PROS / This smartwatch has an impressive 410-mAh battery.
CONS / The Watch Urbane lacks an ambient light sensor and can't automatically adjust its brightness.
VERDICT / LG took a different stylistic approach than several other smartwatch manufacturers, which is great, but the Watch Urbane is large and awkward-looking. It still performs well, has a bright screen and runs the latest version of Android Wear though.
Since the iPhone was released, many smartphone manufacturers have played it safe and made similar-styled devices with the same form. Some argue it's because the design works, others say it's because that's what consumers want. Currently, Android Wear smartwatches are facing a similar trend. Most smartwatches are round, stainless steel and have similar-tiered specs.
Enter the LG Watch Urbane: This watch is big, bold and breaks the mold. The Urbane watchcase is about a half-inch thick and weighs 2.3 ounces. This round-faced watch comes in gold or silver and features a thick, stitched leather strap in black or brown. It seems like LG is going for the oversized watch trend that became popular in the mid-2000s. We appreciate LG's attempt to try something new and different, but it just doesn't work.
This smartwatch is a step back from the company's G Watch R, our previous Silver Award winner, which has since been discontinued. The Urbane, which runs the latest version of Android Wear, looks like a cheap cross between an OMEGA and TAG Heuer watch. The Urbane would just look downright silly on a woman's wrist. Everyone's taste is different, though; you may actually like the look of this smartwatch, especially if you like big, flashy jewelry. After all, style is a relative term that varies person to person. We just think there are better-looking smartwatches available.
Spec-wise, the Urbane has one of the biggest batteries for a smartwatch, 410 mAh, so you can get almost two days of use. It has a 1.3-inch, 320 by 320 pixel resolution display and is pretty bright. Since it lacks an ambient light sensor, you'll have to adjust brightness manually throughout the day. Fortunately, the watch has an always-on screen so you can check the time without having to unlock the watch, like you have to do with some others. This watch does have a heart rate sensor, and if you can get over its gigantic size, you can also use it to track your workout.
The LG Watch Urbane is solid, in the sense that it is well made. It has a good battery life, runs the latest version of Android Wear and has a bright screen. However, it lacks an ambient light sensor, is chunky and will probably be too big for most people.