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back to article What's it like using the LG G smartwatch and Android Wear? Let us tell YOU

Wearable computing has been generating a lot of buzz ever since Pebble and others kickstarted the market last year and now the world's most popular smartphone OS builder has skin in the game and serious hardware partners. LG G Smartwatch running Android Wear LG G Smartwatch running Android Wear For months now the world + dog …

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You need to carry an Android phone with you in order to use it?

Which presumably does everything and more that this thing does with more screen real estate. And also tells you the time.

Genius.

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Re: You need to carry an Android phone with you in order to use it?

I think these will make more sense when they can move the 'brains' to the watch rather than the phone. The phone can then become a dumb screen which you can leave behind if you're going somewhere you only need basic functions and don't want to carry a large device in your pocket.

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Re: You need to carry an Android phone with you in order to use it?

It's the most logical and practical way to do this kind of stuff, and it mirrors the way desktop and laptop computing evolved.

Think of the phone in your pocket as a portable computer. This and other wearables are just peripherals, providing additional inputs and outputs.

There is a huge potential cost advantage with this approach, which helps to mitigate the - at present - limited extra features provided. As uses are found and the market grows, costs will reduce and the balance between price and functionality will shift.

Most people will understandably baulk at spending £200-£1000 on wearables like a smart watch, Glass or similar, because they don't presently see a need which justifies the cost. Over time, a range of cheap, functional wearables might cost £30 -£50 each and you'd choose which extra functionality you want, to suit your individual lifestyle. Those would be much more saleable devices.

But that can't happen if every device tries to duplicate the power and functionality of your smart phone, because they'll always cost far more to build, be far more expensive to buy, be far more power hungry, more bulky and more awkward to use.

Now do you see the logic?

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Re: photobod

I see what you're saying. I think we sort of agree in that we both only want one main device, we just disagree which one it should be.

For me a smartphone is simply too big to carry everywhere (I know not everyone agrees on this). Whereas a watch strapped to the wrist is a very convinient way of carrying tech - I've had a watch strapped to my wrist almost constantly (showers excepted) for most of the last 36 years. I hardly notice its there.

Of the various bits of interconnected tech I just see the watch as the easiest to carry - so it makes sense (to me) to put the brains there. Larger pocketable screens (smartphone replacements), face mounted screens (google glass etc.) and other less portable output devices (e.g. TVs) become just screens that all connect to the same device. If you're going with the destop/laptop analogy then the equivalent would be ditching the desktop in favour of a laptop, but keeping a docking station on the desk.

(as a side benefit if the watch was the expensive part with the processing and data in it then it'd make the most valuable part the part which was hardest to steal)

Unfortunately technology isn't quite at the point where I think its practical to do it the way I want. If even without the CPU grunt in the watch it needs charging once a day then its a long way off where I'd consider it usable.

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Re: You need to carry an Android phone with you in order to use it?

I'm still massively to be convinced. All the wearable tech to date is clever and fascinating, but it's also firmly stuck at the "Hey, isn't our great new idea cool?" stage as far as saleable products that the market is really likely to want are concerned. Smart watches in particular look like a solution looking for a problem that isn't there to be solved. And the sobering truth is that the last 40 years or so are a positive elephant's graveyard of novel, technically sound products that died stillborn because no-one actually needed them.

*Will* people find that they need smart watches? Well - my money, at least, is agin it. I'd point to the *huge* range of apps already available for smart phones. I therefore find it telling that, despite a *vast* range of ideas to trawl through, so far the companies developing them don't seem able to find a single thing to show their new babies doing that seems remotely calculated to get the average person excited. OK, sure, I understand that no-one expects them to have the killer app at their fingertips - but are you really telling me that everyone thought about everything they already use their smart phone for, and the very best thing they could think of to put onto a small screen on everyone's wrists were social media alerts? Ouch.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that, however technically clever smart watches might be, as a market it's almost certainly going nowhere.

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Facepalm

Re: You need to carry an Android phone with you in order to use it?

Now do you see the logic?

"Logic" - you kept using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Technology during the mobile age has been CONVERGENT. Wearables and this "smart watch" are DIVERGENT.

Do you see the flaw in your logic?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You need to carry an Android phone with you in order to use it?

You need to carry an Android phone with you in order to use it?

Which presumably does everything and more that this thing does with more screen real estate. And also tells you the time.

Genius.

Yes, but my Android phone is in my pocket while the watch would be on my wrist and glancing at that (as I currently do with my casio watch to tell the time) is a bit quicker to do that pull phone out of pocket, flip open case, look at it, close case, put back into pocket. Also, if phone rang while I was driving etc it would be much easier and safer to glance at alert on wrist to see who was calling than get phone out which could also get points on my license ... and those points don't mean prizes!

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Re: You need to carry an Android phone with you in order to use it?

"Yes, but my Android phone is in my pocket"

Mines in my top pocket and almost as easy to access as my watch.

"Also, if phone rang while I was driving"

Bluetooth link to car audio system and phone in a cradle where it's visible.

So, basically, different use cases for different people.

Personally, I'm not seeing a good use case for me yet.

IMO a "super watch" either is tethered and therefore dumb as shit with an e-ink display to give me at least a month of life from a charge or it's not tethered at all so that I don't need the separate phone and works at least all day before needing a re-charge.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You need to carry an Android phone with you in order to use it?

Integrated Bluetooth car phone with a dash screen and voice recognition, also a clock.

Ugly Andriod watch, no thank you

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Anonymous Coward

I want to wear a watch that tells people something about me, rather than a watch that tells me something about them.

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Re: You need to carry an Android phone with you in order to use it?

What I want to know is whether the watch is smart enough to tell not just whether you're walking or running but when you're jacking off as well. Could skew the figures a bit!

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FAIL

Water resistant doesn't cut it

Are we talking heavy rain, spilled drink? For that much money it is too much of a risk.

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Re: Water resistant doesn't cut it

The LG G is certified IP67, i.e.:

- Totally protected against dust

- Protected against the effect of immersion between 15 cm and 1 meter (test duration: 30 minutes).

Unless you want to submerge it for more than half an hour or at more than 1 meter under water, it must be certified enough for your water resistance concerns...

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Re: Water resistant doesn't cut it @ Sensi

Thanks for the info. Yes that is good enough.

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Re: Water resistant doesn't cut it @ Sensi

A thumbs down for saying thank you? I don't get it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: don't get it

I don't get why you have 5 thumbs down for asking a reasonable question. There's nothing strange as folk they say

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Re: don't get it

Anonymous Cow Heard - I'd imagine he got five thumbs down for not reading the bloody article.

"There are no buttons on the outside of the case, available in black or white, which LG says is dust-proof and waterproof to a depth of 1 metre (IP67 rating)."

Which clearly states the information he was looking for.

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Re: don't get it

Agreed on point one. Second post...the surest way to get thumbs down around here is to use the phrase "thumbs down" in your post. Try it and see.

On topic, there's simply no way I'm parting with my Casio in exchange for something I have to faff about with charging every day. I already have something for that.

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scratches?

Watches get bumped and knocked far more than phone screens, which is why I've chosen a wristwatch with sapphire glass. How scratch-resistant are the current range of smart watches?

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Re: scratches?

On the other hand watches get dropped less often than phones.

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I'm a bit disappointed in the LG model

Previously, they offered a wristwatch that was a cellphone;

http://www.lg.com/uk/mobile-phones/lg-GD910-watch-phone

and in my opinion, looked better than this one.

Unfortunately, they seem to have pulled that model in favor of this one.

/petulant "I wanted to look like Dick Tracy!" petulant/

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Re: I'm a bit disappointed in the LG model

"/petulant "I wanted to look like Dick Tracy!" petulant/"

Wear any "smartwatch", and in my humble opinion they'll have granted the first half of your wish.

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Re: I'm a bit disappointed in the LG model

Based on either a word or a letter count, that's considerably more than half!

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I don't see the point

Before I had a mobile I had a wristwatch to tell me the time, now I use my phone to tell me the time (and much more) and I haven't worn a wristwatch in 15 years, why would I now want a wristwatch to do less than what my phone does, require me to still carry my phone and look fugly at the same time.

My phone is in my pocket and that's pretty easy to access. The only way I would wear a wristwatch again is if it looked fantastic, something like this maybe https://www.behance.net/gallery/Smartwatch-Concept/14929833

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Re: I don't see the point

I have a nice watch, I always wear it when out at meetings, anyway last week I was in a meeting and wondered about the time, pulled out my phone.

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Re: So what are the reasons to have one?

Oh, as a manufacturer of smartwatches, I didn't realise you alone represented all of humanity.

My apologies, I'll go away and create something else, and also let Pebble know - though given they only sold 400,000 smartwatches last year, they're probably already aware.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So what are the reasons to have one?

"I don't use Facebook or Twatter, so I don't know why they exist."

"I don't see the point in smartwatches, so I'm going to read articles about them and post negative comments against them"

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Re: So what are the reasons to have one?

You're missing the point.

The reason to have a smartwatch is... to have a smartwatch.

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Stop

Re: So what are the reasons to have one?

It's pretty simple. I don't want a new car right now so I don't read the occasional reviews and tell everyone that I neither want nor need one because clearly, some people do.

This is called "not judging everyone else's needs by your own" and it's a thing that most people who aren't hopelessly autistic pick up pretty quickly. Usually before they can type. I don't know what went wrong with you.

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Anonymous Coward

apps

They're coming. I work for one of the launch partners (viewranger) and our app won't be in the store until the 7th though Google has it now. Being a pebble owner the devices look very interesting though I don't think they add a lot compared to a pebble so far.

Use cases still are pretty niche but in the case of our app it makes perfect sense to be able to see your upcoming directions on your wrist rather than having to pull out a phone just to check. Useful but not exactly a game changing device.

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No

Just no, and not just because it is uglier than those first gen digital watches that were all the rage for about 5 minutes in the early 80's either.

A watch that needs constant attention (recharging) who would want that?

Also, I still have to cart my phone around anyway?

What need are these so-called "smart watches" meant to address?

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I don't have a smartphone...

... but would it work with an android pc in my backpack?

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Re: I don't have a smartphone...

Only if you go round with a sim-equipped laptop switched on in your backpack. Since that's unlikely on at least two fronts, then no

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Re: laptop switched on all day

Yeah, I should have thought of that. And a giant watch linked to a giant phablet is also a no (for me anyway).

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How is the display in sunlight?

The strong point of the Pebble is the fact that the display is very readable in sunlight. The most useful application of a smartwatch in my life would be when I am away from my home or office and my phone is in my pocket or bag - so I don't miss notifications and check the time without getting my phone out like a pocket watch.

Battery life of a day kind of kills it for me as well, because you know that there will be a "heavy day" when the battery dies at 4:30pm.

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Pebble

I'll keep my Pebble (steel) watch, thank you very much.

I love the fact that it's much more understated than all the smartwatches coming up.

I don't want a colour touch screen on my wrist and I want something small enough too be inconspicuous.

As people have rightly pointed out, you're still going to carry your phone, if not in your pocket within the reaches of a BT connection, and this is the device you're going to use for anything that requires more than a quick glance.

What I use my Pebble for is to throw quick glances to a subset list of notifications (filtered by myself) sent by my phone: SMS, calendar reminders, emails, etc

Oh, and the charger is a simple USB cable and the watch is waterproof to 5ATM

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Oh my god why did you buy that?

The last comment from my good wife when I bought a binary watch. Why would I do that? Well I love my maths and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Smart watch? No don't think so! My watch is on my wrist primarily for me to see what time it is. No I don't need to know who has "liked" me or my post, and I have never had an email that I must respond to immediately or the known universe will disappear. So hell no, I am not and will not ever be in the market for any smartwatch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh my god why did you buy that?

"The last comment from my good wife when I bought a binary watch. Why would I do that? Well I love my maths and it seemed like a good idea at the time."

"Seemed like a good idea at the time" is the default answer for all expenses' questioning by the wife.

It is also the default answer to "why did you marry her?".

(just joking -- but posting as anonymous just in case).

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Want standalone, or at least wifi

This really does look like a step backwards compared with the (almost working) truesmart - being able to read and reply to massages from anywhere in the house or garden without carrying my phone all the time is a genuine benefit. Of course there is a simplicity and battery life tradeoff - tethered and notification only is much easier for the media to understand...

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Re: Want standalone, or at least wifi

You want a stand-alone wristwatch that can receive and display messages? The 1990s had one made by Swatch - effectively, it was just a pager in a wristwatch. It could only display numbers, not alphabetical characters, so some youths used codes such as '1664' for 'pub'.

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Re: Want standalone, or at least wifi

"being able to read and reply to massages from anywhere in the house or garden without carrying my phone all the time is a genuine benefit."

I've always been able to reply to massages without a phone, myself.

Badum-bum.

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Re: Want standalone, or at least wifi

I always like to respond to massages...anywhere

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Anonymous Coward

Integrated Strap?

Then it is a total and abject failure in my eyes.

I have huge wrists. The bones are 50% larger than the average. Normal watch straps aren't anywhere long enough to fit me.

Anything that is meant to be worn on the wrist and has a builtin strap is a dead duck as far as I'm concerned.

Yes I know I'm a neanderthal so you don't need to add comments to that effect.

Now if this was available as a nice pocket watch in a proper 'hunter' case, I might be interested.

I know that this isn't cool but it is about the only way I'd ever own one.

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Re: Integrated Strap?

proper 'hunter' case...

Excellent, I'd buy one even though it's tricky to keep balanced on the wrist. But isn't that just an iPhone with the patented rounded corners taken to the extreme?

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Re: Integrated Strap?

Not sure where you got "integrated strap" from.

From the article: "The watch's strap is a rather ugly grey plastic thing, but the device can use any 22mm-wide strap."

So you're free to use any 22mm-wide circus-tent lanyard that fits round your gargantuan wrist.

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Re: Integrated Strap? @Hunter case

I am afraid I am nerdy enough to want, really want, a pocket watch-shaped device that is my phone -- a phone/watch that does everything, with its little round screen able to show porthole-adapted movies. Steampunk the case and have a watchchain/usb-cable thingie and I am there.

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Re: Integrated Strap?

I'm with you on that, although I have the opposite problem. I've got fairly slender wrists for an adult male, and always have to remove links from straps to get them to fit. I never buy leather or fabric straps as they invariably don't have enough holes to go narrow enough to fit me.

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Re: Integrated Strap?

I too have to punch extra holes into leather straps to make them small enough. I also had to search far and wide to find a nice unisex watch, as men's watches tend to be larger than my wrist is wide. Any screen on there is either going to be too small to be useful, or ridiculously huge on my wrist. I vote for a wide-screen version, though (as other previously posted) I'd like it to actually be the smart phone itself. Then I'd only need a smart watch and wi-fi tablet, for when I wanted a larger screen.

Inside there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor running at 1.2GHz with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage.

That's more or less the spec of my (slightly old) phone anyway, though it is little slow now and then, it gets the job done well enough.

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