Review – Android Wear Powered LG ‘G Watch’ In Malaysia [Video]

Just a few months ago, Google announced the wearable version of their Android OS, namely ‘Android Wear’ and LG announced that they would be releasing the G Watch which will run on the said OS. Well, it has been made available on the US Play Store in July so I got it to ship to Malaysia. Now before we continue with the review, here are the specs:

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400 processor
Display: 1.65-inch LCD IPS (280 x 280)
Memory: 4GB eMMC / 512MB RAM
Battery: 400mAh
OS: Android Wear
Size: 37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95mm
Weight: 63g
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
Sensors: 9-Axis (Gyro / Accelerometer / Compass)
Color: White Gold/ Black Titan
Others: Dust and Water Resistant (IP67)

Connecting the Android Wear to your Android Phone

Once switched on, connecting to the phone is very simple. All we need to do is to install this ‘Android Wear’ app on our phone. It is a free app by Google and this is the only way one can connect both devices. The app will then detect the watch and with a few taps, bluetooth connection will be established.

Outlook & Display

Basically there is nothing much to say about the design and outlook of the G Watch. It’s basically a plain black watch with glass front panel and no buttons around. It’s quite light and blends in with any clothes I wear since it’s like black and stuff. Initially I was thinking of changing the 22mm strap but then I realised that it is of quite a good quality material and has very subtle texture at the bottom of the strap. So it looks kinda pleasant.

The built itself is very solid with no moving parts. Having no physical buttons at all adds to the sturdiness of the watch.

The 1.65″ screen is just perfect for a watch. Colours are vibrant and texts are crisp. The 280x280px resolution might sound low but the pixels are hardly visible since the screen is not big.

Below the screen is the microphone. It is used for voice commands and message replying using voice. We will talk about this more later.

G Watch vs Pebble

A quick comparison between these 2 smartwatches. The G Watch has a colour touchscreen while the Pebble only works with buttons and a monochrome screen.

Notifications pop up on both watches. So not much difference when it comes to getting notified on new activities on the phone.

The G watch battery last for about 1.5 – 2 days on a single charge while the Pebble can last about 1 week. If you ask me which one to buy, I’d definitely recommend the G watch as it has a bigger potential in functionality because it has a colour touchscreen.

Features & Functions

The main feature of the Android Wear smartwatch is to display notifications as they arrive on your phone. These notifications come in cards ala Google Now. Besides the usual notifications, the watch can also track your steps, and display weather, distance and duration to work/home and the usual Google Now info.

As seen above, Whatsapp messages appear as cards on the watch and by swiping it to the left, we get the option to reply using voice and also send emojis and quick replies.

All options come differently depending on the app.

We can say “OK Google” and then say “Navigate to [location] to launch the maps on the watch and get directions while you are on the move. Super convenient.

There are lots of apps in the Play Store which is made for Android Wear. For example, 2048 [left] and Wear Browser [right].

Basically operations on the Android Wear smartwatch requires voice. You can say “OK Google” at anytime to activate voice commands. You can then continue with commands like :
– take a note…
– remind me to…
– open [app]..
– translate [a phrase] to certain language…
and many more.

Check out the video below for detailed demo of the watch.

Conclusion

After using the G Watch for about 3 weeks now, I can say that it’s a very useful accessory that compliments your Android phones. It keeps our phones in the pocket while allowing us to read all notifications, check calendar, use the calculator or even play a simple game while on the go.
Battery life is good. It lasts about 1.5 – 2 days on a normal usage.
With the pricetag of USD$229, I think it is quite worth the price but prefer if it costs a little lower like the Samsung Gear Live (which also runs on Android Wear) that costs only USD$199.
It is currently only available in the US and will be releasing in Singapore this month. So Malaysians, if you are planning to get this, you can probably make a trip to Singapore in the coming weeks.