The LG Watch Style (built in collaboration with Google) offers everything that's to love from the best Android Wear smartwatches, ditches the dreaded flat tire, then fills in the gap with cool, useful features and a whole lot of… style.
Roll that all up and you're left with an extremely alluring presentation that makes a mighty strong argument for Google's wearable platform. But there are some familiar wrinkles here.
Battery life is still a low point, and, as independent as Android Wear 2.0 claims to be, Google is still in the early days of filling the new Play Store with compatible apps that are enticing enough to bother with aside from its own. The Style's appeal lies more in what it will be soon, rather than what it is at launch.
That said, it’s easy to express why the Style is the only smartwatch we want to put on our wrists. Launching at $249, but easily found more affordably (UK and AU pricing haven't been announced yet, but converts to £200 / AU$325), it offers just as much utility as prior smartwatch attempts, but ups the ante with a slim, dashing design and several welcome features, like the voice-activated Google Assistant and a refreshed user interface that's full of clever tweaks.
LG Watch Style specs
Dimensions: 42.3 x 45.7 x 10.79mm
OS required: Android 4.3/iOS 8.2 and above
Screen size: 1.2 inches
Screen Resolution: 360 x 360
Chipset: Snapdragon Wear 2100
The LG Watch Style is priced aggressively compared to past smartwatches and even many of the out there. The Style may not be quite as independent from your phone as the cellular-ready LG Watch Sport, but it's currently one of the smartest wearables around, and one of the smartest purchases you could make this year.
LG Watch Style release date and price
The LG Watch Style became available in early 2017 in the United States at Best Buy retail and online stores, as well as from the Google Store.
Unfortunately, Google hasn’t provided us with specific release date or pricing information for regions outside of the US, but has shared that it “will be available at carriers and retailers across Canada, Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, UAE and U.K. in the coming weeks”.
As mentioned, the Style launched for $249, the same price the original Moto 360 launched at, and $20 higher than the Asus ZenWatch 3. But for a smartwatch with the most recent Android Wear software out of the box and some cutting-edge smartwatch features, this doesn’t seem like a ridiculous price to ask.
- It’s like the Pebble Time Round and Moto 360 2nd Gen had a baby
- The thinnest Android Wear smartwatch yet at 10.8mm and light, too
- As such, it essentially disappears on the wrist
On the wrist the Style is minimal indeed, which is something we've been dying to say about an Android Wear smartwatch for years. The soft and rounded sand-blasted stainless steel chassis definitely plays a big part in that. But it's also one of the lighter smartwatches we've worn at 46 grams; for the sake of comparison, the LG Watch Sport is nearly double the weight at 89 grams.
Around the watch you'll find familiar classic timepiece accents like a circular build and a prominent hardware button. A few other smartwatches, like the Moto 360 2nd Gen, the first-gen Huawei Watch and others feature such design traits.
But you'll also stumble upon some features that are unique to this watch, most notably the colorful 1.2-inch P-OLED 360 x 360 resolution (299ppi) display, which has an ambient light sensor (ALS) embedded beneath the screen. Remember the dreaded flat tire? LG and Google have figured out how to get rid of it.
Next up, the button here doubles as a twistable crown that puts a new spin on navigating through Android Wear (think: Apple Watch’s Digital Crown). So far, the only other Google watch to feature this functionality is the LG Watch Sport, but expect to see this feature coming to many others, both new and old, in the future.
Moving to the bottom of the watch, the smooth matte plastic bottom that allows for conductive charging also aids in keeping it light on the wrist and cool to the touch after charging . Fortunately, steel makes up a large part of its build, so the use of plastic doesn’t detract from the premium look and feel.
Basically, the LG Watch Style is equal parts and in its design. LG and Google supplied TechRadar with a rose gold review unit, which stands apart from the current fleet of Android Wear smartwatches a little more clearly than the silver and black options.
The 42mm watch measures up at 42.3 x 45.7 x 10.79mm and comes with a cream colored leather band, but accepts any and all 18mm bands – including Google’s own bands, which are available in both leather and silicone.
Inside the box there’s a magnetic conductive charger and wall plug included – the Style can automatically orient its screen in landscape mode when on its side, so it makes a decent bed-side clock if you’re in a pinch.