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LG launches a smartwatch that looks like a regular watch

LG Urbane smartwatch

Korean CE giant LG decided to preview one of its big MWC launches a full two weeks ahead of the event, in the form of the LG Watch Urbane – an Android Wear-based smartphone apparently designed to look as much like a regular watch as possible.

“The LG Watch Urbane’s classic design and smart features make it the perfect smartwatch to complement our G Watch and G Watch R, which were designed as more casual and active devices,” said Juno Cho, CEO of LG’s mobile division. “LG Watch Urbane is an important part of our strategy to develop wearable devices that are worn and viewed as everyday accessories, not electronic gadgets.”

Cho may well have been having a competitive dig at Samsung’s smartwatches, which have square screens and have tended to look more like Star Trek props than fashion accessories. Samsung has struggled to shift many smartwatches despite significant marketing support and one of the main reasons is thought to be the design.

Here are the key specs, no news on pricing and availability yet:

  • Chipset: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • Operating System: Android Wear
  • Display: 1.3-inch P-OLED Display (320 x 320, 245ppi)
  • Size: 45.5 x 52.2 x 10.9mm
  • Memory: 4GB eMMC/ 512MB LPDDR2
  • Battery: 410mAh
  • Sensors: 9-Axis (Gyro / Accelerometer / Compass) / Barometer / PPG (Heart Rate Sensor)
  • Colors: Gold / Silver

A smartwatch is a very different proposition to a smartphone. The move to a full touchscreen interface was a small evolutionary step for the smartphone, which was always a piece of technology first and a fashion accessory second, if at all. The opposite is true for smartwatches, which probably need to put more emphasis on looks than functionality. It has been clear for some time that a round face and classic design is most likely to entice people to move from a regular watch to a smart one and LG is one of the first companies to put this common sense into action.

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