This is why LG pulled its Urbane smartwatch from the market

  • AFP
  • Updated: Nov 25, 2015 13:11 IST
The new LG Watch Urbane (2nd edition) was withdrawn from sale in the US after just a few days. (AFP)

LG has halted sales of the latest edition of its Watch Urbane, due to a significant technical problem affecting the smartwatch’s performance. This comes just a few days after its launch in the US and ahead of its previously expected launch in Europe at the beginning of 2016.

After pulling the watch from retail last week, LG revealed Monday to The Telegraph that a component that had never before been used in an LG wearable “failed to meet [the brand’s] standards” and could have an effect on “image quality” though the statement outlined that there was no safety issue. The company indicated that they could not publicly reveal which specific component caused the issue. Nor is it known if the launch has been postponed or if it is a permanent withdrawal. The LG Watch Urbane 2nd edition was to be the first smartwatch with Google’s latest Android Wear update enabling it to connect to cellular networks (3G or 4G, depending on the country).

As a result, consumers who want the latest version of Android Wear, but without this cellular connectivity, will have to go to other models, starting with the original LG Watch Urbane. This metal watch aims to be both smart and robust (it is water and dust resistant). Priced from 349 euros, it has a 1.3 inch display and various sensors (gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, heart rate, etc.).

Other state-of-the-art models also provide access to the other Android Wear refinements, such as the new Moto 360, which is now adapted to the wrist size of men (a diameter of 46mm, a 1.56 inch display) and women (42mm, 1.37 inches). This watch is entirely customizable through the Moto Maker online studio which enables buyers to choose their own combination of case, materials and bracelet, with prices starting at 299 euros.

The Huawei Watch also has a smart appearance with a circular 1.4 inch sapphire crystal screen. This Chinese manufacturer is offering its smartwatch with a wide choice of bracelets (in steel and leather). Prices start at 399 euros. At a more accessible price point, the new generation of ZenWatch watches by Asus are available in two versions for men and women, with various possible combinations of bracelets (rubber, leather, and metal) and colors. It’s a good choice for a first inexpensive smartwatch with prices starting at only 149 euros.

The latest version of Android Wear, which is being rolled out gradually, is compatible with iOS and enables users to receive notifications (phone or apps), track fitness and access Google Now services and assistance from their iPhone. However, all the original interactions planned with Android Wear are not yet supported. For the moment, only owners of the LG Watch Urbane and the Huawei Watch can take advantage this update. Other models are expected to follow eventually.

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