When Google announced the Android Wear at I/O a few weeks ago and that it would be available immediately in the UK, I was one of the small number of people who elected to get in on the ground floor and ordered a watch. After some thought I decided on the LG G Watch because of its slightly larger battery, easier ability to change the straps and the face that I’ve had good experiences with LG devices before.
The watch arrived last week and while I’m not yet ready to do a full review I do have my first impressions of Android Wear and the LG G Watch.
Once you have played with it for a few minutes the UI is simple and automatic to use. It becomes second nature and very simple to check notifications as they come in.
It is thinner and lighter than you would expect from the pictures and surprisingly comfortable to wear. It looks neutral and has no-one has noticed or remarked on it. It is never going to win any awards for hardware asthetics but its neutrality is a plus.
When it works the voice controls are excellent and especially good for making quick notes or replying to SMS’s. Its not so good for anything much longer but at that point it makes more sense to get your phone, tablet or laptop.
It is extremely connection dependent. The two biggest features of the watch are notifications and voice commands. Neither works well if you do not have a good connection to your phone and your phone has a good internet connection. In other words you need a data plan on your phone and ideally to live in an area that has good 3g at least connectivity.
The battery is supposed to last at 36 hours but in reality will only last a day from first thing in the morning to last thing at night. This is not a major problem in itself but means that there is no way to wear it overnight. This means that sleep tracking is out which is a shame but not unexpected.
Its clearly very new both from a hardware and software standpoint. The watch has locked up on me twice, which was very worrying in a device with no obvious physical buttons and there is an issue with running paid apps that Google has yet to properly resolve. At this point these are both teething problems and not unexpected.
So far so good. It is not a perfect experience by any means but the LG G Watch using Android Wear is getting a cautious thumbs up from me after one week.