LG has just announced its third Google-powered smartwatch device in the shape of the Urbane, a premium-looking, all-metal affair apparently intended to go head-to-head with the Apple Watch.
It’s yet more evidence that smartwatch makers are themselves smartening up to the importance of making their gear stylish as well as functional.
The Urbane uses the same 1.3-inch, full circle display found on LG’s previous circular watch, the LG G Watch R, though with a thinner bezel. That makes it more appealing to both men and women and anyone with an eye on the luxury style of Apple’s wearable.
Powered by Android Wear, the Urbane comes with a replaceable leather strap and either a gold or silver stainless steel finish. LG won’t release pricing or release dates until Mobile World Congress at the start of March.
The cheap-looking, square, plastic Android Wear watches we saw when the platform’s first devices launched last June are now being overtaken by more stylish offerings—among them, the Asus ZenWatch and the steel edition of the Sony Smartwatch 3. Pebble and Withings have also launched smartwatches that look more like traditional watches than scaled-down smartphones.
It’s an angle that LG is keen to play up, describing the Urbane as a “sophisticated and cosmopolitan” device—not something you can say about every Android Wear timepiece we’ve seen so far. For wearables to gain mainstream traction, they have to look good as well as run smoothly, something LG, Apple and the other players are taking on board.
Lead image courtesy of LG