I’ve wanted a smartwatch for a very long time now, and though I was initially set upon having an Apple Watch, my move to Android convinced me otherwise. I spent a reasonable amount of time diving through the vast ocean of available Android Wear watches, having decided that no, I did not want a hybrid smartwatch such as the Nokia Steel or something from the Fossil Q range. I was stuck for a while between the LG Watch Sport and its slimmer, more attractive cousin, the Watch Style. However, being a bit of a feature freak, I was naturally drawn more to the Sport’s GPS, Android Pay compatibility and longer battery life.
So, I’d chosen the Sport; getting hold of it was more difficult. You see, the LG Watch Sport (which happens to be one of Android Wear 2.0’s flagship models) was not yet out in the UK, and still isn’t at the time of writing. My frivolous attempts resulted in having to have a US-based friend purchase the watch for me, and have them ship it over. However, this was fine as the watch’s charging station runs on a USB-C to standard USB cable, so no US to UK adapter was needed.
The watch had about 60% battery out of the box but needed to be put on charge (wirelessly!) in order to allow it to do some updates before I could do much with it. I should mention that pairing it to my phone was incredibly easy – I just had to download the required Android Wear app and I was good to go.
Oh, where to start? As I mentioned earlier, this watch runs on Android Wear 2.0, so it has all the standard software utility you’d expect with that. However, this watch also has a rotating crown and two programmable hardware buttons. The watch also has GPS, support for Android Pay, and charges wirelessly on a charging stand, meaning you can use it as a bedside clock if that’s something important to you.
One of the best features that I am unable to take advantage of is the phone’s ability to use a Micro SIM card to act as an extension to your phone, or as its own device entirely. In the US, it is possible to get SIMs on special contracts for about $5 a month where the watch will extend your current mobile number, allowing you to make calls and text on the watch without being in range of your phone, as well as using data. Unfortunately, this feature is not yet available for this watch in the UK, but with companies like EE now having Apple Watch contracts (gotta love Kevin Bacon), something like this is not too far away. It’s still entirely possible to text and use the internet when your phone is in range of the watch and has signal, however.
The battery life on the watch is absolutely fine for me. I am writing this article at about 14:30, having taken my watch off its charging stand at about 8:00, and I still have 80% of my battery life remaining. I use the “always on” feature of the screen, which will make any irrelevant pixels go black on the face when you’re not using the watch (similar to a Samsung device), which will save battery due to the fact the watch as an OLED screen. However, as with all devices, the battery will drain quicker if you have the screen on to play games and such like.
One of my absolute favourite features of the watch (and indeed Android Wear as a whole) is Complications. Complications are similar to home screen widgets, but for a watch, and they stay visible when the screen goes dark. I currently have 6 of these complications on my watch face, and they can do things such as display battery and notifications, the date, your next event in your calendar. I even have two of them dedicated to tracking the value of cryptocurrencies I own! You can download new complications and themes through the Play Store app on the watch.
The watch also comes with a bunch of sensors, including a heart rate sensor for you sporty kids out there. However, cleverly concealed inside the case is also an accelerometer, a gyro, a proximity detector and a barometer. That’s pretty crazy when you think about it.
The watch also features a waterproof case with an IP68 rating. You won’t be able to go swimming in your watch, unfortunately, but a few drops of rain won’t hurt at all.
You may be thinking, “But shouldn’t this stuff go under features?”, and yes, possibly, but I wanted to reserve this section for how the watch does the things it does, not what those things are.
It’s snappy. The watch can have the occasional slow moment, but every device does that when you overload it a little too much. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 (Quad-core, 1.1Ghz) processor and 768mb of RAM. This doesn’t sound like much, but when you think that the much newer Apple Watch Series 3 has the same amount of RAM, this is pretty impressive. It’s certainly one of the higher numbers I came across when looking through the market. It has 4GB of internal storage, which, to be honest, is absolutely plenty for a watch.
There’s a lot of grey (unless you’re lucky enough to have it in blue), but I think this watch looks really smart (excuse the pun). Sure, it’s not quite as sleek as the LG Watch Style, but I have very few qualms with how it looks and feels. It’s quite thick, though it’s actually thinner than my previous watch, so I don’t mind this too much. As far as I know, you cannot change the strap as of yet, but the strap it comes with is really smooth and pretty resistant to damage. It’s quite easy to find the right size for you, but I would not recommend getting this watch if you have really tiny wrists, as the 1.38-inch screen will dwarf your arm.
The screen itself is absolutely beautiful. It doesn’t have the “flat tyre” design like watches such as the Moto 360. The fully round 480x480px OLED screen looks absolutely wonderful, and I personally have a grey and blue theme (I kinda have a thing for blue) which looks stunning.
I love this thing. I’ve never had a smartwatch before, but this is definitely not a purchase that will turn me away. I don’t really use this watch for the “Sport” features, but I most certainly use it for basically everything else. Because of this watch, I can keep my phone on Do Not Disturb almost perpetually because everything happens on my wrist. The range over which the watch and your phone can keep connection is pretty cool too, especially when they’re both on the same WiFi network (I answer texts from the kitchen when my phone is on charge in my shed!).
This was my first smartwatch and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to get one, especially if you’re somewhere this device is available on the consumer market.
Let me know if you have any requests for reviews and what you thought of this one!
See y’all later.