The LG Watch Style is the smaller of the two smartwatches that Google announced alongside the Android Wear 2.0 software release earlier this month. How does it measure up to Apple's latest, the Apple Watch Series 2?
The Apple Watch is available in two sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm. The LG Watch Style is closer to the larger Apple Watch's dimensions, though its round face gives it a substantially different look overall.
Build (watch and display)
The LG Watch Style has a stainless steel face with a plastic back and a Gorilla Glass 3 display. The entry level Apple Watches have aluminum builds with Ion-X glass. If you want premium materials (for a considerable uncharge) Apple also offers stainless steel or ceramic builds with sapphire displays.
Both makers offer ample color choices so you can accessorize the way you please. Note that the metallic finishes listed for the Apple Watch are for the aluminum variants – other build materials have different options.
Both of these watches have interchangeable bands. The LG Watch Style is offered with either leather or silicone bands, while the Apple Watch options are elastomer, nylon, leather or stainless steel. Between the watch faces and bands, there are many possible combinations for a custom look.
The LG Watch's 1.2-inch round display packs in more area than either of the Apple Watch's rectangular ones, despite the latters' larger diagonal measurements.
If placed side by side, we'd imagine that the Apple Watch's 326 ppi displays would be subtly sharper than that of the LG Watch Style. There's nothing concerning, though, about the sharpness of the Style.
Always-on display option
The LG Watch Style has an always-on display option for quick notifications at a glance. This feature can be turned off to save battery.
Between its round face and the always-on option, the LG Watch Style more closely resembles a traditional watch than Apple's more modern take.
The pressure-sensitive display on the Apple Watch provides an additional way to interact with your watch. The touchscreen display differentiates between hard, long taps and shorter, lighter ones, so you can navigate differently depending on the force of your touch.
Apple did it first, but both watches have a rotating crown/power button for navigation with a twist. You're not reliant on taps alone – you can surf apps and content with a twist of the crown.
The LG Watch Style has an IP67 water resistance rating, but the Apple Watch Series 2 is fully waterproof to 50 m. You can use it to track workouts in the pool.
Neither of these watches have cellular connectivity options. You'll have to use them in conjunction with your smartphone.
Of these, only the Apple Watch has built-in GPS for navigation and route tracking.
Heart rate sensor
Also conspicuously absent from the LG Watch Style? The heart rate sensor.
Again, only the Apple Watch is NFC-equipped, which allows for mobile payments via Apple Pay. Its LG rival does not have NFC, so Android Pay is a no-go.
Without running tests, it's tough to say which watch boasts better battery life. It varies drastically depending on how the device is used.
The Apple Watch must be paired with an iPhone. The LG Watch Style is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
Apart from phone compatibility, one of the biggest differences in the operating systems are their respective app stores. To download an app to your Apple Watch, you need to use your iPhone to download it from the App Store and then sync the two devices. Android Wear 2.0 introduced an on-watch version of the Google Play Store, so you can download apps without an intermediary device.
The LG Watch Style is brand new to the market. The Apple Watch Series 2 has been around since September.
The Apple Watch starts at US$120 more expensive than the LG Watch Style, and more if you upgrade to premium materials. Still, its mobile payments, heart rate sensor and built-in GPS make it a significantly more capable wearable.
Of course, the Apple Watch's iPhone exclusivity is a deal breaker for Android users. If you're looking for an Android Wear 2.0 device that more capably holds its own against the Apple Watch, the bulky LG Watch Sport is shaping up to be a good choice. And there's always the Apple Watch Series 1 if you'd prefer an Apple device more comparably equipped to the LG Watch Style.
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