LG G Watch R review

Finally, a smartwatch that actually looks like a watch

LG G Watch R review
A great timepiece that more than looks like your average watch

TechRadar Verdict

The G Watch R is one of the best smartwatches on the market, but it's still far from a polished device. Android Wear needs more work, it feels odd talking to your wrist and the price tag is hard to swallow.


  • +

    Actually looks like a watch

  • +

    Bright, clear round display

  • +

    Acceptable performance


  • -

    Two day battery life

  • -


  • -

    Only charges with dock

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The Motorola Moto 360 was hotly anticipated as the first circular Android Wear device, but its screen isn't actually a full circle. The display on the LG G Watch R however, is.

The G Watch R finally sees the fusion between the new wave of smartwatches and the tried and tested design of traditional wristwatches - but does the combination work?

It's still relatively early doors for the smartwatch revolution, and Android Wear is certainly still in its infancy. This has been clear as the early wave of devices we've seen have been a little half baked.

At £220 (around $300, AU$280) the G Watch R isn't cheap, it's comfortably more expensive than the square-shaped LG G Watch (£159, $229, AU$250), Sony Smartwatch 3 (£189) and Samsung Gear Live (£169, $199, AU$250), so if you've just splashed the cash on a new handset it's a considerable additional payment.

That said the price has dropped slightly since launch, and you can now get it for £199.99 if you shop around a little in the UK.

As with all the Android Wear devices the LG G Watch R will work with any Android handset running Android 4.3 or above - and there's even rumours suggesting Google may open up compatibility to iOS devices too, so watch this space.

LG G Watch R review

In terms of specs the G Watch R is relatively well equipped with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 410mAh battery.

Compared to the Moto 360 that's a better processor and larger battery, plus you also get a barometer, heart rate monitor and 9-Axis (which includes a gyro, accelerometer and compass).


The LG G Watch R sports a full circle P-OLED display measuring 1.3-inches in diameter, making it slightly smaller than the 1.56-inch offering on the Moto 360 - but did I mention, it's an circle!

While the 360 only has a resolution of 320 x 290, the smaller G Watch R is slightly higher at 320 x 320, giving you a clearer, crisper display.

Putting the two round watches side by side there's a clear difference between them and the G Watch R certainly looks better.

LG G Watch R review

There's no question that the circular displays are more aesthetically pleasing than the square design of the Gear Live and G Watch, but those have the advantage of working with a wider array of apps, as some aren't built for round devices.

The always-on screen means there's no waiting for it to wake when you check the time, and the fully circular design can be mistaken for a traditional timepiece from afar if you've selected a watch face which suits.

During my review time with the G Watch R I never had an issue with the screen in direct sunlight, and I tended to keep the brightness on its lowest setting, which seemed to suffice in most lighting conditions.

That's good for battery life, as I rarely needed to raise it up, and I never required the full brightness setting.

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.