I have spent roughly two weeks with an LG Urbane. I won’t cover it in details nor perform any sort of review. I think that the LG Urbane is perhaps the best Android Wear/Smartwatch you can buy right now (and also perhaps the most expensive at 300 USD), however, I think you should not buy one at this time.
It’s useless, expensive, buggy and doesn’t really do anything better than your smartphone.
Are you Nuts?
Before you go coo-coo trying to defend your nice 300 dollar piece of smartwatch, read a little bit more.
The LG Urbane is really nice. The band could be better, I don’t like it to be honest; I will likely get a metal one. But who cares about that? The important part is the smartness of the Watch.
Let’s avoid Apple Watch (this being the only time it will be mentioned) this time. I can only describe a smartwatch, any smartwatch as an extension of your phone. A faster way to read your notifications and sometimes to interact with them. I get it. I like the idea. But it’s not enough, it’s erratic, sometimes doesn’t work, etc., but above all that, it’s not worth 300 dollars.
Let’s be frank here. It’s three, hundred, dollars.
I will save you the trouble.
On a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 is no way and 10 is GET ONE NOW, I give any smartwatch a three.
There’s no real need to have one. You will only use it to check the time, delete unwanted emails and/or replying the ocassional text.
The Fit part, well if you’re into that, but I’ve noticed battery life suffers a little bit more when the fit thing is on all the time.
Now, if you grab all smartwatches and normalize the scale again so it goes from 1 to 10. I think the LG Urbane is one of the best ones at this time. I haven’t tried many. I’ve seen a few, only interacted with Moto 360s (1st Gen) and the fruity company one. (Sorry, I mentioned it again!).
I give the LG Urbane a solid 8 in my new scale. It’s good. It’s buggy sometimes. It slowsdown when it feels like it, etc. But most of these things have to do with Android Wear not being 100 polished yet and my idea that smartwatches suck no matter what.
The Moto 360 is a joke, its battery life is a joke.
The LG Urbane does a little bit better, provided you don’t do any stupid thing with it (as in, touch it ever 30 seconds to check the weather), you will have 1.5 days of battery life on average. You will still want to charge it every night…
Wi-Fi is nice, when it works. It will be better. But the fact that you don’t have to rely on Bluetooth is nice.
Can it get better?
Yes, and it will. Just give it time.
My Biggest Gripe:
When I cross my arms, the worst decision of all times reminds me that someone, for some reason, thought that press and hold on the watch’s face, should activate a face change feature. Needless to say, this feature activates with haptic feedback, so your wrist is nudged every time. How many times are you going to change your watch’s face? Really. A double tap would have been better. I don’t know. I might even write my own face that captures taps and returns true. Trust me, it’s better than a nudge when you cross your arms.
Some people keep telling me that they cross their arms the other way around (so their smart watch is on top). Good for them, but I don’t and I don’t feel like changing 40 years of expertise in arms-crossing-technique.
I guess I’m just holding it wrong™.
Note: the solution for now is to double press the hardware button (which the LG Urbane has) to enter Theater Mode which disables the screen… along with the nice ambient-mode that leaves the screen dimmed and on at all times (with optional faces, which is nice).
Single tapping the hardware button turns the mode off and you’re back to normal, but this defeats the purpose of the ambient mode – always on thing. Might as well have that disabled and save the battery. That also means your smartwatch is in a comma state where you don’t get to see notifications by merely looking at your wrist, you have to use your other hand (unless you’re some kind of alien) to press the hardware button.
So no, that’s not a solution, it’s a “well at least this doesn’t bother me all the time” kinda thing. Read more about Theater Mode here…
What to do?
Just save the mula, you will need it soon for something cooler.
But You want to spend the money, huh?
Then buy an Urbane. Don’t wait. And if you really think that Smartwatch XYZ coming soon is better, then wait, why are you reading this? As better as your XYZ will be, it will still be the same thing, for now. We have to wait. At least this is not Google Glass.
Happy Smartwatching, said no one ever.