North American carrier, AT&T, have today announced that the silver LG Watch Urbane is available for pre-order today for $349 and will be released on Friday 15 May 2015. The press release purports to the LG Watch Urbane as being the first Android Wear device with on-board WiFi and of requiring a device running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or later for compatibility. It also discusses the Always On feature, which means the wearer can receive key notifications such as social media and daily schedules direct onto the watch display.
The LG Watch Urbane is a beautifully designed Android Wear smartwatch and as AT&T have announced, it is the first device to run with the new Android Wear 5.1 features, which includes WiFi connectivity (for those smartwatches with onboard WiFi) and gesture control. The Watch Urbane includes a 1.3-inch, circular P-OLED display with a 320 by 320 pixel resolution, backed up with the typical Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of local storage, plus a number of sensors designed to enable some of the fitness and activity tracking features, including the PPG sensor. The PPG sensor calculates average pace, speed, heart rate and distance and is great for tracking runs and similar. The Watch Urbane uses a replaceable 22mm stitched leather strap and the smartwatch has been designed to be water resistant to one meter for up to half an hour. Under the skin, there’s a reasonably high capacity 410 mAh rechargeable battery. Interestingly enough, the AT&T press release confirms that the Watch Urbane is not shockproof and is only watertight if the covers are properly closed.
The LG Watch Urbane has also been released into the Google Play Store around the world and is the most expensive Android Wear device yet available. Customers are paying for the design as the specification is almost identical to most other Android Wear devices (except the Motorola Moto 360, which uses a different chipset). It’ll be interesting to see how long the Watch Urbane keeps the premium price tag and if the price drops a little, but perhaps LG are pricing the watch to compete with the Apple Watch and are hoping customers will take comfort in the higher price tag?