October 1, 2015
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LG just announced the steel-bound V10, but that’s not the only ferrous beauty coming from the Korean company today: the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition brings a classy look and cellular connectivity – a first for the Android Wear ecosystem.

We had the opportunity to check out the Urbane 2nd Edition, with a caveat: we couldn’t play with the software at all. With this warning out of the way, here’s our first look at the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition.

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Design and functionality

While the Urbane 2nd Edition is the first Android Wear watch with cellular connectivity, LG has dabbled with the concept before, on the webOS-powered Watch Urbane LTE. There is where the Urbane 2nd Edition takes most of its design cues, and, in particular, the three buttons on the side.

The Urbane 2nd Edition is definitely more sportsy than the Watch Urbane, especially when you choose one of the rubber bands. There will be several bands options available, but you won’t be able to use a standard one, because the bands incorporate the antennas required for cellular connectivity.

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The watch is thick compared to other wearables, but it doesn’t look too large and it’s quite comfortable even on my tiny wrists, thanks to the curved bands.

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The color accents of the buttons match the band, which is a nice touch. The top button allows you to bring up your favorite contacts, the main one has the typical Android Wear functionality, while tapping the bottom button will open up LG’s Health up. The device can monitor your heart rate, workout intensity, and stress levels, though we suspect the latter two features are based on simple readings of the heart rate.

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Hardware features and connectivity

The Watch Urbane 2nd Edition packs the best specs on any Android Wear smartwatch to date. These include a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 SoC, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, and GPS. The display is 1.38 inches with a 480 x 480 pixels resolution, for an excellent 348ppi; for comparison, the next best display is on the Huawei Watch, at 400×400 pixels.

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The battery is much larger than the norm as well. At 570 mAh, it’s almost double what you get on the Huawei Watch or the Tizen-powered Gear S2. Of course, the LTE/3G modem will consume a lot of that power, but LG claims the Urbane 2nd Edition should be good for a full day of use, or more.

You will be able to connect to the internet wirelessly from anywhere in the world. The LTE/3G device takes a nano-SIM and should work with many carriers. More details will be offered when the device launches in the US.

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Software?

It appears that LG has announced the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition before Google has finalized the latest Android Wear version needed to enable the new features on the device. That’s likely the reason we weren’t allowed to shoot the software during our briefing. That said, an announcement from Google is probably imminent.

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Wrap up

LG is really stepping it up with the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, which joins a growing collection of beautiful Android Wear smartwatches of mostly circular design. We’ll need to wait for the Android Wear update and a test of the cellular support before offering our verdict, but signs are pretty encouraging.

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