigate the interface much like an Android smartphone. You get one button for home, one button to navigate back and one button to open the menu options.
While the standard Urbane running on Android Wear takes some time to get used to, the Urbane LTE is much easier to use thanks to the intuitive operating system and the three navigation buttons, despite having more features and options.
On the inside, the Urbane is essentially a phone on your wrist. You get a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor with either 512MB of RAM in the standard version or 1GB of RAM in the LTE version, and both get 4GB of on board storage.
You also get WiFi, NFC, GPS, a 9-axis motion sensor, a heart sensor and even a Barometer built into the device. The standard version is powered by a 410mAh battery and the LTE version gets a larger 700mAh unit. Because of the LTE radio and bigger battery, the Urbane LTE is noticeably thicker than the standard version, and this may be an issue for the ladies because the extra mass in the Urbane LTE can feel bulky on smaller wrists.
Both the Urbane and Urbane LTE are IP67 rated which means they are completely dust proof and water proof in freshwater up to 1 meter in depth and can be submerged for up to 30 minutes.
The Urbane LTE will require you to subscribe to a dedicated data plan which is fine but I don’t like that the SIM card has to be embedded into the watch permanently by the operator. That means the SIM card is not user removable, which is weird because it means you will have to take the device back to the shop just to get a SIM card replaced, and that’s a major hassle.
Beyond that, The LTE version offers additional functionality that you can appreciate and the LG Urbane is a solid smartwatch that looks really good and is packed with useful features. That’s a pretty bold statement.