Smartwatches

LG Watch Urbane vs. Asus ZenWatch: Quick look

LG Watch Urbane vs. Asus ZenWa...
Gizmag goes hands-on for a quick comparison of the LG Watch Urbane (left) and first-generation Asus ZenWatch
Gizmag goes hands-on for a quick comparison of the LG Watch Urbane (left) and first-generation Asus ZenWatch
View 20 Images
Gizmag goes hands-on for a quick comparison of the LG Watch Urbane (left) and first-generation Asus ZenWatch
1/20
Gizmag goes hands-on for a quick comparison of the LG Watch Urbane (left) and first-generation Asus ZenWatch
The LG Watch Urbane is 16 percent thicker than the ZenWatch
2/20
The LG Watch Urbane is 16 percent thicker than the ZenWatch
Compared to a smaller wearable like the Apple Watch, both of these look pretty big (though not quite humongous) on the wrist
3/20
Compared to a smaller wearable like the Apple Watch, both of these look pretty big (though not quite humongous) on the wrist
Both ship with leather bands, though you can swap them for other (standard 22 mm) straps
4/20
Both ship with leather bands, though you can swap them for other (standard 22 mm) straps
The Asus ZenWatch has a sequel coming, but the original is still a pretty good value
5/20
The Asus ZenWatch has a sequel coming, but the original is still a pretty good value
Checking a Google Now card on the ZenWatch
6/20
Checking a Google Now card on the ZenWatch
Back of the Urbane
7/20
Back of the Urbane
The Asus ZenWatch's default strap has a metal clasp
8/20
The Asus ZenWatch's default strap has a metal clasp
On both the ZenWatch (pictured) and Urbane, you can leave their clock faces on all day long, and easily last a full day (with room to spare)
9/20
On both the ZenWatch (pictured) and Urbane, you can leave their clock faces on all day long, and easily last a full day (with room to spare)
The Urbane's fully-round 1.3-inch display
10/20
The Urbane's fully-round 1.3-inch display
The LG Watch Urbane costs $350
11/20
The LG Watch Urbane costs $350
The $200 Asus ZenWatch
12/20
The $200 Asus ZenWatch
The Urbane is no longer the only watch running Android Wear 5.1.1, as the ZenWatch (and others) have received the big update
13/20
The Urbane is no longer the only watch running Android Wear 5.1.1, as the ZenWatch (and others) have received the big update
Chilling with the ZenWatch
14/20
Chilling with the ZenWatch
The ZenWatch's water resistance is only IP55, compared to the Urbane's IP67
15/20
The ZenWatch's water resistance is only IP55, compared to the Urbane's IP67
Android Wear 5.1.1 lets you flick through your "cards" with hands-free gestures
16/20
Android Wear 5.1.1 lets you flick through your "cards" with hands-free gestures
The Urbane has the lower pixel density, but we don't notice much of a difference in experience
17/20
The Urbane has the lower pixel density, but we don't notice much of a difference in experience
Android Wear's Google Now voice search is great for asking random trivia questions
18/20
Android Wear's Google Now voice search is great for asking random trivia questions
The Wear 5.1.1 update makes it much easier to find (and launch) apps
19/20
The Wear 5.1.1 update makes it much easier to find (and launch) apps
The Urbane is more expensive, but its round screen and striking overall design may, for some customers, justify the extra $150
20/20
The Urbane is more expensive, but its round screen and striking overall design may, for some customers, justify the extra $150
View gallery - 20 images

Asus just announced a second-generation ZenWatch this week, but until that one arrives, the original ZenWatch is still one of the best smartwatch values around. Let's go hands-on to see how it compares to the most expensive Android Wear watch, the LG Watch Urbane.

When the LG Watch Urbane launched, it was the only smartwatch running the latest version of Android Wear (which happened to be Google's biggest update yet to the wearable OS). But since then the ZenWatch has received that update too, making software a wash. And since both watches have the same processor, storage and RAM, that leaves style, display and battery life (in addition to price) as the biggest differences.

Compared to a smaller wearable like the Apple Watch, both of these look pretty big (though not quite humongous) on the wrist
Compared to a smaller wearable like the Apple Watch, both of these look pretty big (though not quite humongous) on the wrist

We think both watches are pretty sharp-looking, but we'd give the edge to the Urbane. There's something about a round screen that really stands out on a smartwatch, and LG hit a nice overall tone with the Urbane's clean and metallic design.

Both watches are pretty big – and with our expectations shifting a bit after using the much smaller Apple Watch, you could argue that these are both huge. The Urbane is 18 percent wider and 16 percent thicker, though, so the ZenWatch does have some advantage there.

The LG Watch Urbane is 16 percent thicker than the ZenWatch
The LG Watch Urbane is 16 percent thicker than the ZenWatch

When you look at display area (a more telling measurement than screen diagonals), the watches' screens are almost exactly the same size. The ZenWatch's display is sharper (278 pixels per inch vs 245 PPI), but, in our experience, we don't see much of an advantage when handling both devices.

In terms of battery life, these are two of your better choices among color touchscreen smartwatches. You can leave both of their clock faces set to "always-on," and still last a full day – with plenty of room to spare. For these early Android Wear watches, that's as good as it gets.

One more difference – that may not affect most shoppers, but could be very important to some – is water resistance. The Urbane is rated IP67, while the ZenWatch is only IP55. That means the Urbane can survive full submersion (in 1 m of water for 30 minutes), while the ZenWatch is only approved for splashes and "jets" of water.

Chilling with the ZenWatch
Chilling with the ZenWatch

Android Wear 5.1.1 lets you flick through your "cards" with hands-free gestures
Android Wear 5.1.1 lets you flick through your "cards" with hands-free gestures

If none of the differences so far have swayed you towards the Urbane, then you're probably going to be better off with the ZenWatch. Asus' watch costs US$200 next to the Urbane's $350 price tag. Considering these two are almost exactly the same device in two different styles, you have to really like the Urbane's round screen and smooth bezel to justify that premium (though we wouldn't blame you if you did, as it's a pretty snazzy-looking watch).

Another thing to keep an eye out for is a price drop on the ZenWatch, now that its 2015 sequel has been announced (though we still don't know exactly when the ZenWatch 2 will be coming, or how much it will cost).

The Urbane is more expensive, but its round screen and striking overall design may, for some customers, justify the extra $150
The Urbane is more expensive, but its round screen and striking overall design may, for some customers, justify the extra $150

On both the ZenWatch (pictured) and Urbane, you can leave their clock faces on all day long, and easily last a full day (with room to spare)
On both the ZenWatch (pictured) and Urbane, you can leave their clock faces on all day long, and easily last a full day (with room to spare)

This was just our quick run-down of the two, but for more you can check out our features/specs breakdown of the two smartwatches. And for deeper dives on each, feel free to revisit Gizmag's full reviews of the LG Watch Urbane and first-gen Asus ZenWatch.

View gallery - 20 images
0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!