03 January 2019
Today marks the official rebirth of the Android Wear platform, with the first smartwatches running Android Wear 2.0 finally made official by LG. The watches, called the Watch Style and the Watch Sport, are the flagship Wear 2.0 devices jointly designed by LG and Google, in much the same way as the Nexus devices were designed. The latest iteration of Google's Wear platform comes after almost three years, after the first Wear device - the LG G Watch, was announced.
The two watches have similar specs, but different features suited for different needs. The Watch Sport is bulky and designed for endurance, while the Watch Style is more for the fashionable look.
Let's start with the LG Watch Sport. It has a round 1.38 inch display with P-OLED technology and a 480 x 480 resolution. That gives out a very decent pixel density of 348 pixels per inch. There's a built-in GPS receiver, NFC, and a heart-rate sensor. All this is backed up by a large 430 mAh battery, which makes the watch bulky.
The major addition in this new smartwatch is the LTE connectivity. Now, your watch has been detached from your phone, and can make internet and cellular connections all by itself.
The Watch Sport has a rotating side button, similar to the Apple Watch's digital crown. There are two more buttons on either side of this button, all of which help control the device. The Watch Sport has an IP68 water and dust proof rating.
Compared to the Sport, the Watch Style is a somewhat toned-down watch. It has a 1.2 inch 360 x 360 display (299 PPI), and a 240 mAh battery. It is built just for style, and hence lacks the NFC, GPS or LTE features, thus making it much slimmer and sleeker. The Watch Style just has one (rotating) button to its side, and has an IP67 rating. This model has the option of having its wrist straps swapped out and replaced, unlike the Sport version which just comes with a rubber strap. This holds a lot more appeal for the fashion conscious.
As far as processing power goes, both the watches share the same Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor @ 1.1 GHz. Both come with 4 GB internal storage as well. However, the Sport version comes with 768 MB RAM, whereas the Style version has 512 MB RAM. Both the devices have the same Gorilla Glass 3 protection, stainless steel construction. Both devices have Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi for connectivity.
Google's new iteration of Android Wear is a very smooth OS for watches. After having learnt a lot from the first release, Google has improve Wear 2.0 with many new features. There are more informative watch faces, improved work-outs, more ways to stay connected, and new ways to use apps. Perhaps the biggest addition to these new watches is that of Google Assistant, so you can now quickly surf or get instant answers without having to open your phone.
The new watches will be available in the market on 10th February. The Watch Sport - being an LTE-enabled watch - will be available from AT&T and Verizon. It will be available for $350, whereas its smaller sibling - the Watch Style - will be available for $250.