Google announced two LG-made smartwatches as part of its Android Wear 2.0 operating system release. The LG Watch Style is a smaller, more minimal wearable, while the LG Watch Sport is bulkier and more thoroughly equipped. Which one (if either) is right for you?
There's a significant weight difference between the two, with the Sport topping the scales due to its additional sensors, larger display and bigger battery (read on).
The watch faces both have stainless steel bezels and Gorilla Glass 3 displays. Their backs (the area that touches the skin) are plastic. This seems like a tradeoff – it could be more comfortable than an all-steel build, but it may give the impression of lower quality.
The watch face on the Style is available in three metallic finishes. The overall build of the Sport takes on either a titanium or dark blue color theme.
The LG Watch Style can be worn with either leather or silicone bands, which are interchangeable. Unfortunately, you can't remove the band on the Sport: It contains antennae.
Both watches have round displays set into narrow bezels. The Sport edition fits in 33-percent more screen space onto your wrist.
The display on the Sport is also significantly more pixel-dense than that of the Style, which should mean sharper-looking details. (Though it's worth noting 299 PPI on a smartwatch still looks very sharp.)
Both watches have P-OLED (plastic OLED) displays.
The watches have always-on display options. With information available at a glance, they look more like traditional watches. You can turn this option off if you'd like to save battery.
Rotating power button
These watches take a cue from the Apple Watch's Digital Crown. Their rotating power buttons double as a navigation method, so you don't need to rely entirely on swipes.
Both are water resistant; the Sport is a little more so. The Style's IP67 rating means that it can withstand splashes and brief accidental submersion in shallow water (less than one meter deep). Sport's IP68 rating means it is protected in water up to 1.5 meter deep for up to 30 minutes.
The LG Watch Sport includes LTE connectivity, but there is no such option on the Style. The advantage of having a cellular connection on your watch? You can use it completely independently of your phone.
GPS is another Sport exclusive. If you want to map workouts or get directions on your watch without assistance from a smartphone, you'll need to opt for the Sport.
Heart rate sensor
Once again, the Sport has a heart-rate sensor and the Style does not. For those who use their smartwatches as fitness trackers, this could be an important detail.
NFC (Android Pay)
Only the Sport model is NFC-equipped, the feature which enables Android Pay.
The Sport has almost twice the battery capacity of the Style, but considering all of its extra features and larger display, that probably doesn't translate into twice the battery life.
As we've mentioned, these are the first smartwatch flagships that showcase the Android Wear 2.0 operating system (though Verizon quietly released one of its own on the same day the LGs were announced).
Android Wear works with both Android and iOS devices, though some Wear features may not have smartphone companion apps. For example, its preinstalled Google Fit app does not have an iOS version, so the watch is the only place for iPhone owners to view their fitness data.
Both watches start selling in the US on February 10 and roll out to several other countries in the following weeks.
The extra functionality of the LG Watch Sport will cost you US$100 more than the Style. (That's from the Google Store; Verizon's full-retail Sport price balloons up to $380) On the plus side, the Sport is available through AT&T and Verizon, so you may able to cop one on a favorable payment plan.
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