LG G Watch R review: A full circle

A full circle

GSMArena team, 01 December 2014.

Unboxing

The LG G Watch R ships in a stylish box with magnetic closure and inside there's not much in terms of accessories. You'll find a USB cable with a power adapter as well as the proprietary charging dock with five pins.

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Unboxing the LG G Watch R

The dock has a built-in magnet inside and sort of guides the G Watch R in its charging seat. It's meant to intuitive and user-friendly. But in reality, it usually requires a bit of adjustment until you get the pins to connect. Additionally, the charging dock is not as stylish as the charging hub of the Moto 360. A good thing is that there's a rubber ring on the bottom to make it stick to the desk surface and be harder to move around.

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The G Watch R charging dock

Hardware overview

Looking like a regular watch and not a nerdy gizmo is something smartwatch makers are trying to achieve. We think the G Watch R and Moto 360 are the prime examples of how this is done.

What makes the G Watch R really stand out from the crowd is its stainless steel casing. It looks rugged without coming off as military grade. Yet it will still look good on your wrist regardless how formal your outfit.

The G Watch R sports a very thick bezel engraved with minute marks. They're helpful when used with certain watchfaces that are numberless, but are subject to taste as some may find them unnecessary. The bezel also acts as a protector of the 1.3" P-OLED perfectly making it harder to scratch.

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The G Watch R looks tough

The body of the smartwatch is made of stainless steel, which is powder coated in dark grey paint. It looks classy and durable, but LG doesn't offer any alternative colors.

LG has fitted the watch with a leather strap, which should feel nice to the touch as per the "genuine leather" moniker on its inside. Sadly, that's not the case as it's a bit too stiff and feels cheap, to be honest. It's a good thing then the wristband straps are changeable. You can choose any 22mm off-the-shelf strap of your liking even without the need to visit a watchmaker.

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The strap is genuine leather, but feels somewhat rough

The bottom is where the heart rate sensor and pogo pins for charging are located. There are also two microphone cut holes - one at the bottom and one underneath. To further emphasize on the masculinity of the watch, LG has opted for a large crown. Pushing it brings you back to the watchface, while a longer push gets you to the settings menu.

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The heart rate monitor and charging pins are on the bottom

Finally, the LG G Watch R vibrates when there's a new notification or somebody calls you. It's quite convenient, as you're sure not to miss anything important. You can mute notifications all together, too.

Build quality

At just 62 grams, the LG G Watch R is quite light, but not as much as the Moto 360, which weighs 49 grams. Still, it will require some getting used to from users who are accustomed to wearing solid, heavy watches and like to feel the timepiece on their wrist at all times.

But don't mistake the G Watch R for a toy, a notion you might get with the original Pebble. The hardware of the G Watch R is very well crafted and it fits together perfectly.

The IP-67 certification is another indication that the G Watch R is built to last. It's not afraid of splashes or dust and you can go for a walk in the rain or wash your hands without having to take special care of the watch.

The display is great

The G Watch R features a 1.3" P-OLED display with 320x320 pixel resolution. With a pixel density of 246ppi, it's the sharpest of the Android Wear watches on the market right now.

It's not the largest display around with a diameter of 33mm, but combined with the casing, it comes at 46.4mm. Make sure to have this in mind when buying the watch as it may be too small or too big depending on your wrist size.

Anyway, the display of the G Watch R is really good. Being an OLED means the contrast is outstanding due to the black pixels not being lit and the colors are punchy. It's also bright, but the IPS panel of the Moto 360 trumps it with regards to maximum brightness.

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The display of the watch is gorgeous

Viewing angles are fine, but we notice there's quite a bit of reflectivity. It's certainly not a deal breaker, but in broad sunlight it might be difficult to catch the time. Keep in mind, there's no Gorilla Glass protective layer on top, like the square G Watch.

Battery life

The display is the major culprit for the G Watch R's good battery life. Even with the always-on feature turned out, we are able to get two days out of it on a single charge. With heavy use, naturally, this trims down to one day, but that's perfectly fine for today's standards.

And even if you run out of juice from the 410mAh battery, it's charged back to full in only 30 minutes. The battery also happens to be one of the largest in the smartwatch market right now.

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The G Watch R looks good in action

Overall, we are delighted with what LG has produced. The G Watch R is definitely the direction in which smartwatches should be going in terms of hardware and build quality. Out of the whole package, we would've liked the bezels to be a bit thinner and the display slightly larger.

Follow us onto the software part of the review to find out more about the brains of the G Watch R.

Reader comments

  • Thomas hansda

SAR hum dileveri charge

  • Yaser

YES....

  • osama

does it have a standalone mp3 playback like the samsung gear?