LG targets luxury market with metal smartwatch

LG targets luxury market with metal smartwatch

News: electronics company LG has unveiled an updated version of its G Watch R smartwatch that is designed to look like a luxury timepiece (+ slideshow).

LG Watch Urbane

Like its predecessors, the LG Watch Urbane is a Google Android-powered device that includes a photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor that can measure a wearer's heart rate and average pulse during exercise.

"The LG Watch Urbane's classic design and smart features make it the perfect smartwatch to complement our G Watch and G Watch R, which were designed as more casual and active devices," said Juno Cho, LG president and CEO.

"LG Watch Urbane is an important part of our strategy to develop wearable devices that are worn and viewed as everyday accessories, not electronic gadgets."

LG Watch Urbane

The new design shares many of the G Watch R's features, including the 1.3-inch circular plastic OLED display.

An integrated 9-Axis gyro, accelerometer and compass tracks and records movement, speed and orientation.

LG Watch Urbane

A narrower bezel and thinner profile are designed to make the watch suitable for both men and women.

LG Watch Urbane

The stainless steel body is available in gold or polished silver, with a stitched natural leather wrist strap that can be swapped for other colours and designs.

LG Watch Urbane

"The LG Watch Urbane has all of the hallmarks of a fine watch, making it the perfect fashion accessory," said a statement from LG.

The time is presented by hands and markings like a standard analogue watch, with three smaller circular dials also showing the day, month and remaining battery life.

LG Watch Urbane

Using the ambient "always-on" mode, the time is continually presented in a dimmed fashion to save power.

"Resembling a luxury timepiece, LG combined a classic design and innovative features to add style and convenience to everyday life while raising the already high standards set by its predecessor," said the company.

LG Watch Urbane

A touch-based user interface pairs the watch with smartphones running Android 4.3 and above. Google revealed its Android Wear operating system designed specifically for wearable devices last March.

The LG Watch Urbane will officially launch at this year's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, taking place from 2 to 5 March.

LG Watch Urbane

Its debut will come before the April release of the Apple Watch, which was first unveiled in September with a variety of finishes and interchangeable straps.

Last month, luxury watch brand Montblanc entered the wearable technology market but choose to add a device to its straps instead of turning its analogue timepieces into smartwatches.