LG today unveiled its 4G smartwatch dubbed the LG Watch Urbane LTE. This is the world’s first smartwatch to support LTE technology. LG also recently announced a non LTE smartwatch called the LG Watch Urbane. According to the company, the Urbane LTE will be running company’s own proprietary software which is based on WebOS. *Editor’s Noted: As a once longtime user of the Palm Pre I can honestly say that I always loved WebOS and was surprised it never took off more than it did.* However, the non-LTE version of the Urbane which was announced previously, runs Google Android Wear.
The Urbane LTE smartwatch features three buttons and according to LG the device is the world’s first ‘NFC based Wallet’. This mean it will allow its users to make payments using the Urbane LTE at NFC supported retailers. The smartwatch also has a heart rate monitor, a barometer, compass, gyroscope and GPS. LG said that the Urbane LTE will function just like a smartphone; users will be able to send and receive text messages using the device as well as communicate via walkie-talkie style, short voice messages.
On the hardware side, the Urbane LTE has a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor with a 700mAh battery and supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. LG has said that the device will only be available in silver at the time of launch. Other details like pricing and availability of both LTE and standard Urbane are expected to come next week at the upcoming Mobile World Congress event.
LG Watch Urbane LTE is truly the new face of smartwatches. LG has done a great job in making Urbane LTE a standalone device rather than just a companion/notification device tied to your smartphone. The additional 4G connectivity is the final addition needed to make standalone wearables truly relevant in today’s landscape. It will be great to see how the smartwatch market shakes up when Apple Watch and Pebble’s new Time smartwatch will launch alongside LG’s Watch Urbane versions.