LG just launched the first watches with Android Wear 2.0, the LG Watch Sport is the larger of the two and, in case you couldn’t tell by the name, is aimed more at the more active user. After using it for a bit, I think I’m ready to give a full review of the LG Watch Sport.
Android Wear 2.0
First off, the LG Watch Sport (and the LG Watch Style) are the first watches to launch with Android Wear’s big design overhaul, Android Wear 2.0.
Android Wear 2.0 is a big part of features on this watch, but the thing is, it’s already been announced to be coming to a ton of older Android Wear devices so it’s not really a differentiator for the watch besides the fact you can have it right now instead of later. With that in mind, I’ll touch on a few of the features in Android Wear 2.0 that I particularly liked while using this watch, but just keep in mind that these features will be on all Android Wear 2.0 watches once updated so you probably shouldn’t use them to decide on this particular watch. Let if you want me to do a full video walkthrough of Android Wear 2.0, let me know in the comments below.
The entire UI has changed –for the better. From easily swappable watch faces that you can customize with information and shortcuts and then swipe between depending on which watch face you might need at the moment, to smoother transitions and menus, to a just an overall more intuitive design.
My favorite features in Android Wear 2.0 so far are notifications being more robust and having a lot more actions that you can take with them based on what app is sending them, and having a keyboard on the watch. I know that sounds ridiculous but in practice it’s actually sort of useful.
You can now respond to texts, emails, etc. by swiping on a tiny keyboard that is actually pretty accurate (you can also type but that is actually ridiculous). I like it because for short messages at least, I can respond without having to use voice to text and making whatever the conversation is about public to everyone around me and it’s also fast enough that I don’t feel the need to take out my phone to type that short message instead.
Lastly, something that’s super interesting about the new Android Wear 2.0 is the fact it has a standalone app store. Essentially what that means is that instead of the apps being companion apps to their phone counterparts, they are actually their own self contained apps on the watch. This allows you to limit the number of apps on the watch since you don’t have to install everything that is on the phone and developers can make apps that are specific to the watch stand out better in the watch only store as opposed to mixed in with the plethora of regular phone apps on the Play Store.
Additionally, this means that even if you don’t have an Android phone, you can download these watch apps to the watch, have them work independently, even if you have an iPhone, for example. The only thing that doesn’t work well with an iPhone using one of these watches though, which is kind of a big deal and the reason I wouldn’t probably recommend the watch with an iPhone still, is that messages and phone calls won’t work. Essentially, if you have LTE on the watch you can get those things because it will just send them to the watch as if it was another phone, but iMessages won’t show up that way and let’s be real, what iPhone user is willing to give up iMessage.
In addition to these new features found in Wear 2.0, it, of course has all the features you are used to from 1.0 like fitness tracking, GPS, heart-rate monitor, music controls, etc.