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article imageGoogle's new Android Wear smartwatches are now official

By James Walker     Feb 8, 2017 in Technology
Google has officially announced the first Android Wear smartwatches in which it played a role in the development. The LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport are meant to reignite momentum around Android Wear, offering thin designs and robust functionality.
After being rumoured in the summer of last year, Google's plans to work with LG on a pair of smartwatches were detailed this January. Today, the company formally introduced the two devices, describing its involvement in their creation as a "collaboration" with LG.
LG Watch Sport
The Sport is the most powerful of the pair, offering the most functionality in an Android Wear watch yet. There's on-board GPS for advanced exercise tracking, letting you precisely monitor your runs. Cellular connectivity is built into the watch too, reducing its reliance on a companion smartphone.
Dedicated buttons link directly to Google Fit and Android Pay, reducing time at the checkout or while starting a workout. The circular touchscreen will be used for most other inputs but there's also a rotating power button to control key functions. The latter is clearly inspired by Apple's "digital crown" design.
The Sport comes with an elastomer band that's meant to be comfortable while exercising as well as during everyday use. The watch is available in two colours, titanium and dark blue.
LG Watch Style
The Style is a scaled-back Sport that emphasises design and fashion above raw functionality. It's less powerful than the Sport, leaving out both NFC and GPS. There's a single physical button, the rotating home key that features on the Sport. The lack of dedicated controls for Android Pay and Google Fit could be a concern to some people but is unlikely to affect the Style's overall uptake.
Three different designs with varying finishes are available, offering more options to suit your style. The watch is available in silver, rose gold and titanium colours, accompanied by a selection of 18mm leather and silicone bands.
Android Wear 2.0
The Watch Sport and Watch Style are significant more for their software than hardware. Aside from being the first Android Wear watches made with input from Google, they're also the first to run version 2.0 of the platform. It's a substantial upgrade that considerably changes the functionality of the OS.
Android Wear
Android Wear
Apps can now be installed directly to the watch, improving performance and allowing you to leave your phone at home. It's possible to respond to messages without picking up your phone too. A selection of input options, including dictation, typing and handwriting, let you reply while on the go. This works for third-party apps including Facebook Messenger, Telegram and WhatsApp as well as Google's own line-up of communication services.
Android Wear 2.0 also marks Google Assistant's first foray into wearables. You can ask Assistant questions by holding down the power button or saying "OK Google." It's currently available only in English and German but other languages will arrive "in the coming months."
The LG Watch Style and Watch Sport will launch in the U.S. on Friday at AT&T, Verizon and the Google Store. An expansion to stores in Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, the UAE and the UK will come in the next few weeks.
More about Google, Android, android wear, android wear 20, Lg
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