Google is rolling out a major update to its operating system for smartwatches and, as expected, the company is also introducing two new watches which will be the first to ship with Android Wear 2.0 pre-installed.
The LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport were both designed by LG in partnership with Google, much the same way that Nexus devices have been in the past.
LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport
The new watches are expected to go on sale in the US starting February 10th at the Google Store and other outlets including Best Buy, AT&T, and Verizon. They’re also coming to other markets around the globe “in the coming weeks.”
The LG Watch Style is a thinner model with an 18mm watch band, while the LG Watch Sport is a bigger, more powerful model with NFC for contactless payments, GPS for navigation and activity tracking, and a heart rate sensor.
The LG Watch Sport also includes rotating power button that allows you to find and launch apps.
LG’s Watch Sport features a 1.4 inch, 480 x 480 pixel plastic OLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and a 430 mAh battery. It has an IP68 water resistance rating.
The LG Watch Sport is a 4G LTE compatible device that will sell for about $380 without a contract, or for a bit less when you sign up for a wireless plan.
The Watch Style, meanwhile, has a 1.2 inch, 360 x 360 pixel POLE display, a Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip, 512MB of RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 240 mAh battery. It’s IP67 rated for water resistance. This model sells for $249 and up.
Android Wear 2.0
While LG’s new watches are the first to ship with the latest version of Android Wear, a number of existing watches will get the new software through an update rolling out soon.
Supported models include LG’s older Watch Urbane line of smartwatches, the 2nd-gen Moto 360, the Asus ZenWatch 2 and 3, the Huawei Watch, and the Fossil Q line of watches.
New features include the ability to download and install apps using the Play Store on your watch rather than on a paired phone. Watches with cellular capabilities can now make phone calls, even if you phone isn’t nearby. And there’s built-in support for Google Assistant.
Google has also added smart replies for messages, as well as an on-screen keyboard and handwriting recognition, allowing you to more easily enter text on a smartwatch.
And if you have a device with NFC, you can now use Android Pay to make payments at any location that supports the platform.