LG Watch Urbane vs. Asus ZenWatch

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Gizmag compares the features and specs of the LG Watch Urbane (left) and Asus ZenWatch smartwatches

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Android Wear watches have been trickling out since the first two launched in mid-2014. Let's compare the latest, LG's Watch Urbane, to one of the best watches of 2014, the Asus ZenWatch.

Size (main body)

The two are around the same heights, but the round LG Watch Urbane comes out at 18 percent wider and 16 percent thicker.

Weight

LG hasn't listed the weight of the Watch Urbane, but the ZenWatch tips the scales at 75 g (2.65 oz).

Build

The Watch Urbane's stainless steel body should make it look more like a regular watch than some other smartwatches we've seen, but the ZenWatch's body is also made of stainless steel.

Physical buttons

The Watch Urbane has a button on its right side, while the ZenWatch has a subtler button on its back. Both are primarily for power/sleep, but a long-press will also get you to the Android Wear settings menu.

Colors

Asus only offers the ZenWatch in one body color, while LG is selling the Watch Urbane in silver and gold options.

Swappable band

Both watches let you swap out their default bands for standard 22 mm replacements.

Default band material

Speaking of bands, both watches ship with leather straps. Based on the Urbane's design, we imagine it will look damn sharp with a matching stainless steel band ... even if you have to track one down yourself and pay a jeweler to swap it out.

Display (size)

This is a great example of why diagonal measurements often don't mean much. The 1.3-in (round) Watch Urbane display has the same area as the 1.63-in (square) ZenWatch display.

Display (resolution)

Diagonal measurements do, however, come into play with resolution and pixel density. Despite having identical areas and resolutions, the ZenWatch actually has a 14 percent sharper display.

Display (type)

The Watch Urbane has the same plastic OLED screen we saw in its fraternal twin, the LG G Watch R.

Battery

The ZenWatch and G Watch R had some of the best battery life among the 2014 Wear watches. And since the Urbane is basically a reskinned G Watch R, it should too. We're talking close to two days (possibly more), even with always-on clock faces turned on.

Processor

Both watches use the Snapdragon 400 processor, which you'll find in the vast majority of Android Wear watches. The Urbane and ZenWatch will zip through the lightweight Android Wear UI.

RAM

512 GB of RAM is also universal among the early Wear watches.

Storage

Ditto for 4 GB of storage, which (unless you take advantage of Google Play Music's clunky offline music storage feature) should be more than you'll ever need.

Heart rate sensor

Both watches can measure your pulse. Asus also threw in some software on the ZenWatch that assigns you a "relaxation score" based on your heart rate (it also lets you simply read your pulse rate, if you prefer a more straightforward reading).

Water resistance

IP67 water and dust resistance is basically the industry standard among Android Wear and Samsung Gear watches, but Asus went with a weaker IP55. That means the Urbane is approved for full submersion (in 1 m of water for 30 minutes), while the ZenWatch is only designed for splashes or "jets" of water.

Software

Of course both run the latest version of Android Wear. Google doesn't let watch OEMs skin the software, like they do on Android phones and tablets, so you're getting the same experience across the board. The only differences are manufacturer-specific add-on apps, like Asus' health software.

Release

LG just announced the Watch Urbane this week, and hasn't spilled the beans on a specific release date yet. The company will be showing it off in a couple weeks at Mobile World Congress (we'll be there).

Price

The ZenWatch is one of the best values in wearables, coming in at a mere US$200. Considering the G Watch R rings up for $300, we think it's pretty much a certainty that the Watch Urbane will be the more expensive choice here.

Stay tuned for more on the Watch Urbane. And for a deeper dive on Asus' impressive Android Wear debut, you can hit up Gizmag's Asus ZenWatch review.

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