For the last 7 days I’ve been wearing my Christmas gift from my brother and sister-in-law: an LG G Watch. It’s a watch that runs Android Wear and works hand in hand with my smartphone.
As a watch
It’s very comfortable. The strap is rubber like and the holes take into account small wrists like mine. It stretches a little bit so I’ve got it on snug but it’s not cutting off my circulation. With my regular watch that’s not the case since I never added another hole in the strap and it’s always a little loose. I’m always aware of my Citizen watch but I can forget I’m wearing this one.
The watch is rated to meet IP67 requirements which according to this Wikipedia page (I had to look it up too) it means it is dust tight and can be submerged up to 1M at “under defined conditions of pressure and time”. I took that to mean I can wash it under the facet if I need to and wearing it in the rain will not be a problem.
I’m not sure how strong the display face is. My Citizen watch has an “Anti-Reflective Mineral Crystal” and it’s tough. I bump into things all the time and I’m always amazed that 2 and half years later the face doesn’t have gouges in it. The LG G Watch may be scratch resistant but I would not want to test that.
Since it’s a smart watch you can change the face with a download and I currently like TextFace.
As a display extension for the phone
When I think “smart watch” I’m really thinking about a Dick Tracy radio watch. Dick Tracy never said “Oh no! I’m outside of cell phone coverage!” though he may have had to deal with Flattop jamming his signal. Android Wear devices are not that but they’re still pretty cool.
This watch connects with my Android phone via Bluetooth. It can run applications designed for it but the primary function is to be another notification area. It’s a place for your phone to let you know you’ve got mail, a text message, Tweet, etc. By default the watch will vibrate though that can be turned off.
The 400mAh battery lasts me all day and except for a friend favoriting 20+ my Tweets in minutes (and you know who you are ;-) ) I’ve not had any problems. LG provides a micro USB cable, A/C charger and a docking stand with a tacky (not sticky) bottom so it grips your nightstand or desk.
I did install a bunch of watch faces and the Google Fit app works well. But there’s not much application utility for me. I can hold my watch up and say out loud “OK Google. Directions to Pizza.” and that does work. The Google Maps app will fire up and I can select walking directions if I want to. But how often would I do that? It’s not that the watch isn’t designed well (it is) it’s just that the concept of smart watches and Android Wear is still developing.
That all said the watch is very cool and I like it
I keep my phone in my pocket and get all the notifications on my wrist. Those watch notifications can be ignored on a per app basis. I’ve gotten Slack notification on my watch and that feels like the Geek Bat Signal.
When someone calls me on my phone I get the option to accept or ignore them while getting caller ID on my watch. I occasionally get cold called on my cell and a quick swipe on my watch is a “Nope!” I don’t think I can talk to people via my watch but I’ve not tried.
I control my music playing on my phone via the watch. This is the phone in my pocket. That’s just nuts. It’s in my pocket! That’s like using the TV remote to turn it on while the on button is 2 feet away from you. You could just reach out and push the button, but it’s still very cool doing things via the smart watch.
I’ll use it for at least 2 more weeks
I like my LG G watch a lot. But in a couple of weeks my cell phone contract is up and I decided months ago that I’m getting an iPhone 6. Not surprisingly, this watch only works with Android phones.
The watch is fun but I really want to switch to an iPhone. If Apple does it correctly this experience will lead to me getting the iWatch when it comes out. Maybe, I’ll want to see what others think about it first.