LG G Watch review

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

LG G Watch review
Android Wear is finally here in the LG G Watch

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All your phone notifications can be pushed to the LG G Watch, but only a handful sport interactive capabilities on the watch, with the key one being messaging.

You'll need to be using Google's Hangouts app as your default SMS client on your smartphone to enjoy full Android Wear compatibility, and once you are you'll be able to use the G Watch to read, write and respond to texts.

I am a fan of the messaging interface here, as the first card shows you the new message, but swiping from right to left will show the whole message stream with that contact, so you can catch up with what's been said previously.

LG G Watch review

Swipe sideways again and you'll get a circular blue reply button. Give it a tap and the G Watch will instantly start listening for your spoken response. Once you've finished talking your message will automatically be sent, but you get a few seconds to cancel if you change your mind, or the voice recognition hasn't understood you correctly.

It's slightly annoying that you have to physically swipe sides and tap reply on the watch, but it's manageable. Again voice recognition worked relatively well for me, although it wasn't always perfect. You can't speak too quickly and you need to say "you are" instead of "you're".

I also found that the LG G Watch could be a bit sluggish when it came to processing my speech into text, leaving me waiting for around five to 10 seconds every now and then.

Step counter

For those of you who like keeping fit the LG G Watch comes with a built in pedometer and its own little "Fit" app to help you keep track of your steps.

There's a card which is displayed in the main stream showing you how many steps you've done in the day, and a swipe from right to left will give you history and settings options.

LG G Watch review

In History you get a nice little bar chart showing the number of steps you've taken over the past seven days and if you scroll down you can view the exact number of steps for each day.

In settings you can choose whether or not to have the steps card displayed as well as adjusting your daily steps goal (between 0 and 20,000 in 1,000 increments), which is default set to 10,000.

Comparing the data to that of my Jawbone Up24 the LG G Watch appears to be a little more generous in awarding steps, with it always a few hundred ahead of the Jawbone.

I was wearing the devices on opposite wrists, so that will skew the readings a little, but as a general rule it's fair to say the G Watch is a little more generous.

Music playback

Another useful feature on the LG G Watch is the ability to control music playback. Fire up a player - Spotify in my case - and a card appears on the watch showing what song is currently playing.

LG G Watch review

The background behind the card changes to the album art, and tapping the card is a play/pause trigger. Swipe sideways and you'll find next and previous controls on the next two screens, allowing you to skip through your playlist with ease.


Maps is another Google application that is already integrated with Android Wear and the LG G Watch. Start navigating to a location on your phone and the directions will automatically be beamed to the G Watch.

I found this useful when walking around London as I didn't have to keep pulling my phone out of my pocket to check I was going the right way. A quick check of the wrist shows you when you need to turn.

Slide across the Navigation card and you'll be able to see how long your journey will take and your estimated time of arrival.

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.