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.
However, in a crazy turnaround, the Watch Urbane 2 LTE went on sale in the US, via ATT 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 ATT.
Essential reading: Top smartwatches for 2016
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
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”.
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
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 ATT 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.