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Wearable Tech

New Android Wear smartwatches can connect to far-off phones

You'll be able to receive calls and notifications even when your smartphone is miles away. But only new watches, including one from LG released today, support the cellular connectivity that enables the feature.

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The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE is the first Android Wear smartwatch that can talk to your phone via a cellular connection.


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Android Wear watches have previously been stuck using either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone to do most things. But now Google has added another option: cellular connectivity.

Smartwatches are still limited in that they generally need to be synced to a smartphone to make and receive calls and messages and carry out certain other tasks. That poses a problem if you're out and left your smartphone at home or another faraway place.

A cellular connection could solve that.

"As long as your watch and phone are connected to a cellular network, you'll be able to use your watch to send and receive messages, track fitness, get answers from Google and run your favorite apps," Google said in a blog post Wednesday. "And yes, you'll even be able to make and take calls right from your watch, for when your hands are full, or your phone is elsewhere."

To tap into a cellular connection, the smartwatch must be equipped with the necessary hardware, so it's not a feature you can add to an existing Android Wear device. Only one watch supports the new cellular feature so far.

Launched Wednesday, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE is the first Android Wear smartwatch with cellular connectivity built in. Through the watch, a person can answer calls and check their messages via a cellular connection when needed.

The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE is available online from AT&T and will go on sale in-store on Friday. The new watch will also be available for preorder from Verizon starting today and reach Verizon's stores November 19. Off contract, AT&T is charging $299 for the watch, while Verizon has priced it at a significantly higher $499. With a two-year contract, the price tag is lower at both carriers.

The new Urbane 2nd Edition LTE will come with three buttons to access your contacts list, the LG Health fitness app and the display itself to show you the time. Equipped with a 480x480 pixel display, the watch includes a heart rate monitor.