South Korean consumer electronics giant LG had launched the Watch Urbane last month in South Korea for around $365. Subsequent to that launch, the device has also been launched in a number of international markets for prices ranging from $349, which is what the launch price is in the US. The device is meant to be LG’s new flagship smartwatch and it replaces the G Watch R, which was launched last year. Now there are reports that the device is available for purchase in India on Amazon’s Indian website for Rs. 29,990 which is the equivalent of $472 at the current exchange rate. The device however, has not been officially launched in India by LG, so there’s no telling whether this is likely to be the actual retail pricing of the device.
The Indian media had already reported a few days back that LG is planning to launch the device in the country at what seemed to be a significant premium to its international pricing. The MSRP being talked about was in the region of Rs. 35,000 which is around $550. Although the pricing listed on Amazon India is significantly lower than those reports, it still represents a steep premium over and above international pricing, even though import duties in India are keeping in line with WTO norms on electronics, unlike some other emerging economies like Brazil and Turkey, where inordinately high taxation leads to inflated pricing of electronic goods more often than not.
While smartwatches still represent a niche category internationally, the launch of the Apple Watch was expected to be the boost the segment needed to cross over onto the consciousness of mainstream consumers. While that hasn’t happened yet, most Android Wear manufacturers believe that it’s only a matter of time before the segment attains critical mass and becomes a major money spinner, now that the smartphone industry is becoming more competitive and operating margins are shrinking for most OEMs.
As a refresher, the LG G Watch Urbane is an upgrade over the last generation G Watch R from LG, and comes with a 1.3-inch round P-OLED Display (320 x 320 resolution, 245ppi). The device is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor like the G Watch R, and comes with 512 MB RAM and 4GB storage. The battery is rated at 410 mAh, also the same as the last generation device, but it comes with a whole host of sensors including 9-Axis (Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Compass), Barometer and a heart rate monitor. The watch comes with an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance. The Watch Urbane is also one of the first Android Wear devices to get the new Android Wear update, which brings gesture support and better Wi-Fi support.