LG Watch Urbane vs. Moto 360: Quick look

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Gizmag goes hands-on to compare the LG Watch Urbane (left) and Moto 360(Credit: Will Shanklin/Gizmag)

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We might see some new Android Wear gear next week at Google I/O. But until then, the LG Watch Urbane and Moto 360 are two of your best Wear smartwatches. We have both in house, so let's take a quick look.

Both the LG Watch Urbane and Moto 360 are beautiful smartwatches. Both are also big smartwatches. Put either of these next to an Apple Watch (as we did here and here) and they're both going to look enormous.

The Urbane is 13 percent taller, and both watches have the same width. The Moto is 6 percent thicker – and both look noticeably thicker than standard men's watches.

The Moto 360's big screen is still the most striking we've seen on any wearable. It's about 39 percent bigger than the LG Watch Urbane's 1.3-in display.

The Urbane's screen, however, is fully round. The Moto 360 has that "flat tire" thing going on, with a little chunk cut out at the bottom. That doesn't bother us much, as it fits the horizontal borders of the Android Wear cards that slide up from the bottom – but we also get why some folks think it looks a little odd.

Performance is a little smoother on the Urbane. The Moto doesn't have bad performance, but when you use one watch after the other, it does feel a bit choppier and laggier.

Software should be identical before long, but at the time of publication our Moto 360 hasn't yet received the Android Wear 5.1.1 update. It's Wear's biggest step forward yet, adding Wi-Fi connections, easier access to apps and touch-free scrolling gestures. The Urbane was the launch device for this update.

Battery life is the Urbane's biggest advantage: it can last close to two days with its always-on screen turned on.

If you turn on the "ambient" mode on the Moto 360 (not always on, but showing a dimmed clock more often than when the setting is turned off), it might not last a full day. With the setting turned off, it more safely keeps chugging for a day.

Right now pricing is the biggest reason to consider a Moto 360. Some retailers have dropped the leather band version to US$180 – a $70 discount over its launch price. The steel band version (seen in this article) can be had for $240 or so right now (it was originally $300).

The Watch Urbane, only available with a leather band right now, costs $350. You can, however, swap either watch's band with a default 22 mm one.

So which do you buy? Well, we recommend waiting for Google I/O before making a decision. It's just a week away, and if Google announces some Android Wear watches with big improvements there, you might regret snagging one of these right now (for what it's worth, last year two of the watches announced at I/O were shipping to customers a couple of weeks later).

It's possible we'll even see a 2nd-generation Moto 360 next week – that could help to explain the price drops we've seen on this first-gen model (though the Apple Watch could have something to do with that too).

For more, you can read Gizmag's full reviews of the LG Watch Urbane and Moto 360. And stay tuned for our Google I/O coverage next week, where we'll be on the ground.

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