LG listened though, and they have swooped in with their fourth Android Wear smartwatch, the newly updated Watch Urbane with LTE. While there's no set release date quite yet, the specs and details has everyone talking. First off, there is a slight uptick in display size in the new model (from 1.3 inches in the original to 1.38 inches in this one), but the overall size of the watch has been cut down to a much more manageable size. It’s still a large watch, and some will still complain it’s a bit clunky, but we think they’ve gotten it down to a stylish size for those who like larger watches.
In addition to the downscaling in size, LG has looked at its competitors, like the Apple Watch, when updating features. The new Watch Urbane adds additional hardware buttons that jump straight to certain features (such as contacts or the fitness/health app). Also, in an interesting move, LG has ditched Google's wearables OS in favor of a proprietary OS they are calling Wearable Platform OS. If this isn't a sign of LG's commitment to wearables innovation (and the market as a whole) we don't know what is.
The most striking feature of the new Watch Urbane, of course, is in its name. It’s the first Android Wear smartwatch with LTE, and yes, that’s because it also has a SIM card. That’s right, this smartwatch no longer needs to be paired with a phone and can make and receive phone calls entirely on its own. Some will find this feature useless, but for others this is the pathway to the future. In Star Trek, they can make calls on their wrists and so now you can too! Talk long and prosper. The cellular connectivity is a great step forward, but the downside is that it does prohibit the swappability of the watch’s band because there is actually tech in the wristband now: a cellular radio. We’re fine with not being able to swap bands because this is some next-level Bond-type stuff.
There’s another new feature for those weary on wearing smartwatches. Some critics of the new tech don’t like that most smartwatches don’t allow you to keep the display on at all times or, if they do, it depletes the battery to the point that it isn’t feasible to do anyway. Well, the new Watch Urbane’s battery, according to LG, will allow you to keep the display on at all times for an entire day without dying. This could potentially be a huge game changer for those who want the tech to mimic a standard watch as much as possible. There are plenty of other features as well, mostly the ones you’d expect to find: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, a heart-rate sensor, and, ya know, timekeeping. Did you almost forget that that’s what a watch is actually for? No worries, it’s easy to forget these kinds of things when a smartwatch this awesome hits the market.
The new Watch Urbane with LTE is a big step forward in smartwatch tech, even if style-wise it's exclusively for those who are down with larger-sized watches. Either way, we’re definitely on the edge of our seats waiting for this bad boy to hit the market.