The LG G Watch R is available in Australia starting today for a cool RRP of $359 from JB HiFi, Optus and Harvey Norman. That price puts it a bit above the $329 of Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch, which launched here just last week.
LG’s not concerned. There’s a lot of confidence coming out of the South Korean manufacturer in favour of what it considers to be the superior device. That’s exactly what you’d expect to hear, but LG might have a point, for some users.
The G Watch R is the only wearable on the market right now with a fully round display. The Moto 360 looks round, but its screen has a small flat bezel at the bottom that is almost undetectable if you use a black watch-face, but becomes pretty obvious once you get in to the white card-based Android Wear operating system.
LG’s tactic was to go for a round screen at the expense of a totally circular form-factor. Housing around the edge of the screen allows for the unbroken 360 degree display. As such the two watches have distinctly different appearances. This is a good thing, because it means they'll appeal to different users.
It's all about the looks
We’re yet to actually get our hands on either device. Moto 360 review units are few and far between, and while we have a G Watch R on the way it hasn’t turned up just yet. Barring any unforeseen major issues, such as daytime visibility problems or a catastrophic lack of battery, the G Watch R and Moto 360 should function almost identically for daily use.
The real reason you’ll be going for either one over the other is the look. Fashion is a primary driver behind any wearable purchase – smart tech or otherwise. Anything you wear in plain view of everyone will need to match your own sense of personal style.
The G Watch R is a more casual affair. Its chunky design is reminiscent of something like the Tag Heuer Grand Carrera – a sporty timepiece for people that like adjustable minute marks and flashy cars.
The Moto 360 is a more reserved piece of kit. It wouldn’t be out of place at a business meeting or dinner party, or half hidden behind a tweed cuff.
If they both looked similar then it’d be boring comparison between two almost identical devices – except that one was a bit cheaper. With both LG and Moto going for a different end of the fashion market we should hopefully see both these gadgets get their fair share of attention.