LG Watch Style on the left, LG Watch Sport on the right
Nearly three years after its launch, a few lessons learned and a few bruises healed, Android Wear is ready to reinvent itself. Google has just officially unveiled Android Wear 2.0, the biggest change to the smartwatch platform, and just like 2014 with the G Watch, it has again partnered with LG for the introduction of the first two Android Wear 2.0 powered watches: the new LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport.
The most powerful Android Wear watch and the first one to have a rotating dial
The two watches make great use of the key new features of Android Wear 2.0: the more informative watch faces, the improved work-outs, new ways to use apps, and more ways to stay connected with your friends and family. And yes, these new watches also support the fast and knowledgeable Google Assistant (the Assistant works with English and German only on the watches, but support for more languages is in the plans for the coming months).
They are also beautifully round and feature a rotating dial, a feature that was so far only available on the Apple Watch.
Just as its name implies, the LG Watch Style is the more formal, more refined of the two. It features an elegant body with a round display and no sight of the annoying deflated tire design of previous round Android Wear watches.
The body is available in three colors: silver, rose gold and titanium, all of which supporting snap-and-swap bands of the smaller, 18mm standard size for bands. The watches launch with a selection of leather and silicone bands that you can swap between to match the style or occasion.
The rotating dial is a key element of the navigation in these watches: you can turn it to scroll through menus, you can push it to bring up the app launcher and you can also use it to quickly summon the Google Assistant.
While the LG Watch Style is thin and elegant, the LG Watch Sport is completely different: big and brutal, it seems like a natural fit for the athletes and the bigger guys out there. It's Android Wear's most powerful watch yet.
The bigger form factor allows LG to put a lot of additional features and functionality in the Watch Sport. While the Watch Style lacks a GPS and a heart-rate monitor, the Sport has both of these for more accurate tracking of your workouts and runs. It also adds NFC that is not present on the Watch Style, and this enables wireless payments.
GPS, heart-rate monitor, NFC and cellular connectivity
There are two additional buttons on the Sport: one dedicated to launching the Google Fit health and fitness tracking app and another one to quick-start Android Pay, a simple yet neat convenience.
What is particularly impressive is that the Watch Sport also comes with cellular connectivity, so you don't actually need to rely on your phone to use it. It is a completely independent watch and you can use it for phone calls and payments, and not worry too much about those times that you forget to take your phone -- you will not miss that important call, you will just get it on your watch.
The LG Watch Sport comes in titanium and dark blue, and is bundled with high performance elastomer band.
LG Watch Style and Sport price and release date
Both the LG Watch Style and Sport will go on sale almost right away, on Friday, February 10th. The LG Watch Style will be sold at Best Buy and on the Google Store, while the LG Watch Sport will be available at AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
The two new watches will also be available in Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, UAE and U.K within weeks.
Rumors peg the price of the LG Watch Style to be $250, while the beefier LG Watch Sport is rumored to cost $350.