​LG Watch Urbane LTE: Everything you need to know about the 4G smartwatch

New Urbane is first LTE smartwatch and ditches Android Wear
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The LG Watch Urbane smartwatch was shown off at MWC in February and turned more heads than its Android Wear counterpart. The Urbane LTE isn't the smartwatch LG will be focusing on in 2015 but that doesn't mean it's not extremely interesting.

Hands on: LG Watch Urbane LTE review

Here's what you need to know about the stylish 4G smartwatch, with all the important spec, price and release date details.

LG Watch Urbane LTE: Design and build

Even more so than the regular LG Watch Urbane, the LTE looks and feels like a well-made mens' wristwatch. The combination of the slightly larger, chunkier size and the three physical buttons on the right hand edge make it less unisex than the Urbane.

Essential reading: The top smartwatches

This stainless steel smartwatch only comes in one muted silver finish, too, unlike the shinier gold and silver finishes of the Watch Urbane. It's not just pretty, though, it's also dust and water resistant to IP67, an identical rating to its smartwatch sibling.

Another difference is the fixed clasp and textured, rubberised band - it's more rigid and masculine than the leather straps, with stitching, that are come with the Watch Urbane. One more thing - this thing is heavy at 115g, in part due to its huge 700mAh battery, but this does in fact add to its premium appeal.

LG Watch Urbane LTE: Display


LG seems pretty happy with the technology it used for the G Watch R because the Watch Urbane LTE sticks with the great 1.3-inch 320 x 320 POLED screen. It's the right choice because it's one of the best smartwatch screens we've used - easy to read indoors and out.

As with the other models, LG disguises the fact that the bezels around the actual display are quite large with a traditional dial to break up the design. With an analogue watchface on there, no-one will suspect it's a smartwatch.

LG Watch Urbane LTE: Yep, it has 4G

The LG Watch Urbane LTE, as you may have gleaned from the name, packs 4G connectivity, which means that it can make voice calls and maintain its own data connection, away from a paired smartphone, if you slot a nanoSIM into the watch.

The LTE enables voice calling, foreign speech translation and a 'walkie-talkie' feature that lets multiple people speak at the same time, which is pretty neat.

LG reckons it's the first LTE smartwatch on the market and NFC is also onboard for standalone mobile wallet payments.

LG Watch Urbane LTE: webOS


However, unlike the LG Watch Urbane, the LTE version ditches Android Wear, in favour of a proprietary OS.

Now, we know what you're thinking. It's the smartwatch version of webOS that appeared back at CES in the Audi partnership – and they do look identical. Well, that's what we thought, and we're all wrong. LG already confirmed that webOS isn't on board. Officially, at least - it's a fork of the former Palm-owned software.

LG is referring to it as its Wearable Platform OS and though it still relies on some touchscreen swiping, it's a bit of a beaut. Apps and functions appear as coloured icons in semi-circle carousel that's perfectly placed for navigating when the watch is on your wrist. It's bold and intuitive from our brief hands on play with the operating system.

Those buttons also serve real function too - the top one accesses the Quick Settings menu for battery life, brightness and connection settings, the middle button switches between the watchface and installed apps and the bottom button acts as both a back button if quick pressed but also an emergency alarm. If held down, it can be preset to call a phone number and send your GPS location.

LG Watch Urbane LTE: Fitness features

As if that wasn't enough, there's also GPS, which could give it some decent sports credentials despite its heft.

There's a built-in heart rate monitor, of course, like the G Watch R and it sounds like there will be pre-installed apps for cyclists, golfers and hikers though we don't have any more details on those yet - just that they will be 'specialised features'.

LG Watch Urbane LTE: Battery life


In terms of specs, the LG Watch Urbane LTE gets a big boost over its Android Wear brethren.

There's a 700mAh battery on board, which is massive for a smartwatch, and dwarves the 410mAh cell on the original Urbane. It's also got 1GB of RAM, double that of its sibling.

LG Watch Urbane LTE: Price, release date

The LG Watch Urbane LTE is available in Korea priced at 650,000 won - that's about $600. Pricey.

However, here's where things might get a little disappointing. Even at MWC, there were no firm release dates for the Watch Urbane LTE outside of its homeland with LG execs dropping hints that we shouldn't expect a huge, global release for the smartwatch.

Unlike the mainstream Watch Urbane, this could end up being a luxe, limited edition bit of kit but we'll keep you posted.

TAGGED Smartwatches

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Paul Lamkin


Wareable Media Group co-CEO Paul launched Wareable with James Stables in 2014, after working for a variety of the UK's biggest and best consumer tech publications including Pocket-lint, Forbes, Electric Pig, Tech Digest, What Laptop, T3 and has been a judge for the TechRadar Awards. 

Prior to founding Wareable, and subsequently The Ambient, he was the senior editor of MSN Tech and has written for a range of publications.

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