Announced in the run-up to Mobile World Congress in a fortnight, LG's new Urbane smartwatch brings a bit of much-needed high fashion to a segment currently dominated by straightforward, staid designs, square faces and a focus on fitness. This little timepiece isn't for an afternoon in the gym -- it's for a night out at the opera.
Actually reminding us quite a bit of the Asus ZenWatch, the new LG Watch Urbane will be available in either gunmetal grey or rose gold, both with a dark brown contrast-stitched wrist-strap. If you thought the G Watch R was a little bit chunky, you'll be pleased to know the Urbane is apparently a little thinner (although the 10.9mm spec is, on paper, chunkier than the R's 9.7mm).
I've got a lot of time for LG's smartwatches. (Excuse the pun.) On the G Watch R and newer ones, the crown is actually functional for powering on and off the display in the power-saving 'theatre' mode, the round OLED face can be really bright if you need it to be a temporary torch, battery life is good, and the hardware is more than fast enough for the task of everyday Android Wear duties. The Urbane looks like it'll continue with the now tried-and-tested formula, and that's a good thing.
Urbane is functionally similar to the existing G Watch R -- it has a 1.3-inch P-OLED display, a Snapdragon 400 processor and 4GB of temporary onboard storage -- handy with the newly-added ability to use an Android Wear watch for storing music while you're out running with a pair of Bluetooth earphones. The display is round, mimicking a regular analog watch, and going on LG's previous history the Watch Urbane should have some sophisticated faces to choose from as well.
Crucially, the Urbane retains the standard 22mm strap lug, so you can augment the Urbane with whichever artisanal alligator or snake or racoon skin wrist-strap you feel like wearing on any given day. At the moment, there's no Aussie pricing or availability -- expect that closer to the March 2nd kick-off date for MWC 2015. We'll be there, so stay tuned for more mobile goodies as it happens. [LG]