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LG's G Watch is serviceable, but not a standout

Yewon Kang | July 10, 2014
Buying a smartwatch means adding yet another gadget to the arsenal of devices you already use on a daily basis. But we should expect a well-designed smartwatch to make our hyperconnected lives more manageable by giving us access to a range of features and applications in a more readily accessible manner than smartphones, tablets or PCs do.

However, if you're thinking about buying a smartwatch, there are some caveats you should be aware of if you're considering the G Watch. OK Google worked fairly well for simple requests such as asking what the weather will be or what time the next World Cup game starts. For some other tasks, though, it did not quite work. For example, when I tried to create and send email using voice commands, a pause or a stutter seemed to throw it off; often it sent messages before I was actually finished with them.

In addition, it didn't recognize any foreign names on my contact list, and often misunderstood them.

If you don't pair the G Watch with an Android-powered smartphone, it is essentially just another digital watch. It pairs with mobile phones via Bluetooth so if you want access to the full range of Android Wear features, you need to carry the paired mobile phone in your pocket, or leave it on the desk when you're working. I found that if I left my paired mobile phone on a table in the living room, the watch lost connectivity when I walked into another room.

LG says the watch is waterproof, a claim I tested by running water on the watch for a few minutes. The watch survived but lost contact with the smartphone during the time it came into contact with water.

Ultimately, if you want a device that taps Android Wear's basic voice control functions and its ability to serve app notifications and Google Now alerts, the G Watch does the job, and offers specs similar to those of the Samsung Gear. The G Watch's design and feel may not be to everyone's taste, though, and for the price, you might do better looking elsewhere, especially as more smartwatches come onto the market.


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