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

The jury is still out on whether the world needs, wants and is desperate for a slew of smartwatches, but manufacturers appeared convinced they are required so here we are.

Android Wear brings some significant advancements over previous smartwatch offerings such as the Sony SmartWatch 2, Pebble and Samsung Gear 2, so the LG G Watch is already in a good position - the thing is the smartwatch still hasn't been perfected.

We liked

The display on the LG G Watch is bright, colourful and clear making for a pleasant viewing experience. At 1.65 inches the screen is large enough to comfortably read text, while not being overbearing on the wrist.

It's also relatively lightweight, when compared to mainstream time pieces, and its dust and water resistant body means you don't need to panic if you step into the shower without taking it off.

There are some nice features on the G Watch too, such as the music playback controls and the pedometer, and the Android Wear ecosystem is only going to continue to grow and evolve.

We disliked

The design isn't brilliant. The LG G Watch looks cheap and it's not exactly stylish - two things you don't want a watch to be.

It can be saved by swapping in a nicer strap, but you still have to make do with the slab of black/white plastic and no physical power button.

The lack of auto brightness was another pressure point, plus the screen even at maximum wasn't bright enough to view outdoors in sunlight.

A limited app offering won't be a problem in the coming months as more developers get on board with Android Wear, but flaky voice recognition - especially around contracts - make for a frustrating experience at times.

Verdict

The LG G Watch is a decent first attempt at an Android Wear device, but look at its competitors in the form of the Samsung Gear Live and Moto 360 and it does feel like the ugly duckling of the group.

I'd have liked to have seen LG take a little more care with the design, to make the G Watch look a little more unique and attractive, while some aspects of Google's Android Wear software still need a little bit of work.

Voice recognition is good, but it's not perfect and that can be frustrating, and access settings and the app list is more complicated than it should be.

Sure it has pretty much the same features and specs as the other two, and it works to around the same level - but it's the whole package which lets it down and leaves you lusting for the Samsung or Motorola.