LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition: Everything you need to know

LG's fourth Android Wear smartwatch offers 3G and 4G coverage and calls on the go

Spotted amongst Google's press materials at its big Android event back in September 2015 were details of an LG smartwatch, claiming to be the first Android Wear device with "cellular capability". That device become official a month later - called the LG Watch Urbane Second Edition LTE.

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However, in a crazy turnaround, the Watch Urbane 2 LTE went on sale in the US, via AT&T and Verizon, but was cancelled with no timeline for it to go on sale again. This was down to an unspecified hardware issue.

Fast forward a few months and the Urbane 2 is now available, again, to pre-order through AT&T.

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Confused? Don't be - here's everything we know about the next-gen LG Watch Urbane...

LG Watch Urbane 2: Design and battery

The stainless steel Second Edition is 44.5mm in diameter - with a thickness of 14.2mm. That's more than 3mm chunkier than the original Urbane - although we'll forgive LG for the extra heft as the battery has been boosted from 410mAh to a whopping 570mAh. You'll need all that extra juice if you plan on using your smartwatch as a calling device.

The hardware setup is a bit different to the usual Android smartwatch arrangement. The new LG watch has three buttons on the right side to provide quick access to things like contacts, LG Health and the apps list. A quick press of the crown button fires up the new Ambient mode, which is designed to extend the battery life.

The strap is a durable, hypoallergenic TPSiV elastomer band and there are four different colour variations: Space Black / Opal Blue / Luxe White / Signature Brown.

LG Watch Urbane 2: Tether-free action

LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition review

The 3G/4G connectivity is a first for Google's smartwatch platform. It's a seismic shift for Android Wear, and a big deal for LG too, which has seen the likes of Huawei and Motorola launch chic new smartwatches that compete with its own, original, Urbane.

The new functionality comes courtesy of Marshmallow, the latest Android Wear update, which is coming to rival smartwatches "in the coming months".

Like the Tizen-powered Samsung Gear S2, the Urbane 2nd Edition LTE uses AT&T's NumberSync tech. NumberSync redirects calls and texts to your smartwatch, using your existing phone number.

You can read and respond to text messages, make and answer phone calls, and even listen to your voice messages. You don't need to be linked to a phone using Bluetooth.

LG Watch Urbane 2: Hardware

LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition review

The display on the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition has also been improved. It's a 1.38-inch full circle P-OLED, 480 x 480, one - that's an impressively sharp 348ppi.

Running courtesy of a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 768MB of RAM, the 2nd Edition Urbane packs the usual Android Wear 4GB storage.

An optical heart rate monitor is built in which ties in to the new LG fitness features such as guided workouts and stress-level monitoring.

LG Watch Urbane 2: Price and release date

The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition was set to be launching in the US and Korea first, in November 2015, followed by markets in Europe, CIS, Asia and the Middle East. US customers were able to buy it from AT&T and Verizon.

But - as we mentioned above and in this dedicated story - this smartwatch was cancelled due to hardware issues.

It's now available to pre-order again, costing $199.99 with a 2-year smartphone deal, or $359.99 without, or $99.99 with the new LG G5 phone.

Shipping is set for the end of March.

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  • sobriquet·

    A new version of Android Wear with a bevvy of new features, apparently. Hardware shortcuts (hopefully customisable), LTE, calling (a speaker?) and, finally, call control from your watch (i.e. the ability to hang up from your wrist). How exciting. Why did this not come up before?

    • AntDX316·

      I just got this and the 480x480 screen is exactly what I want.  Samsung decided to keep the same screen resolution on the S3 that didn't even come out yet.  This is OLED.  LG does things right allowing you to run everything w/o power saver mode like other companies.  With the StayLit Wear app I can decide when and when not to do "ambient" mode.

  • harlizzle·

    why do these manufacturers keep doing these stupid proprietary watch band designs? 

    • MountainKing·

      Call quality. Can't get antennas for good enough call quality into just the watchcase. There are more fashionable alternatives if you don't want/need standalone calling features.

      It would be nice if they made some additional bands available. I think I'd be alright with the black band for the option to go phoneless. I'm a physicist though. So we're not exactly known for our fashion concerns.

      • DistortStatic·

        Except the Gear S2 has good call quality and replaceable bands.

      • wesmw·

        Do you know if the LTE antenna is in the band as well or do they use a short enough frequency to put it in the watch? Don't need calling but I would like LTE and a decent looking band.

  • Anthony·

    I'd love to know if it'll have a GPS this time around.

  • Vitalicus·

    fuck spamers !!

  • yogibimbi·

    I propose we lock Nixon's and LG's smart people into a little room with all the necessary equipment and tell them not to come out until they have successfully merged all the specs from The Mission and the Urbane 2.

  • Sorin·

    Could you confirm if the available LG wathc urbane 2nd edition will have GPS?

    • BBFan9580·

      Yes, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE is equipped with a GPS.

  • 53853960050804·

    WTF happened to STANDALONE?!  If it's dependant on my phone then this isn't something new, it isn't groundbreaking or something that should cost $349 especially after it pulled then last winter.  What are they thinking?  You mean Call forwarding technology? Pff what a disappointment.

    • JohnH·

      It does work stand alone. The watch has its own phone number and LTE cell service.

      Using number sync you can take calls on the watch from your existing cell number , and this works very nicely. Both the watch and my phone ring and I can take the call on either. This also seems to greatly enhance the functionality of this device when paired with an IPhone.

      I have the previous iteration of this (recalled) and it was very limited with what I can do when paired to IPhone - I could see txt messages but not reply etc. Now I am able to read them and reply (voice) . Not sure if that is a function of updated android wear for IOS or because of number sync, but it works well. - Still no Wifi functionality if you are on IOS, but it is available when paired to android.

      All in all I like this very much - the only complaint is the battery life still - you might get a full day out of it, but not much more.

      • TurningPoint·

        Have you been able to make and receive call audio from the watch on a Bluetooth headset? I hope so, because on the first release this was not possible. When receiving a call the audio was routed through the watch speaker only.

        • mdw1995·

          The updated build in the new version of the watch is capable of making calls with a bluetooth headset.  The original watch (which I have) also received the update and now I can make bluetooth calls.

  • btygte·

    Can you buy this at AT&T full retail and use on a Verizon phone just as bluetooth? Anyone know for 100% sure you can.

    • tcbinsc·

      Yes...My GF just upgraded her phone with ATT today and bought me the watch for 199. as she had to extend her contract anyway to get her upgrade.  Paired it via bluetooth with my Verizon Droid Turbo.  She bought it because it said it would work with any android phone.  Was touch and go for the first hour as it comes with no manual...ATT tech support tried to help and finally connected me with LG support (have to go to LG and download it).  LG was no help except to email me the manual.  The lady told me it wasn't compatible with my phone as my bluetooth was 4.0 and this watch, according to her needed a minimum of bluetooth 4.1.  After about 20 minutes with the manual I was receiving texts and responding and took a call.  Still haven't figured out how to make a call successfully but love it and it looks and feels like a bottom end TAG or other Swiss watch.  Thinking about jumping on my GF's plan to get the stand alone features.  Hope this answered your question.

  • jc3513·

    It does work stand alone....the down side is that when not tethered to phone via BT the user cannot initiate text messaging via "Ok Google". You can however click a few times and then dictate a message and it will send properly. Took me a few days to figure that out. No GPS w/o BT though.

    • mdw1995·

      I have had this watch since November and I can use Ok Google when tethered through BT, WiFi or Cell data.  I have also used it to track my runs for the last 4 months with GPS using the Wear GPS app to get a lock, then Endomondo or Ghostracer to track my runs.  Also, the original watch received the update to bring it up to speed with the new release and now I can make calls with a bluetooth headset which I couldn't do before.

      • mdw1995·

        Forgot to add that I am not an ATT customer so I don't have access to NumberSync so I just forward my calls to my watch's number.  Since I am paired through cell data when I leave the phone in the car during runs I can still send/receive texts to/from my phone number.

        • TurningPoint·

          Thank you very much for the info! That was exactly what I was trying to find out yet no reps could answer the question.

        • JRS234·

          Hi there! Could you please provide a little more info? I own the watch as well(bought it full price outright from AT&T) and i too am not a AT&T customer. How did you foward the calls to the number on your watch? Did you use a different sim card in the watch itself? Are you still using the same sim card that came with the watch?(The AT&T one i mean). Also how do you pair the watch with your phone via cellular data? Thanks! Your help would really be appreciated.

          • mdw1995·

            A bit late on the response, but I do not use the AT&T SIM that came with the watch. The watch is unlocked and I'm using a Truphone SIM in mine. I've never had AT&T service on the phone or watch. You can either forward calls to the watch using your regular call forward settings in your phone or under settings>cellular in the watch there is a 'call forwarding' option. If you have numbersync activated with AT&T, I'm not sure if this call forwarding option appears. 

            Pairing through cell data is similar to Wi-Fi. The phone still needs to be on and connected to a data source (mobile or Wi-Fi) and the watch is connected to data when cellular radio is turned on (if you have an active SIM). In the Android Wear app on the phone, 'cloud sync' needs to be on (same for pairing through Wi-Fi).

  • rwctk·

    Just got the watch and works well.  The band is awful.  Does anybody know if it can be changed.  It appears to have small star screws holding it in place.

  • kkkao·

    i buy one today! its not work with my iPhone 6 plus (only phone call function)

  • RSJ·

    I am on my second one in two weeks.  They cannot seem to keep it working longer than five days

  • Perp·

    This watch is ridiculous expensive, almost same price as the smartphone flagships, really? I've started to believe that the recall  was some kind of marketing strategy to push the price. 

  • jonfernando·

    LG Watches are now on sale only at SmartwatchOffers;com

  • chintanvyas·

    when is this launching in India?

  • EdSparker·

    I bought the LG Urbane 2 smartwatch and it was a lemon.  It has been sent back for service 3 times without resolution.  LG has very poor repair service.  Screen is "pixelated" and unreadable.  LG repair cannot identify and fix the problem.  The could care less and just require to send it back again and again.  The quality and reliability of this product is suspect.

  • bevwatch·

    how do you set the volume on the watch??

  • ymeric·

    I have been using this watch since first week it was on sale. I love it and got compliments all the time. It is a good looking watch with reasonable price, super nice screen and lots of features. Unfortunately I had a problem with wristband though. I used it when I was playing volleyball with friends and after couple of months the wristband broke! One of the connection points were torn into peaces and I had to super glue it as I can't buy a replacement wristband! How ridiculous and most probably illegal is that! A company must provide spare parts for a product it actively sells in a huge market. And now on top of all both band holders broke into peaces and I can't wear the watch until I find a way to replace the band holders or wristband. So my super cool watch sleeps thanks to LG's poor support.