When I was young I wanted to be Michael Knight (I still do) so when the LG G Watch Android Wear launched how could I not buy one and look a little bit more like my hero.
Back in the 80’s I used to stand in front of our old TV and be glued to the screen for around an hour as Michael Knight tore through my living room, saving the day, getting the girl, driving Kitt and of course talking into his cool “smartwatch”.
Decades have past and finally technology is catching up with science fiction! The LG G Watch is here with Android Wear, and yesterday it arrived on my wrist.
LG G Watch first impressions
Here is a list of the things the LG G Watch, or more correctly Android Wear, cannot do;
- Speak back to you.
- Activate the a surveillance scanner.
- Turbo boost.
- Help me look remotely like David Hasselhoff.
I can forgive the LG G Watch and Android Wear these oversights as it does what it does very well.
Basically all Android Wear devices are just wrist mounted Google Now interfaces. To use the LG, Samsung Gear Live, or Moto 360 you will need an Android device running at least Android 4.3 and have the Android Wear app installed. Without this any Android Wear wearable is just a fancy looking watch.
Setting up the LG G Watch was easy but time-consuming. As you are probably aware there are no buttons on the device, so you must sit it into its included charging cradle to turn it on. Then you will need to connect to your phone or tablet with the Android Wear App and then wait for the two to sync and finish setting up. This took around 10 minutes as the LG had an update to download and install too.
I also had issues with Funtouch, Vivo’s custom Android 4.3 ROM (since fixed), not working well with the Android Wear app, so had to resort to using a OnePlus One.
Once set up you will be connected to your phone via Bluetooth, and any notification, message, update you would normally get in the notifications bar of your phone will be shown on the LG’s screen and in real-time.
The always on-screen needs a single tap to set it in to ‘listening mode’ where you can activate Google Search by using the familiar “Ok Google” voice command (if only this could only be changed to “Hey Kitt”….).
Voice recognition is amazing and the LG G Watch is able to hear me clearly even in a busy street, while driving or on my bike.
A buzz of the wrist lets you know when you have a notification and depending on which app has a message you will be able to interact in different ways. For most apps with limited Android Wear support you will only be able to swipe the message away or send to your phone (Whatsapp and Wechat). Other apps have better support, Twitter allows to tweet back and Runtastc can even be activated completely phone free (although you still need to carry the phone for GPS etc).
Google Now on Android Wear is amazing, quickly checking messages from Facebook, Google+ etc is a breeze. Gmail can be read and archived, there is even navigation which gives you onscreen turn by turn directions which a buzz of the built-in motor to alert you when to turn.
For now that is pretty much all I have used the LG G Watch for in the past 24 hours, which is longer than I have worn any watch in the past 3 years. In my time I have managed just over a day of battery life with it, but thanks to the easy to use dock and small battery, the watch can be fully charged in only an hour or so.
As it is Android Wear is quite limited to what it can do, but it has huge potential and we will see this in future updates. As for the LG G Watch, it is a great looking retro design with a durable stainless steel body, comfy strap and easy to use interface, so pretty much like a ‘dumb watch’, but with all the cool Sci-fi features you dreamed of as a kid.
I’ll be testing the LG Watch for the remainder of the week and will post a full review very soon. If you have any questions about Android Wear of the LG G Watch let me know in the comments and I will try to answer them for you.