Updated - LG Unveils New Non-Android Wear Watch
Today, LG announced a brand new smartwatch equipped with 4G LTE cellular and data connectivity: the LG Watch Urbane LTE, which runs on
WebOS a new operating system rather than Android Wear. Since it’s already running the company’s line of smart television sets, WebOS’s appearance in a new smartwatch shows that LG is looking to make the most of the former mobile operating system.
The new device takes its cues from the recently announced Android Wear-running Urbane, but the Urbane LTE looks like it has a bit of a beefier body all around, presumably to accommodate the extra technical wizardry living inside of it. Like the Urbane and the G Watch R before it, the Urbane LTE sports a 1.3-inch round display, which is Plastic-OLED. It runs on a 1.2 GHz-Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 4 GB of internal storage and 1 GB of RAM – about double the RAM of what’s found in nearly every other smartwatch out there right now.
Like the Samsung Gear S, the Urbane LTE will allow users to place or take calls right from their wrist, as well as send and receive texts. If the carrier supports it, the watch also allows for “push-to-talk” capabilities, which is kinda cool. It also packs in a heart rate monitor and three physical buttons for extra navigation options.
There’s no word on how much this thing will cost, or when it’ll come out. Furthermore,
we’re only speculating I previously speculated that this is a WebOS watch – the press release says nothing about WebOS, saying it’s only running on “the all new LG Wearable Platform operating system, developed specifically for the company’s proprietary wearable products.” However, there’s ample evidence out there that the Urbane LTE runs WebOS, most notably a very similar looking device’s appearance at CES last month. Then again, a new post on the Verge reports that LG denies that the Urbane LTE runs WebOS.
There are still a few missing pieces from the puzzle here. LG says nothing about what devices the Urbane LTE might be compatible with. While its other smartwatch offerings have all run on Android Wear, which is, of course, exclusively compatible with Android devices, this new watch runs a totally different OS. Like the Pebble Time, it might be compatible with iPhones and Android phones alike. While it’s got enough under the hood to work independent of a phone entirely, I have my doubts that LG wouldn’t bake in some form of smartphone connectivity. This thing looks good enough to take on the Apple Watch, too, so LG might want to ensure that iOS users might consider it as an Apple Watch alternative.
One more question: will there be more WebOS smartwatches on the way? And will LG start making WebOS-powered phones?
Now that LG has said that the new watch isn’t running on WebOS, where does that leave the device that was spotted at CES? And could LG really have developed a whole new operating system just for wearables?
[Sources: LG Newsroom and The Verge]