Smartwatches

LG G Watch R vs. Asus ZenWatch: In pictures

LG G Watch R vs. Asus ZenWatch...
Gizmag takes a hands-on look at the LG G Watch R (left) and Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Gizmag takes a hands-on look at the LG G Watch R (left) and Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Gizmag takes a hands-on look at the LG G Watch R (left) and Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Gizmag takes a hands-on look at the LG G Watch R (left) and Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Both watches add some luxury watch aesthetic to Android Wear (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Both watches add some luxury watch aesthetic to Android Wear (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
G Watch R (left) with the Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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G Watch R (left) with the Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The backs of both watches (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The backs of both watches (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The ZenWatch has a rectangular body with rounded corners (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The ZenWatch has a rectangular body with rounded corners (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The G Watch R's screen is perfectly round; the ZenWatch's is perfectly square (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The G Watch R's screen is perfectly round; the ZenWatch's is perfectly square (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The ZenWatch has a sandwiched look on its side (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The ZenWatch has a sandwiched look on its side (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
A closer look at the two designs (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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A closer look at the two designs (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Both watches have watch faces that blend well with their styles (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Both watches have watch faces that blend well with their styles (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
G Watch R and ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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G Watch R and ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
G Watch R and ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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G Watch R and ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Default bands for both watches (you can swap both of them with standard 22 mm bands) (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Default bands for both watches (you can swap both of them with standard 22 mm bands) (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The G Watch R costs US$300, while the ZenWatch is a good value at $200 (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The G Watch R costs US$300, while the ZenWatch is a good value at $200 (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The round display on the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The round display on the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Using the Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Using the Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Charging the ZenWatch with its cradle (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Charging the ZenWatch with its cradle (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The G Watch R's diver watch-inspired dial (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The G Watch R's diver watch-inspired dial (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The ZenWatch's band has a snap-together clasp (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The ZenWatch's band has a snap-together clasp (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The G Watch R has a side button that you can short-press for home, or long-press for settings (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The G Watch R has a side button that you can short-press for home, or long-press for settings (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Side of the ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Side of the ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The G Watch R's band (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The G Watch R's band (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Back of the ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Back of the ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Side of the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Side of the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The LG G Watch R's 1.3-in, fully round screen (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The LG G Watch R's 1.3-in, fully round screen (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The ZenWatch weighs 75 g (2.65-oz)
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The ZenWatch weighs 75 g (2.65-oz)
Weather card on the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Weather card on the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Google Now voice control on the ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Google Now voice control on the ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Profile of the ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Profile of the ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The G Watch R's look might not be for everyone, but we're fans of the diver watch style (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The G Watch R's look might not be for everyone, but we're fans of the diver watch style (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Wearing the LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Wearing the LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Both watches can leave their clock faces on all day long, with no battery life concerns (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Both watches can leave their clock faces on all day long, with no battery life concerns (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Back of the G Watch R's band (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Back of the G Watch R's band (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Another look at the round screen on LG's watch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Another look at the round screen on LG's watch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Tapping and swiping the ZenWatch's square screen (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Tapping and swiping the ZenWatch's square screen (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
LG's clock faces complement the watch's design (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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LG's clock faces complement the watch's design (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The ZenWatch's band (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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The ZenWatch's band (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Side of the ZenWatch's band (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Side of the ZenWatch's band (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Voice control on the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Voice control on the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Using the LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Using the LG G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Notification card on the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Notification card on the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Asus' optional companion app (both watches require the standard Android Wear app) (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Asus' optional companion app (both watches require the standard Android Wear app) (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Clock face on the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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Clock face on the G Watch R (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
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View gallery - 57 images

LG and Asus made two of the best-looking smartwatches of 2014. Let's take a quick look at the two fashionable Android Wear watches, the LG G Watch R and Asus ZenWatch.

If you want a smartwatch that hits a nice balance between fashion and function, then we recommend these two, along with the Moto 360, as your best picks this year. We've already talked at length about these three, but we have a few more thoughts, as well as plenty of shots in our image gallery, about how these two specifically compare.

G Watch R (left) with the Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
G Watch R (left) with the Asus ZenWatch (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)

Both watches have luxury watch-inspired designs and could, from a distance, pass for standard timepieces. The G Watch R is still the only Android Wear watch you can buy with a fully round screen (the Moto 360 has a little sliver cut-out at the bottom), and it's one of the LG watch's biggest draws. The diving watch-inspired dial around its bezels might draw some polarizing reactions, but it's grown on me. It also helps that some of LG's clock faces are tailor-made to complement it.

LG's clock faces complement the watch's design (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
LG's clock faces complement the watch's design (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)

Screen shape is a big part of your decision, but screen size shouldn't be. Though the watches have different diagonal measurements, never mind that: screen area, a more telling measurement, has them at pretty much the exact same size.

Both watches ship with leather bands, and are swappable with standard 22 mm bands. The G Watch R's default black band is more neutral, while the tan-colored band on the ZenWatch becomes a more eye-catching part of its aesthetic.

Default bands for both watches (you can swap both of them with standard 22 mm bands) (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
Default bands for both watches (you can swap both of them with standard 22 mm bands) (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)

Apart from the stark contrast in styles, these two are very close to being the same watch. Both have long battery life, and you can leave their always-on clock face settings on and still last a full day with room to spare. Both have smooth performance, and run the exact same Android Wear software (you can check out Gizmag's Android Wear review for more on that).

Asus threw in a couple of optional companion apps that give you a few extra features. Most of these are easily duplicated by third-party Play Store apps, like a flashlight, compass and "leave my phone unlocked when the watch is near" feature (don't turn that on: it kills the ZenWatch's otherwise great battery life). The ZenWatch Wellness app does add a useful nudge feature, inspired by Jawbone trackers: you can set it to vibrate your wrist if you've been sitting still for too long.

The ZenWatch's heart rate sensor is also (oddly) located on its front bezels. The G Watch R measures your pulse using your wrist, so you don't have to do anything but try to hold still. On the ZenWatch, you have to put two fingers on the watch's bezels (like you're making a peace sign) to get a reading. The ZenWatch can also use your heart rate to assign a "relaxation score." I didn't find this to be any more useful than a straightforward heart rate measurement, but your mileage could vary.

The G Watch R costs US$300, while the ZenWatch is a good value at $200 (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)
The G Watch R costs US$300, while the ZenWatch is a good value at $200 (Photo: Will Shanklin/Gizmag.com)

The only other big difference is price. The G Watch R is going to cost you an extra US$100 (LG's watch costs $300, next to $200 for the ZenWatch), so even if you like the G Watch's look a little better, you'll want to ask yourself if you like it "$100 better."

For a closer look at these two, we invite you to thumb through our image gallery. And for more on the watches themselves, you can hit up Gizmag's individual reviews of the G Watch R and Asus ZenWatch.

View gallery - 57 images
1 comment
1 comment
princesinha
The watches have different diagonal measurements, never mind that: screen area, a more telling measurement, has them at pretty much the exact same size.
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