LG is readying a new Wear OS smartwatch

It might be a hybrid of digital and quartz timekeeping.

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Cherlynn Low/Engadget
Cherlynn Low/Engadget

Ever since Google rebranded Android Wear as Wear OS, there's been a lingering question: when would there be a new smartwatch to spearhead Google's wearable revival? Apparently, the answer is "soon." An FCC filing has revealed an LG-made Wear OS device that may just tout some unique features. For one, this isn't using the usual Android Wear interface. The usual vertical app list has been replaced by a Samsung Gear-style circular carousel (shown below) with the name of the selected app front and center. There's no cellular access on this model, which suggests that it'd be a spiritual successor to the Watch Style -- and there may be evidence to back up that claim.

A late April rumor from AndroidHeadlines claimed that LG was readying the Watch Timepiece, a unique hybrid that would blend a Wear OS device (including a 1.2-inch 360 x 360 display) with a quartz watch. Even when the smartwatch portion ran out of battery, you'd still have basic time available for nearly 100 hours. The conventional watch hands would even perform other functions like you see with some hybrid smartwatches, such as compass or stopwatch. That might explain the unusual app view, as it wouldn't be surprising if the hands moved out of the way when necessary.

The same rumor had the Timepiece using a stainless steel case, and there would even be a Watch Timepiece+ variant that would include a metal band in addition to the standard silicone strap. If you're hoping for a breakthrough in terms of performance, however, you'll be disappointed. The Timepiece wouldn't have GPS or NFC, and it'd use the same Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and 4GB of storage that Google-powered watches have used since 2016. The biggest improvement would be 768MB of RAM.

There aren't any tangible launch details, but AH had the Watch Timepiece arriving "by June." And it's hard to ignore the convenient timing. LG's hardware showed up at the FCC mere days before Google I/O, which suggests that it might be announced at the developer event. We wouldn't be shocked. Google recently added a slew of Assistant features to Wear OS, and a new smartwatch could be an ideal showcase for those upgrades.

LG's Wear OS watch interface

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