LG G Watch review

The G Watch is a cool gadget, but it fails to really impress

LG G Watch review
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The LG G Watch carries a 1.65-inch 280 x 280 IPS display, making it marginally bigger the 1.63-inch offering on the Samsung Gear Live, albeit at a lower resolution.

The reduced resolution isn't an issue however, as text is still crisp and clear, plus you're not going to be watching movies or browsing high def photos on the G Watch.

There's a range of colourful (and not so colourful) watch faces to choose from, and the screen of the G Watch does well at making them look bright and vibrant.

LG G Watch review

Rather frustratingly there's no auto-brightness available on the G Watch, which is compounded further by the unintuitive interface to manually adjust brightness.

You can dial the screen up from one to six when it comes to brightness, although even at six you'll struggle to see what's being displayed in direct sunlight. I found I had to cup my hand over the screen to view notifications when the sun was out on a number of occasions.

LG G Watch review

At the opposite end of the spectrum I found that one tended to be fine for most situations. That's mainly because there isn't a huge difference between one and six, and in total darkness even the lowest setting appears dazzling.

Placing it on its charging cradle on my bedside table at night saw the black and white standby clock face light up a noticeable chunk of the room.

LG G Watch review

You can change the setting so the display goes off when it's not on the cradle, but it's a watch and you really should be able to see the time without having to wake the screen first.

Waking the screen doesn't require you to touch the LG G Watch, rather all you need to do is rotate your wrist in the traditional sense of checking the time on a watch and the accelerometer inside will recognise this movement and activate the screen.

LG G Watch review

The trouble is the G Watch suffers from the same sensitivity issues as Samsung's original Galaxy Gear. Your wrist movement needs to be pronounced - really pronounced. A quick flick of the wrist while you're typing is not enough to wake this beast.

And here's why I opted to keep the screen on, because I don't want to elaborately flourish my wrist every time I want to see the time or why my arm just vibrated.

LG G Watch review

I just want to see the time/notification and get back to what I'm doing instead of faffing round with a device which should be making life easier.

If the settings were quicker to access on the watch, perhaps in a pull down area, I'd turn the screen off at night - but they aren't. If you have the G Watch on a higher brightness setting you can cover the screen with your palm to dim it, but if you're already on the lowest setting this is meaningless.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.