Smartwatches are not hugely popular today, but the big names in the tech industry continue to jump on the bandwagon. At I/O 2014 in June, Google announced the first iteration of its operating system for wearables, Android Wear, and today LG reveals that its first smartwatch to be based on it, G Watch, is now available.
G Watch is one of three Android Wear smartwatches announced last month at Google's yearly conference, with the other two coming from fellow makers Motorola (Moto 360) and Samsung (Gear Live). LG's offering goes for sale on Google Play and, worldwide through "key" retailers.
In US, on Google Play, G Watch runs for $229. By contrast, also at the search giant's online shop, Gear Live costs $199. Across the pond, in the UK, the former goes for £159 while the latter is available for £169. Moto 360 has yet to be priced, as it will launch later.
"As one of the first Android Wear devices to market, we see this as the beginning of a long-term commitment to making wearables running Android Wear a household name", says LG CEO Dr. Jong-seok Park. "We’re confident that once consumers see how useful and compelling LG G Watch can be, it will be integrated into their daily lives, just as smartphones have done".
The last bit is, however, exactly what consumers are not seeing in smartwatches, as their lack of interest proves so far. Sales are minuscule in comparison to other smart devices, like smartphones and even tablets, with vendors tempting few consumers (just 0.9 per cent in the UK, for instance).
So what is LG pinning its hopes on? Well, the highlights of G Watch include compatibility with devices running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and newer (using the Android Wear companion app, which Google just launched), a card-based interface, reliable voice recognition, an always-on display, a "large" battery of 400 mAh, and, lastly but not least, interchangeable 22 mm straps.
Of course, the software will do the heavy lifting in convincing consumers to purchase G Watch, or any other Android Wear device for that matter. There things are looking up as Google has what it takes to entice developers to release solid apps that take advantage of what Android Wear has to offer.
There are other specs listed. LG tells us G Watch has a 1.65-inch IPS display, is powered by a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 and 512 MB of RAM, offers 4 GB of internal storage as well as sensors (working on nine axis) such as a gyroscope and accelerometer. It is also dust and water-resistant (IP67-certified) and comes in Black Titan and White Gold. G Watch comes in at 37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95 mm and 63g. (Yes, the spec sheet reads like that of an Android smartphone or tablet.)