There's a new smartwatch rolling out across the world that doesn't bear the Apple name, and it's geared toward Android users.
Selling for $349 as of Monday, the LG Watch Urbane is now available in the Google Store for consumers in the US and other countries. And it's the first watch to be equipped with the latest version of Android Wear, Google's operating system for wearables.
On the surface, the Urbane could be seen a competitor to the new Apple Watch. Both are available at a price tag of $349, assuming you opted for certain varieties of the Apple Watch Sport model. The Urbane also tries to add some style through its stainless steel body and stitched leather strap. But the Apple Watch is aimed at iPhone users, while the LG Watch Urbane is geared toward Android phone users.
LG's new watch initially went on sale in the company's home market ofand is now up for grabs at the Google Store in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea and Spain.
This isn't LG's first foray into the smartwatch arena. Last year, the company launched itsand , at a time when smartwatches were only beginning to register in most people's minds and when even the best-selling ones weren't selling in any great numbers.
And now the competition is fiercer. It's not just the Apple Watch -- widely seen as the spark that the market needed -- but also a range of new or updated smartwatches from companies including Sony, Samsung, Huawei, Motorola and Pebble.
Courtesy of the, the Urbane will be able to connect to Wi-Fi networks all by itself. You can get updates about new emails and calendar appointments directly on the watch. You'll still need your phone to receive notifications, send messages and use certain apps. But your phone can be anywhere and can even connect to the Internet via a different Wi-Fi network.
The Urbane comes with always-on apps to keep the display from going black. A new interface offers quicker access to your favorite apps. You'll also be able to change the font size on the watch and view notifications even when you're using a different feature. And you can also draw emojis with your fingers.
Sporting a 1.3-inch round P-OLED display at 245 pixels per inch, the watch is available in a gold or silver finished steel body. The stitched leather strap can be swapped out for standard 22mm watch bands. The watch's basic features are similar to those of the. But the LG Urbane will be less bulky even with a display size that remains the same.
Buyers who order the Urbane through the Google Store will have to wait awhile for shipment, though not as long as you'd have to wait for an Apple Watch. The LG Urbane is slated to ship by May 8. But the Google Store isn't your only option. In the US, Verizon is also currently selling the watch. AT&T is currently selling it online and will offer it in its stores starting Friday, May 15.