I few days ago I broke down and decided to join the smart watch crowd and bough an LG Urbane. Now I am not the biggest fan of wearable tech, but I do feel there are certain use cases where a smart watch is useful, particularly someone like myself who finds them selves in and out of several meetings during the day, but still needs to keep an eye on incoming emails and text messages. I hate taking my phone out in a meeting to see if a notification was something that needs my attention, but as a manager of a small growing department with few employees I need to make sure one of my engineers doesn’t need me for an emergency, This is what drove my to research smartwatches, and as a happy owner of an LG G4, the LG Urbane made the most sense.
First lets talk about the watches style, it is a true round screen, unlike that of the Moto 360, I opted for the silver bezel, but they also produce one with a gold bezel if that is your style. The watch looks more like a traditional wrist watch than most other smart watches on the market, but it is a very large watch. For a big guy like me this isn’t an issue and the watch looks at home on my wrist, but if you have smaller wrists the watch may look awkwardly large on you. The band is made from leather, and even though I have a difficult time finding watches that fit my wrists the band fits me well, although at the last hole, it is a nice looking band and fits well with the overall style of the watch. Overall I would give LG an A on the style, the only thing I would like to see them do is make the watch a bit thinner.
The screen is quite clear and has a surprising good depth to it when looking at the watch face, it adds to the illusion that you are wearing a mechanical watch and not a smart watch. Android Wear is responsive and works well, I get all my notifications to the watch, and the vibration that accompanies those notifications gets your attention, but does not make the loud buzzing sound we are used to with a lot of cell phones today. You can even choose to not have certain applications send notifications to the watch. I also love how a quick push of the button on the watch when silence the ringer on the phone when it is ringing. The music player control is a dream to have when listening to music with your phone in your pocket. Battery life has also proven to be much better than I expected, from a full charge in the morning I am down to 40 – 50% when I go to bed.
Now for some of the disappointing parts, if you are looking for a fitness watch this is not a good choice. It does have a heart rate monitor, that I have yet to get to give me a heart rate and can’t seem to figure out why it won’t work. The pedometer seems to me to be inaccurate, either that or I take more steps during the day than I thought I did, the numbers the pedometer comes up with aren’t insane, but more than I thought I did. Clearly the fitness aspects of this watch need some work. Also the ability to voice dial from the watch seems flawed, and maybe there is a setting I need to tweak for this, but earlier today I used OK Google on the watch to attempt to call a friend of mine, and instead of finding him in my contacts it found on google the phone number of a cpa with the same name in Florida and began dialing that phone number, I label that an epic fail.
Overall I am very happy with my purchase, the watch performs well, and despite the few issues I have located, it fills all the needs that I had for a smart watch, and looks good while doing it. I would highly recommend it. I plan on doing another review of this watch in a few months to see if after using for an extended period of time I feel the same way.