LG G Watch First Impressions

A few days ago, a coworker stopped by my desk and dropped off an LG G Watch to play with for a few weeks. It’s known around the office that I love my Pebble, but I’d also mentioned that I’d like to check out Android Wear at some point as well. Now that I’ve had a chance to set it up and tinker a bit, here’s my rough first impressions:

I can haz #androidwear

A post shared by Ricky Cadden (@rcadden) on

Hardware

The LG G Watch is bigger than my Pebble, but mainly in width, it seems. It’s much more square, whereas my original Pebble is more of a rectangle. It also doesn’t have any buttons, which I found really disconcerting at first. The display is nice, unless you’re outside, in which case it’s useless. But we knew that.

The strap is complete garbage, but we knew that already as well. To be honest, though, I’d MUCH prefer a company bundle a cheap strap and give me the freedom to choose my own aftermarket strap, as opposed to including the cost of a higher quality strap in the cost of the watch.

Software

Android Wear is essentially a beefed up Google Now, on your wrist. You get ‘cards’ in your ‘stream’ that coordinate to the notifications on your phone. The official Android Wear app has a blacklist feature that allows you to NOT receive notifications for specific apps on your watch, and has a few other basic options.

The most annoying thing that I’ve noticed thus far is that when you dismiss something on Android Wear, it also dismisses it on your phone. This is a great way to forget to respond to emails and text messages, at least for me, since I’m used to Pebble, where notification dismissals aren’t synced.

Another interesting note is that, by default, you can’t easily just call-up a specific app. You have to dig around in the settings, or use voice control and hope you remember the name of the app. There are some apps that I can’t seem to call up on command, either. I did install a launcher, but there are still some things that I can’t seem to initiate from the watch itself.

I’m still getting used to it – in fact, I get to travel this week, so I’ll have a chance to try out some of the more out-of-the-box features, like hailing an Uber, checking in for my flight, etc. I’m interested to see how that fares.

What do you want to see from smartwatches?

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