No sooner than Android Wear, Google’s announcement of a set of tools to build wearables for Android, was announced, than LG announced the upcoming G Watch as part of its line of smart devices. Here’s what we know so far, and how it might compare to other smartwatches out there.
1. Built To Sync With Your Smartphone
One of our points of concern with “smart” watches is that you never know just how smart they actually are. How many functions can they do, in the absence of your smartphone? It’s not clear how smart the G Watch actually is, but LG is fairly up front that it’s designed to sync with pretty much anything that runs Android, unlike previous attempts to get a smartwatch on your wrist. So we’re guessing that it’s more of a “relatively intelligent for its size” watch.
2. (Relatively) Cheap
Another question is how much it’s going to cost. LG wouldn’t commit to a price in their announcement, but they did say that it was going to be priced so that there was a “low bar to entry” for developers to come up with their own apps and to develop for LG. How much of that is LG and how much of that is Google paying LG is an open question, especially considering device fragmentation has been a serious problem for Google and Android in the past.
3. Up To Google’s Specs
It’s not a surprise that Motorola announced a smartwatch immediately after Android Wear was announced; after all, until very recently, they were Google’s hardware arm. But according to LG, the G Watch was built with Google’s help and they describe it as an opportunity to “pull out all the stops” in engineering and design. Which kind of makes you wonder exactly what they mean when you look at the thing, because, well…
4. Slightly Clunky Design
It doesn’t help that the Moto 360 is a watch with a round face, that’s designed to actually look like a watch, not a computer strapped to your wrist. This… is most definitely designed to look like a computer strapped to your wrist. True, the square face certainly has its fans, and it’s not nearly as ugly as some other smartwatches we’ve seen in the past. But for these to catch on, they’ve got to blend into your outfit, and it’s not really clear the G Watch can pull this off.
5. Just The First Of Many
Google is going all-in with wearables; in addition to Motorola and LG, HTC, ASUS and Samsung are going to be putting out their own versions of the Google Watch, and presumably they’ll be offering some options as well. The G Watch certainly is interesting, but before you get too excited, take a breath and keep your eye out. There’s going to be plenty of other options out there, if you want Google on your wrist.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.