A Week with the G Watch – Rather Useful

The LG G watch was one of the first few Android wear watch models. There are a number of newer models coming soon but major differences are more on the aesthetic front, with the internal specs across the various watch models to be the same. LG would also be releasing another Android Wear watch soon, the G Watch R, which is one of the two Android Wear watches with a circular face. The other being the Moto 360. So how’s the basic Android Wear G Watch? Here’s some of my impressions after using it for a week.
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Apple Watch – Apple's Next Chapter

It’s no surprise that people pay attention when Apple launches a new product. Just like how the iPhone and iPad revolutionise the phone and tablet market respectively, Apple’s first foray to the wearable market have drawn significant attention.

The iWatch introduces a “digital crown” which acts as a control for the watch. Users can use the dial to interact and control the Watch, while not obscuring the display. You can scroll, zoom or press it to return to the home screen. It’s rather brilliant to leverage on the crown as a control interface as it has always been part of an analog watch mechanism.

However, I wonder how does the watch work for left-handlers who wear their watch on their RIGHT wrist? The crown is in the wrong place!

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Asus releases new ZenWatch

Asus revealed the ZenWatch at IFA 2014, and while it sports the more standard rectangular display, it features a curved 2.5D design (it’s 1.63″, 320×320, 278ppi display sits behind a curved piece of glass for a Gorilla Glass 3). The focus here is on looks – with the curved glass, a stainless back cover, and a tan leather strap with an Asus-labelled buckle. Internals are pretty standard Android Wear-fare, with 4GB storage, 512mb of ram, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. It includes a heart-rate sensor.

The software on the ZenWatch is the standard Android Wear, but would use a version of Asus ZenUI which is customised for wearables. There will also be a number of default Asus ZenUI apps, such as their Wellness feature, which would help users track steps taken, calories burned, exercise duration, heart rate, exercise intensity, and relaxation level. It would be interesting to see what they mean by relaxation level.

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Sony IFA Releases – Xperia Z3, Z3 Tablet, E3, SmartWatch 3, SmartBand Talk and more

Exciting day for Sony as they announced a plethora of new products. The Xperia Z3, the latest addition to Sony’s flagship Z series features a super-slim 7.3mm frame that is thinner, narrower and lighter than before, and also the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, the world’s slimmest and lightest waterproof compact 8″ tablet for ultimate portability. It is only 6.4mm thick and weighs 270g. Focus at IFA this year is about wearables and Sony offers two options, the SmartWatch 3 based on Android Wear, and the Sony SmartBand Talk for the fitness and exercise aficionados.

Sony’s flagship Xperia Z3 has always ranked high on fashion marks thanks to the bold colours and super slim frame and the Z3 continues the trend with a spec upgrade. The Xperia Z3 will be available this year in a new range of colours white, black, copper or silver green. Sony is also quick to address the budget or mid-tier markets with the Xperia E3, which has seen good growth and demand, thanks to entrants such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Asus. The E3 is a simple budget phone with a 4.5″ screen that mirrors its older sibling design but at a budget price. Target availability is in Autumn 2014 with no news on pricing yet.

Lastly, Sony announced the addition of two new products to its SmartWear Experience range, Sony SmartBand Talk and SmartWatch 3. Read More

LG G Watch R – Unveiled!

LG has officially announced the G Watch R. It is more of an alternative to the LG G Watch, as specifications are largely similar except for a few premium features. Notable takeaways: 1.3″ P-OLED [Plastic Organic LED] ROUND display, stainless steel body in matte black, a heart-rate monitor, leather strap, and availability in Quarter 4 for key markets – no news on price and markets yet but perhaps more details would be released after IFA. It would be interesting to see if Singapore remains a key market for LG to launch the G Watch R.

The internal specifications are almost the same as the original G Watch – same Snapdragon 400 CPU, same 4GB of storage, same 512MB of RAM, same IP67 rating, and a slightly larger 410mAh battery (compared to 400mAh in the G Watch). However, the OLED display might help conserve battery. The P-OLED technology could be significant to improve existing limitations of the G Watch (outdoor display) with suggested improved image clarity and quality under bright sunlight. Hence, it appears to be more of an premium model, which could appease existing LG G Watch owners that their model isn’t obsolete yet. The other round watch it is competing against is the Moto G. From a looks perspective, the Moto 360 is bezel free, and has a bigger screen at 1.5 inches. Size may not be that important for a watch but the added trade off is the Moto 360 comes with a cut off screen.

The existing renders and images are of the watch face – which alternates between a model watch interface and one with a chronograph, is pretty nice. LG’s effort, especially with the physical bezel, looks closest to an actual watch, and in an area of technology wearables, fashion choices will be important.

Update: The LG G Watch would be available in Singapore soon, details here.



New Android Wearable First to Feature Full Circle P-OLED Display

SEOUL, Aug. 28, 2014 — Following the June release of one of the first-to-market wearable device powered by Android Wear™, LG Electronics (LG) is quickly expanding its wearable product offerings with the unveiling a new Android Wear device — the LG G Watch R at IFA 2014 in Berlin next week. The LG G Watch R is the world’s first watch-style wearable device to feature a circular Plastic OLED (P-OLED) display and utilizes 100 percent of its watch face.

The most eye-catching feature of the LG G Watch R is its 1.3-inch full circle P-OLED display that produces stunning image clarity even under bright sunlight and superb clarity when viewed from any angle. Powered by a powerful 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, the LG G Watch R offers 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM and a durable 410mAh battery. This Android Wear device will effortlessly run all compatible apps available in the Google Play Store and with an Ingress Protection Rating of IP67, the LG G Watch R is designed to run for up to 30 minutes in one meter of water.

With Android Wear™ at its core, the LG G Watch R delivers essential and relevant information exactly at the right time and place through voice recognition notifications. With a suite of LG health and fitness apps, users can also monitor their heartbeats with the support of the embedded photoplethysmograpgy (PPG) sensor. And the smart notifications provide users with important reminders of missed calls and messages, upcoming meetings, events, and local weather forecasts.

With an artisanal elegance, the LG G Watch R boasts a refined aesthetic that is reminiscent of traditional timepieces. Replete with a circular watch face, this elegantly crafted Android wearable has classic curves encased in a strong, durable stainless steel frame and carries a suite of watch faces that are accessible with a simple touch of the display. Its interchangeable 22mm calf skin leather strap also complements its overall aesthetic, giving it an air of modern prestige.

“What we’ve noticed in the year of the wearable is that this is a category that can’t be compared to smartphones and tablets,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Wearables are also accessories and consumers will want more than one to choose from. So we wanted to complement the modern design of the original G Watch with the classic look of the G Watch R. Customers can’t go wrong with either device.”

The LG G Watch R will be available in key markets early in the fourth quarter of 2014. Prices and details of availability will be announced locally at the time of launch. Visitors to IFA can see LG G Watch R up close in Hall 11.2 of Messe Berlin from September 5-10.

Source: LG Newsroom

Hands on Introduction to the LG G Watch

LG G Watch has been in the market for only a couple of months, I haven’t tried the watch (I’m slow…) and yet there are already rumours for the LG G Watch 2 or dubbed as the LG G Watch R! Rumours are set that the successor to the LG G Watch would be released at IFA next month. It is pretty much a certainty now that LG launched an official teaser video for their next wearable.

Technology trends are pointing towards the stagnation of smart phones with adoption reaching saturation. New potential markets are now the focus as companies start sizing the market and acquisitions and product innovations are heating up in markets such as wearables, virtual reality, etc. Everyone seems to be betting on wearables – just for the upcoming month in September, we expect to see the Moto G Watch, a Smartwatch from Asus, Apple to announce their iWatch, and the LG G Watch successor.

LG offered a hands-on introduction to the G Watch. Thanks to them, I had the chance to satiate my curiosity on the G Watch. A quick overview on the LG G Watch – it is one of the two currently available watches on the Android Wear platform. Android Wear brings easy integration to your existing Google Android phone – it’s having Google Now on your wrist – offering information when Google thinks you need it most. Get messages from your friends, appointment notifications, and weather updates at a glance. In addition, there are a number of apps, watch faces available for download for greater customisation. One such application, the popular IM platform Whatsapp, Android wear app offers complete message preview, stacked notification for those multiple Whatsapp messages so you read them separately, and the ability to reply with a dictated message through your watch.
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A Cheap Activity Tracker – Vidonn X5 Smart Bracelet

Activity tracker bracelets piqued my interest recently. I always thought their typical pricing of $100-$150 was a little too high considering some don’t even have a display and rely completely on smartphone to view your stats. Fitbit Flex and Jawbone Up 24 are pretty much the market leaders but they are just too expensive for me. Thus when I came across the Vidonn X5 smart activity tracker bracelet, it caught my attention due to the promised features and low cost of only US$36.

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