The LG Watch Sport sounded the sirens for Android Wear 2.0's grand arrival, and to date remains one of the best smartwatches of the bunch. It was joined by its more dressed-up sibling, the LG Watch Style, but the Sport is filled with more features and better angled at fitness lovers.
It's a bit of a beast, but you also get the option of standalone LTE, giving you the added freedom of staying connected without a smartphone. If you've decided the Watch Sport is the smartwatch for you, here are some tips and tricks for getting a bit more out of it.
Read this: LG Watch Sport review
From customising and streamlining the experience to eeking out a bit more battery, these should help you make the most of your new wrist companion. And when you're done here, be sure to check out our guide of Android Wear tips and tricks for even more handy hints.
Assign those buttons
Chances are, you have a few go-to apps and features on your smartwatch. For us, it's Android Pay and our calendar, and you can also put some of these into complications. But your screen can only be so full, which is why it's worth assigning some got-to apps to the watch's side buttons. To do so, head into Settings > Personalization and scroll down to Customize Hardware Buttons. The bottom one is set as Android Pay by default, and honestly, we'd recommend keeping it - minimises risk of embarrassment when you're paying the store cashier.
Set up Android Pay
Not many of the Android Wear smartwatches support Android Pay - even some of the newer models - because they lack an NFC chip. But the LG Watch Sport does, so you might as well make the most of it. We've got the full lowdown on setting up Android Pay, but you'll find it in your app menu. All you need to do is assign a card (which will need to be verified by your bank - doesn't take long) and set up either a pin or pattern lock. From then on, you'll be able to use your wrist to pay for goods on any NFC terminal.
Sync up your number
If you're using the LG Watch Sport with an AT&T SIM, you can take advantage of the network's NumberSync feature which - as the name suggests - shares your smartphone number with your watch, meaning you'll get any calls and messages sent to your phone on your watch too - even if they're untethered. Verizon has a similar feature called Message+, if you're on that network instead.
You will get a prompt during initial setup for these, and it will just require you verifying your number to pair the two. Speaking of which, you'll find a tool in the box that removed the back of the smartwatch, letting you add or replace the tiny SIM card.
Access your favourite apps faster
One we've mentioned in our Android Wear tips, but a super useful tip. By holding your finger down on any of the app icons in your dock, you can 'Favorite' them, meaning they'll stay pinned at the top of the list. Long-press them again to un-fav. Of course, another way of getting to apps faster is to add them as complications to your watch face, another new benefit of Wear 2.0.
Save precious battery
There are many ways to reduce battery. For one, you can cut down on screen brightness by going into Settings > Display and turning off auto-brightness by selecting a fixed brightness. You can also turn off the cellular connection (especially if you're not paying for the service) by heading to Settings > Connectivity > Cellular and toggling it off.
Another hot tip: swipe down on the clock face and tap the tiny watch icon to enter Theater Mode, which shuts off the display completely until you hit the power button. This will earn you a bit of extra juice (and stops your watch being a distraction in the cinema).
Access Google Now
With Wear 2.0, Google is relying more on voice with Google Assistant and less on the Now cards, but if you still want to see your Google Now feed you can find it in the apps. Just go right to the bottom and tap on 'Your feed'. This is a general tip for all Wear 2.0 users, but one worth mentioning here.
Keep the HR sensor locked
This might seem an obvious one, but it bears highlighting. Wrist-based heart rate monitors still can't quite match the chest strap gold standard, but the LG Watch Sport's HR sensor is decent. It's not so good, however, if you're not wearing it right. When it comes to running or other high-intensity workouts, make sure the Sport is as snug against your wrist as possible with minimum space for movement. This will ensure the sensor keeps a good lock on those bpm readings and maximises the accuracy.
Round and round we go
With Android Wear 2.0 comes support for rotational input, and LG is taking advantage of this out of the gate with the Sport, adding a rotating crown similar to the one you'll find on the Apple Watch. It makes itself pretty obvious, but our tip is to try using it for different apps, as well as for general navigation around the OS - especially if you're an old hand at Android Wear who's used to doing everything by touching the screen. On Maps, for example, the rotating crown makes zooming in and out feel more intuitive, and means you're not blocking any of the screen with your pudgy digits.
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