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June 27, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:35am

Everything you need to know about the LG G and Gear Live smartwatches

The specs, the competition and what other people have said.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Google released the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live at its I/O developers’ conference in San Francisco this week.

CBR tells you five things you need to know about the latest specs, availability, competitors and reviews.

1. Design

LG’s model, first introduced in March, and Samsung’s Gear Live weigh 63g and 59g respectively, and both have rectangular faces.

Running both on the Android Wear operating system, the Gear Live measures in at 37.9mm x 56.4mm x 8.9mm, which is thinner than the LG G’s dimension at 37.9mm x 46.5 x 9.95mm.

Both watches come with removable stainless steel straps, which include titan black and white gold for the G Watch it claims are ‘easily cleanable’, and red or black for the Gear Live.

The Gear Live has a higher resolution of 320×320 and uses Super AMOLED technology compared to the G Watch’s 280×280 screen, which uses in-plane switching technology (IPS).

Although both watches are powered by a 1.2GHz processor, Samsung did not specify the type, while LG G said it uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400.

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Gear Live has up to 300mAh of battery life, while LG has more with 400mAH, but both batteries should last about a day, according to LG and Samsung.

They’re also dustproof and water-resistant, meaning they can sit in 1m of water for 30 minutes, and feature the same 4GB of integrated storage and 512MB of RAM as well as Bluetooth 4.0 LE.

2. Application

The watches are supposed to act as a companion device for an Android phone running the Android 4.3 operating system and higher. Calls can be taken via the wrist, while the screen notifies users on incoming emails, phone calls, text messages and social media updates without having to check their phone.

Voice commands are also included thanks to the Android Wear platform, allowing users to ask questions or make orders after they say "Ok Google". Similar to personal assistant Google Now, you can read and dictate messages and check facts on Google’s database.

Although there’s no camera, a ‘Do not disturb’ option disables notifications for set periods of time, and users can also control music for their smartphones from the watches.

There’s an extra built-in heart rate monitor for the Gear Live that tracks and shows your heart rate, with an accelerometer inside it that tracks your steps.

The full Android Wear software developing kit is also available to developers so more apps will be available to users on the watches’ release.









LG G; Photo source: LG

3. Competition

LG and Gear Live join as the market for smartwatch technology grows increasingly competitive. In the next three years, it could skyrocket to $30-$50bn as hardware improves and sensors and batteries get better, according to a report by Credit Suisse released earlier this year.

The likes of $249 Pebble Steel, Meta, Omate’s TrueSmart and Sony’s SmartWatch 2 are all trying to stake a claim. And of course there’s Apple, whose iWatch is also rumoured to be big on fitness, and Microsoft, which are expected to enter the market later this year.

Samsung is apparently ruling the smartwatch space, having already shipped 500,000 devices this year, according to figures by Strategy Analytics, excluding sales of the latest Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit.

4. What do people say about them?

Although the watches have not yet been released, Gizmodo’s Mario Aguilar said: "The G Watch’s rectangular display feels like a slab compared to the newly announced Samsung Gear Live. It sits relatively flatly on your wrist, and barely tries to conform to the organic shape of your body."

"But after just a few moments with the hardware, I think it might just prove that smartwatches can be useful."

Vanessa Friedman, from the New York Times, said while the LG G is "the slicker, more fasion-y of the two", both watches "definitely have not bridged the fashion gap".

"Bridging the fashion gap is part of what makes the difference between a niche product and a must-have," she said.

5. Price

The G Watch is priced at $229 in the US but £159 in the UK and will initially be made available to 12 countries France, Germany and Japan, while Gear Live costs $199 in the US and £169 in the UK

They’re both available to pre-order on the Google Play Store before hitting stores on 7 July.

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