Late last month, LG launched their next generation smartwatch dubbed the Watch Urbane in their home base of South Korea, as a successor to its previous generation G Watch R. Since then, the smartwatch has been launched in various other countries including the US. Now, there are reports in the Indian media stating that LG is planning to launch the device there albeit, at a significant premium to the pricing in most other markets. The watch will reportedly carry an MSRP of Rs. 35,000 ($550), though the average retail prices are expected to be a bit lower.
For the uninitiated, the LG Watch Urbane comes with a 1.3-inch P-OLED Display (320 x 320, 245ppi) and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. It has 512 MB RAM and 4GB eMMC storage. It measures 45.5 x 52.2 x 10.9mm and comes with a 410 mAh battery. Sensors include a 9-Axis (Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Compass), Barometer, and PPG (heart rate monitor) and it 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.
With the smartphone market becoming increasingly competitive with the entry of new OEMs every other day, smart wearables are being identified by both analysts as well as tech companies as the next frontier in consumer technology, and most of the consumer electronics companies are leaving no stone unturned to get it right in this emerging segment. Samsung has been trying for a while now with its Tizen-based Gear smartwatches. We’ve also seen smartwatches from Huawei, Sony and Haier among others. Motorola’s Moto 360 has also been on the market for some time now, whereas Asus’ second generation ZenWatch is rumored to be released later this year. Then there’s Pebble – the Kickstarter funded smartwatch that attracted a lot of attention initially, but has since seen muted sales like most other smartwatches. Except of course, Apple’s smartwatch, which has already met with huge success when released earlier this year. Although Android Wear still hasn’t come close to matching the success of the Apple Watch, manufacturers have understandably not stopped trying. It remains to be seen whether smartwatches can capture the imagination of mainstream consumers the way smartphones have, or if it will remain a niche device category in the foreseeable future.