Wednesday, July 9, 2014

LG G Watch Review: The Ultimate Android Widget

Sometimes a product is so good that within minutes of using it, it's natural. In order to achieve this feat one of three things needs to be true.  

The product is for such a simple task, it's easily natural

The design is so good it makes something clumsy or difficult very easy

The design builds on something preexisting and well known and makes it better while not changing how it works.

You can have two of those, but one is enough. The G Watch has the second two. It takes the clumsy out of dealing with phone notifications, and combines that with the power of Google Now.
It's like someone made the ultimate widget for the Android homescreen, then turned it into a watch. That's what Android Wear is like. Someone made a combination Google Now/Notifications widget and put it on your wrist. Bonus, it tells time and you can put apps on it. So far the apps I like are:

A tether for your phone. Warns you when you leave your phone behind.

A handy onscreen calculator

Here's a link to all of them:

Usage Thoughts:

Battery Life:
My first day of heavy use and I had 40 percent battery left after 19 hours. That's more than good enough for nightly charging. It also means if you forget and fall asleep with it on, it should still be alive in the morning. You can just put it on the charger while you are in the shower.

Watch Faces:
There's one watch face I really like. It's called Dieter. It's good enough for now. It comes with a bunch of them, but not enough that a lot of people aren't going to have to suffer with something they don't like until more watch faces pop up on the Play Store. 

Watch Band:
If only because it looks better, get a new 22mm watch band for it. I recommend metal. For the black watch get something like this:

For the white gold G Watch you can do pretty much whatever you want. The black band would look fine. I went with an old Vollmer 22mm stainless steel mesh bracelet. A premium black leather band would look great on either also. 

Actually Using It:
It's speedy. I haven't noticed any lag. It is hard to read outside, but lets be real. You'll cup the tiny screen with your hand to read it. You won't even think about it. But yeah, would be nice if it was better in sunlight. Otherwise the screen is fine. If you already know how Google Now and the Notifications Bar work, you already know 95 percent of what you need to know to use it. Zero learning curve. You don't think having things on your phone a little closer and a little more handy will be a big deal, but then it is. I haven't had this very long and I can already see I'd miss it. This is turning your wrist while typing to see your notifications. It's dictating SMS messages rather than pulling out your phone because it's ten times easier. It's seeing your friend's birthday pop up on your wrist with their profile picture. And it's so logical you'll wonder why it didn't exist before. 

Simply put, Android Wear is a winner, and the LG G Watch is a fine product. I highly recommend getting one.