LG G Watch beats out Samsung Gear Live in repairability

The folks at iFixit take the Android Wear devices apart to see what makes them tick, and finds a lot to like for do-it-yourselfers.

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A look at the torn-down LG G Watch. iFixit

You may have your own fashion preference regarding the new Android Wear devices, but when it comes to repairability, the LG G Watch has the edge on the Samsung Gear Live.

In a twinned tear-down by iFixit, the LG G Watch scored a 9 out of 10 for repairability, while the Samsung Gear Live rated 8 out of 10.

iFixit, which takes apart new tech products on a regular basis, found LG's smartwatch to be a friendly option for do-it-yourselfers. The company reported that the screws and spring contacts make the back of the case easy to remove. The battery is also held with minimal adhesive, and the device's lack of "fragile cables" makes it a nice device to take apart.

There was a bit of an issue in one area. iFixit said that the G Watch's fused display assembly "makes screen replacement a little difficult and costly."

The Gear Live is similarly simple to repair for those who don't want to send it out to the factory to get it fixed. But it, too, earned some low marks for its fused display assembly, as well as for its many "small adhered-in flexible PCBs." iFixit was pleased to see, however, that the band was easy to detach and that opening the case is simple. The battery can also be replaced quite easily.

The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live had their coming-out party at last month's Google I/O conference. They'll be the first devices to hit store shelves that run on Android Wear, a variant of Google's Android operating system designed for wearable technology. Android Wear includes support for voice notifications, the location-aware platform Google Now, and more. The devices both require Android 4.3 or higher on affiliated smartphones in order to share notifications, call information, and text messages.

For the most part, the G Watch and Gear Live offer very similar components. The $229 LG device comes with a 1.65-inch display, 1.2GHz processor, and 4GB of internal storage, . The Gear Live, meanwhile, goes for $199 and includes a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1.2GHz processor, and 4GB of internal storage.

Both devices are expected to begin shipping to customers in early July. Both devices are available for order now and should begin shipping to customers early this month, with delivery times expected to be within one or two business days.

CNET has contacted both Samsung and LG for comment on the teardown. We will update this story when we have more information.

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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