Is TEK.GADG Podcast back?!
No, we're only doing this for the new iPhones. Because iPhones are special. They bring people together.
Obligatory unboxing video.
Today we’re checking out the LG G Watch, one of the first watches for the Android Wear platform. This isn’t the first smart watch. Samsung has the Gear line-up, Pebble has been around for more than a year.
What Android Wear has going for it is that it’s from Google. And it’s Android. So we have to pay to attention.
Let’s look at what Android Wear is about first. Essentially, Android Wear is a streamlined version of Android for low-power wearable devices, and as it stands right now it’s main function is to act as an extension of Google Now and the notification bar on your Android phone. This means that you can do a lot on the G Watch without pulling out your phone.
You can write text messages and reply to texts. You can look up basic information. You can look at your Google Now cards. You can set up appointments or alarms - All without pulling out your phone.
For getting quick glance-able information and accomplishing simple tasks, this is great. Voice recognition works well enough, at least 80% success rate for me.
But you may be wondering “why do I need a smart watch when I can just pull out my phone and do the same thing?” - We'll tackle that issue at the end.
The G Watch hardware is very vanilla. There is no branding on the front, and it’s as clean slate as it can get - right in line with the past few Nexus devices. More fashionable devices, like the Moto 360, are coming.
It’s IP67 rated, so you can splash water on it but I wouldn’t go swimming with it. The included watch band is nothing special. It’s comfortable enough, but because it’s rubbery it collects a bit of sweat. You can get standard 22mm replacement bands, if you want.
They tout an always-on display, but that’s a bit of a mixed bag. It has a standard LCD IPS screen, so the always-on mode basically dims the backlight to save power. Doesn’t even have to be monochrome, but I guess it’s to make the watchface less distracting when the device is inactive.
In always-on mode, you can barely see anything under sunlight. Much prefer the Pebble’s e-paper screen for outside. But inside, this screen is fine. It’s a 1.65 inch display at 280 x 280 resolution.
The battery lasts at least a day. Most days I was dow n to 50% every night, but turning off the screen completely got it up to 70% so th ere’s quite a bit of saving there. But having a watch that doesn’t have an always-on screen is a cop-out, in my opinion.
So overall, the LG G Watch is a fine device. Not something everyone should get at this point. Right now, it mostly saves you the trouble of actually pulling out a phone from your pocket, oh what a chore.…
For most complex tasks, Android Wear still requires two-hand operation, because you have to swipe left and right to get into options.
Many times while using the G Watch, I asked myself “why not just pull out my phone, this is getting ridiculous” I’ll admit, it is convenient when I’m jogging / riding a bicycle or when I’m sitting in a cramped subway train, but most of the times I can just use my phone.
In situations where it would be inappropriate to use your phone, the G Watch is great. But you really shouldn’t be staring at or tapping away on your watch anyway. If you’re in a business meeting or in a classroom, just pay attention to what’s going on in front of you.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S is here! Armed with a high-resolution Super AMOLED display, an octa-core CPU and a fingerprint scanner, the Tab S is challenging the iPad for the premium tablet throne.
How does it fare against the Apple tablet? Watch the review above to find out.