"Google's Android Wear 2.0 is here, starting with LG Watch Style and Sport"
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CNET First Look
CNET First Look
Google's Android Wear 2.0 is here, starting with LG Watch Style and Sport
Android Wear 2 is Google's largest update to its wrist based software.
And LG has got two new watches that are first to get the update.
LG Watch Style is a thin basic smartwatch that lacks NFC for Android Pay, and doesn't have GPS or heart rate.
But the big chunky Sport offers all of that Plus LTE connections and a speakerphone, to make it a complete watch phone.
Like the Samsung Gear S3.
The LG watch style and LG watch sport won't be the only Android Wear 2 watches.
In fact, many of the existing watches on the market will be upgradable.
I've been living with the update and the new watches.
And here's what's most impressive.
Android Pay is finally on Android.
Where if you had NFC.
The LG Watch Sport can make payments just like Apple watch or Samsung Gear S3 at tap-to-pay terminals.
It's pretty easy and convenient.
Watch faces have gotten upgrades.
There are more spaces to add complications where those little bits of info It can also act as one tap app shortcuts, weather, fitness, music, calendar, and more.
But apps need to activate the hook in function to work.
It makes Android wear a lot faster to use those.
Scrolling crowns are also supported if your watch has it.
The LG Watch Sport and Style both have spinning buttons on the side like the Apple watch.
that can scroll through app lists or messages, or can flip through notifications.
It's a nice upgrade.
Google Fit is also updated, tracking more activities and offering better at-a-glance stuff during work outs.
But it's still not as great as your typical Fit Bit, or Garmin Fitness trackers.
Android Wear apps can now run and even be installed on watch without a phone nearby too.
The LG Watch Sport has LTE service, so it can also be a full phone, and with that service enabled I can load apps And use the watch fully with no phone at all.
That being said, many android wear apps haven't been updated to work fully phone independently.
So even if you don't have LTE, you can still connect using WiFi without a phone.
Google assistant comes on android wear too, but it's not the voice based service you'll get on Google home or your pixel phone.
You can talk to it, but it only shows responses as text.
The assistant is pretty hooked into Android and your Google preferences.
Making it a step up over alternatives.
Is it better?
Is it the best?
I still felt like the LG Watch style and sport were a little buggy and had worse battery life than I prefer.
It's not a revolution, but Android Wear 2 is an update that it seriously needed.
And maybe you have a watch sitting around that will already get the software.
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