Beating Motorola to the circular punch, LG has decided to unveil its teased smartwatch even before IFA 2014 formally starts. The G Watch R is pretty much what you have heard it to be, a round-faced Android Wear smartwatch that is designed to be as stylish as it is functional.
In terms of specs, the G Watch R is mostly the same as the first G Watch unveiled at Google I/O 2014. Both run on a 1.2 GHz (dual-core) Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, have 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal storage. There are two key differences in terms of internal components. First is that the battery of the G Watch R is slightly higher at 410 mAh. More interesting, however, is the addition of a photoplethysmography sensor, used for monitoring heartrate, a feature that only the Samsung Gear Live had when it launched.
Of course the real star of the show here is the redesigned watch face, from square (or rectangle if you prefer) to round. The 1.3-inch 320x320 display is noted to use Plastic OLED (P-OLED) technology to make viewable in bright sunlight or from any angle. Android Wear fans shouldn't worry too much about this new display shape since the Moto 360 has proven that the wearable OS is capable of handling that form factor too. One critical thing that makes LG's version special is that the display utilizes the whole area of the watch face, unlike the occluded portion in Motorola's smartwatch.
With a more conventional looking form, the LG G Watch R is clearly design to look premium and stylish. That said, if you prefer something else that fits your own fashion sense, you can swap out the 22 mm leather strap with something more to your taste. For those of more rugged proclivities, the smartwatch boasts of IP67 rating, making it dust proof and water proof, for up to 30 minutes in a meter of water.
The LG G Watch R will be available in the last quarter of the year, no exact date or price given yet. Of course, it will first turn up in LG's space at IFA 2014 in Berlin next week, where it will face off with other new smartwatches, and in particular the Moto 360 that is clearly its chosen rival.