Wearable smart devices are all the rage for 2015, and LG's newly revealed LG Watch Urbane is certainly one of the biggest contenders.
The LG Watch Urbane is billed as a luxury wearable device running Android Wear and available in a variety of colors, but some are criticizing its lack of innovative technology to focus on the luxury end of the consumer spectrum.
Expected to be shown off in greater detail at next month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Watch Urbane features a 1.3-inch 320 x 320 OLED display at 245 pixels per inch, a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 4 GB of storage, and 512 MB of RAM. The device features a new all-metal body in gold or silver finishes and comes standard with a 22mm leather band.
The Watch Urbane also features a heart rate monitor, a barometer, an accelerometer, gyro, compass, a 410 mAh battery, and IP67 dust and water resistance. The high tech watch may seem very similar to LG's G Watch R, but it's the luxury that's the focus of the Watch Urbane.
"LG Watch Urbane is an important part of our strategy to develop wearable devices that are worn and viewed as everyday accessories, not electronic gadgets," said Juno Cho, LG CEO and President, in the LG Watch Urbane's press release. "The LG Watch Urbane's classic design and smart features make it the perfect smartwatch to complement our G Watch and G Watch R, which were designed as more casual and active devices."
But it's the price that may cause many to take a second look. At $460 US, the Watch Urbane is a serious piece of fashion and technology at a price that places it high on the Android Wear scale, but most likely lower than the Apple Watch when it arrives later this year. This will be an important distinction as more Android products are winning the hearts of more consumers.
CNet points out that the Watch Urbane might just be "the best-looking Android Wear watch yet" in the site's own preview, but expresses concern over the use of the G Watch R's hardware. "[U]ntil Android Wear makes deeper changes allowing for additional hardware features, the Urbane looks like a fancier skin on the same Android Wear experience. It's clearly well-timed to go up against Apple Watch, and it might indicate other smartwatch-makers are about to start trying for higher-style redesigns, too."
Right now, the Watch Urbane is available for pre-order through Expansys in either the gold or silver edition, but only in the UK. There's no word yet on the availability for pre-order in the U.S., but we do expect to hear more on that during the Mobile World Congress event in March.