LG Watch Urbane rolling out this week

Launching in South Korea and then around the world, LG's new smartwatch will be the first one to benefit from the latest version of Google's Android Wear OS.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
3 min read

The LG Watch Urbane is launching around the world this month.


The LG Watch Urbane is kicking off its worldwide launch.

LG's new smartwatch will go on sale in South Korea this week. But those in the rest of the world won't have to wait much longer.

The LG Watch Urbane will then expand its reach this month, meaning next week, to the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea and Spain. The watch itself will be available for purchase through the Google Store.https://store.google.com/

And what makes the LG Watch Urbane so special? It's the first smartwatch to be equipped with the new version of Android Wear, Google's Google's operating system for wearable devices. The latest flavor of Android Wear will come with new features that won't need your smartphone to work.

The LG Watch Urbane will be able to connect to Wi-Fi networks all on its own. You'll be able to get updates about new emails and calendar appointments directly on the watch. You'll still need to grab information from your phone to receive notifications, send messages and use certain apps. But your phone can be anywhere, not necessarily in your pocket, and can even be connected to the Internet via a different Wi-Fi network.

The new watch will also contain apps that are always on to keep the display from going dark. And it promises a new interface that allows easier access to your favorite or most-frequently used 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 even draw emojis with your fingers.

This isn't LG's first entry into the smartwatch arena. Last year, the company launched its G Watch and G Watch R . But now the competition is fiercer. LG is introducing the Watch Urbane at the same time Apple is officially rolling out its Apple Watch.

The two watches are targeted toward different audiences -- one toward Android phone users, the other toward iPhone users. But a recent report from The Verge claimed that Google is aiming to make Android Wear devices compatible with the iPhone, a factor that would certainly prompt more iOS users to consider Android watches.

The LG Watch Urbane will offer two features not found on other Android Wear devices, according to LG. LG Call will you let access recent calls and a list of favorite contacts on your smartphone to dial your call directly from the watch while leaving the phone in your pocket or purse. And LG Pulse will measure and report on your heart rate as you exercise.

The watch will borrow the same 1.3-inch P-OLED display used in the LG G Watch R but will tone down the bezel. That means the watch itself will be less bulky but the display size will remain the same. The LG Watch Urbane will further try to add some style by using a stainless steel body with a stitched leather strap.

The LG Watch Urbane is different than the LG Watch Urbane LTE , which will run LG's WebOS instead of Android Wear.

LG will reveal pricing and other details as the watch becomes available in each market. In the US, AT&T has already promised that it will carry the Watch Urbane.