LG Watch Style vs Apple Watch 2: Google has teamed up with LG to deliver the first smartwatches to feature the new Android Wear 2.0 OS. But is it enough to stand out from the might Apple Watch 2? Here’s all you need to know.
The first Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches have arrived in the form of the LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport – both designed in collaboration with Google.
With smartwatches yet to fully enter the mainstream, has Google and LG’s collaboration done enough to finally break the barrier? Well, before we start worrying about that, we might as well compare the LG Watch Style with the Apple Watch 2, right? To do so, here are the burning questions that need tackling:
- How are their designs different?
- Which has the better screen?
- How do they compare for performance and OS?
- When are they released and how much will they cost?
- Which of these smartwatches is best for you?
If you’re desperate to get an answer to that last question, head on down to the summary at the end. Otherwise, let the comparisons begin!
LG WATCH STYLE VS APPLE WATCH 2: HOW ARE THEIR DESIGNS DIFFERENT?
The LG Watch Style has been designed to appeal to those not necessarily interested in all the fitness elements that sportier wearables are (literally) weighed down by. According to LG, it’s a “small, slim and stylish Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch that is cleverly designed for urban trendsetters.”
With its slim design, you should be able to set your “trends” with ease, thanks to the 10.79mm thickness. By comparison, the Apple Watch 2, which comes in a choice of 38mm or 42mm widths, is 11.4mm thick. LG’s offering also comes in three different colour options: Silver, Titanium and Rose Gold, and, like the Apple Watch, allows you to use interchangeable “snap-and-swap” straps.
The Watch Style is built from the same stainless steel as the Apple Watch 2, though you can also get the Apple Watch in a cheaper aluminium version. Unlike Apple’s device, however, the Watch Style is only IP67 rated for waterproofing. That means it’ll survive if you get caught in the rain, but you don’t want to take it swimming with you. The Apple Watch, on the other hand, is water resistant down to 50m, and comes with some swim-tracking software, too.
While the most obvious design difference between the two is the shape of the watch face – circular on the Watch Style, and a rounded rectangle on the Apple Watch – both feature a physical “crown” on the right-hand side.
LG WATCH STYLE VS APPLE WATCH 2: WHICH HAS THE BETTER SCREEN?
As mentioned, the LG Watch Style comes with a circular watch face, which gives it a resolution of 360 x 360 with a pixel density of 299ppi (pixels per inch). That should make for a pretty sharp picture on the 1.2-inch display. Apple’s got LG beat in this department, however – although only slightly. The Apple Watch 42mm comes with a 1.65-inch display with a 390 x 312 resolution and a 303ppi density. That said, the 38mm version of the Apple Watch 2 comes with a lower pixel density of 290ppi.
In reality, there should be very little difference between LG’s and Apple’s smartwatches in terms of display, especially considering that both use OLED technology. That means that each individual pixel emits its own lights, making for better energy efficiency and deeper blacks.
Another slight difference between the two watches is the fact that LG has opted for Gorilla Glass 3 to protect its display, while the Apple has a sapphire crystal.
LG WATCH STYLE VS APPLE WATCH 2: HOW DOES THEIR PERFORMANCE COMPARE?
The big selling point of the LG Watch Style is the fact that, along with the LG Watch Sport, it’s the first smartwatch to come with the newly launched Android Wear 2.0 operating system.
The OS comes with a load of extras including new Complications, which allows third-party apps to display information on the watch face itself. Notifications have been streamlined this time around, too, plus Google’s Material Design has been applied to the whole thing, with the addition of an action and navigation drawer.
Apple’s wearable, on the other hand, runs watchOS 3, which now allows developers to keep their apps in the Apple Watch 2’s memory once opened, meaning they open up many times faster than before. There’s also a ton of new watch faces, and the OS is, overall, a huge improvement over Apple’s previous efforts.
Which you prefer will largely depend on which you’re most used to, and whether you have an iPhone or Android smartphone.
One area that’s easier to compare is the hardware itself. While LG’s wearable comes with a 1.1GHz Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor backed up by 512MB of RAM, Apple’s Apple S2 chipset powers the Apple Watch 2, along with either 512GB or 1GB of RAM (this is yet to be confirmed).
There’s also built-in NFC in the Watch Style, so Android Pay can now be used with the wearable. These specs should make for speedy performance in both cases, although we’re yet to test out the LG Watch Style.
One benefit of using the LG Watch is that you’ll be able to hook it up to either an iPhone or Android smartphone. Here’s what LG has to say about it: “Another improvement which should open the device to a whole new range of potential wearers is that the watch is compatible with iOS. This means you can combine the benefits of an Apple smartphone with the excellence of LG’s cutting-edge wearable device, regardless of which OS your smartphone is running.”
Naturally, Apple wouldn’t ever allow something as useful as that on its own smartwatch, so you’ll need to own an iPhone to make use of the Apple Watch 2.
Here’s a full spec rundown:
|Apple Watch 2 (42mm)||LG Watch Style|
|Display||1.65-inch AMOLED – 390 x 312 pixels (303ppi)||1.2-inch P-OLED – 360 x 360 pixels (299ppi)|
|Size||42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm||42.3 x 45.7 x 10.79mm|
|Chipset||Apple S2||Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 (1.1GHz)|
|Materials||Stainless Steel or Aluminium with Sapphire Crystal glass||316L Stainless Steel and Gorilla Glass 3|
|Straps||Numerous styles available||Italian Genuine Leather straps|
|RAM||512MB or 1GB (TBC)||512MB|
|Battery Size||Non-removable (up to 18 hours – claimed)||240mAh|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS,||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor, Heart-rate Sensor||Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor|
|Colours||Gold, Rose Gold, Space Grey and Silver||Silver, Titanium, Rose Gold|
|Waterproof?||Up to 50 metres||IP67-certified|
LG WATCH STYLE VS APPLE WATCH 2: WHAT’S THEIR RELEASE DATE AND PRICING?
Those of you over in the US will be able to get your hands on the LG Watch Style (and Sport) from February 10 for $249. Just head over to Best Buy or the Google Store to pick up the Style.
LG has also confirmed that customers in the UK, Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and the UAE will be able to purchase both watches at carriers and retailers “in the coming weeks”.
The Apple Watch 2, of course, is already on sale. Prices start at £369/$369, which makes the LG seem very good value indeed.
LG WATCH STYLE VS APPLE WATCH 2: CONCLUSION
If you’re rocking an Android phone, the LG is the obvious choice here. We’re yet to try out the LG Watch Style, so obviously we can’t say for sure whether it’s as good as the Apple, but the LG is the only one of the two to work with both Android and iOS. It seems Google and LG have done a decent job of providing a sleek-looking, functional smartwatch, but at this point it’s too early to say for sure.
iPhone owners and keen swimmers should probably stick with Apple. The Apple Watch 2’s better water resistance makes it more versatile for people who want a smartwatch for both the office and the gym. Also, history tells us that, even though the LG works with iPhones, you’ll get a more seamless experience by sticking to the Apple ecosystem.
We’ll have a more certain conclusion once we’ve got our hands on the LG Watch Style, so stay tuned.