Watch out, Cupertino. Because LG, manufacturer of, among other products, a line of smartwatches which work alongside Google Wear, has a luxury, gold-plated wearable hitting the market soon, with the device sporting a comparably reasonable price tag.
The LG Watch Urbane Luxe is a limited edition product with a mere 500 units being made. In the United States, it’ll be sold through REEDS Jewellers and the smartwatch will be priced at just $1,200. We say “just,” of course, because Cupertino’s own luxury smartwatch (which, admittedly, is solid gold rather than gold plated) instead starts at $10,000.
LG’s news is perhaps more significant today than it otherwise would have been, since Google confirmed a few hours ago that Android Wear will soon support Apple’s iOS. Though, as my colleague Jeff Byrnes explained earlier, serious limitations are imposed when users attempt to reconcile the two operating systems.
The app will only provide limited integration between an Android Wear device and your iPhone. For example, while you might get an iMessage or Hangouts notification on your wrist, it won’t be possible to reply straight from the watch. Instead, your smartwatch will prompt you to open the app on your iPhone. This is unfortunate, but it’s probably a necessary limitation to get the app approved by Apple in the first place.
Another serious limitation will be third-party Android Wear apps. They will not make their way to Apple’s mobile operating system, according to Fortune, so users will have to live with the apps Google develops and integrates into Android Wear and the iOS companion app.
The LG Watch Urbane Luxe, according to a recent press release, “is adorned in 23-karat gold and a gorgeous alligator leather strap set in an exclusive piano-gloss lacquer case.” Though, if you ask me, I still think round smartwatches don’t look or feel right.
Given that the Apple Watch has already captured a huge portion of the wearables market (and an even bigger share of smart wearables sales), it’ll be interesting to see how Google Wear develops over the coming years. How do you think the LG Watch Urbane Luxe compares against the Apple Watch?