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Meet the G Watch, LG's first Android Wear smartwatch

Brad Molen
06.25.14
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LG believes it's hip to be square, and it created a smartwatch to prove it. The G Watch was announced alongside Android Wear, Google's new wearables platform, and the circular Moto 360 this March. After three months, LG and Google are finally ready to let me slip one on my wrist. The watch is going to be available for pre-order for $229 (update: preorders are live here) on the Play Store alongside the Samsung Gear Live (and Moto 360, once it comes out later this summer), and will ship out in both black and white to eager users on July 7th.

Gallery: LG G Watch hands-on | 35 Photos

With a 1.65-inch display at a resolution of 280 x 280 and sizable bezel, the G Watch is a little bigger than the Pebble Steel, which is the smartwatch I've been using up until this point. It looks like it swallows up my wrist, so it's not going to be a go-to fashion statement for everybody. Just like the Gear Live, LG chose to go with a square shape, rather than circular, mainly to ensure the user will enjoy as much screen real estate as possible. The product managers we talked to also left the door open for future Wear devices with other shapes, so there's certainly a chance we'll see more options down the road -- especially if the G Watch is considered a success.

The display is covered with Gorilla Glass 3; the sides are constructed with stainless steel; and the back is polycarbonate to allow for attenuation and wireless charging (the watch comes with a charging pad that makes this possible). The straps are interchangeable because it uses a 22mm size, but the wristband that comes with the device is made of silicone and offered me a comfortable fit.

Underneath the back sits a 400mAh battery that LG claims is high-density and optimized for wearable use. When asked about battery life, reps told me that it should last 36 hours in always-on state, and even longer if you opt to turn the screen off -- there's a companion app that you can download onto your Android device, and it gives you a few settings. Additionally, the G Watch boasts an ambient mode when idle, which theoretically helps extend the life of the battery.

In terms of power performance, the 63g timepiece features a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, coupled with 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage. I couldn't fully test out the watch's performance in real life because the watch itself was in a special demo mode that only gave me a few cards to play with, but I'll give it a full whirl in my upcoming review.

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