New report says Google watches made by LG, to be released Feb. 9

New report says Google watches made by LG, to be released Feb. 9

Hot on the heels of revealing that Google is planning to launch Android Wear 2.0 on Feb. 9, a VentureBeat report by Evan Blass has now completely removed the veil from Google’s first wearables. According to the ever-reliable tipster, the watches will be made by LG and are set to make their debut in a matter of weeks alongside the release of the new OS.

Much as Apple sells two sizes of its watch, Google and LG are reportedly set to release Sport and Style variations of their new wearable, with the latter aimed at smaller wrists. According to the report, the larger model will clock in at 1.38 inches and sport a 480x480 screen, as compared to the Style’s 1.2-inch, 360x360 display. Additionally, Blass reports that the Sport will also have 768MB of RAM, (versus 512MB on the Style), as well as a much larger 430mAh battery, compared to 240mAh on the smaller model.

Both versions, however, will be rather chunky, according to Blass’s sources, clocking in at 14.2mm for the Sport and 10.8mm for the Style. By comparison, Samsung’s hefty Gear S3 is just 12.9mm thick while Apple Watch Series 2, while slightly thicker than its predecessor, comes in at a relatively svelte 11.4mm. The watches are said to include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, with the Sport model’s extra thickness making room for cellular connectivity, GPS, and NFC. If the report is accurate, that means the smaller watch won’t be able to take advantage of the new Android Pay support due to arrive in Android Wear 2.0.

Perhaps most interesting is the reported inclusion of a crown-style button for navigation, similar to the main design feature on Apple Watch. Previous Android Wear watches haven’t had a physical tool for navigation, and it’ll be interesting to see how it is implemented here. The watch is said to have deep integration with Assistant, so the spinning dial could also act as a way to summon Google’s digital companion.

Additionally, the watches will feature a line of swappable bands. The larger model will be available in titanium and dark blue options, while the smaller watch is said to be sold in titanium, silver, and rose gold finishes. There is no word on pricing or availability for the watches, though presumably the larger model will cost more.

The story behind the story: Android Wear had a bumpy ride through 2016, but so far it looks like smooth sailing for 2017. After a series of delays pushed Android Wear and accompanying models into the new year, it was beginning to seem like Google’s wearable OS might be left to languish. However, the details outlined here suggest a strong entrance for Google’s first watch and a major push for relevance, as Android Wear 2.0 looks to invigorate the market.

IDG Insider

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