LG is going after the luxury end of the smartwatch market with the LG Watch Urbane. So, no plastic fantastic for this device - which comes in gold or silver metallic format - which is aimed at the ‘sophisticated and cosmopolitan wearer’. And while the new timepiece is a riff on the existing LG G Watch R, it’s less of a common-or-garden fitness tracker and more of a, well, a watch.
“LG Watch Urbane is an important part of our strategy to develop wearable devices that are worn and viewed as everyday accessories, not electronic gadgets,” says Juno Cho, CEO of LG’s mobile division. Which is an odd thing for a consumer electronics maker.
But hold on, the LG Watch Urbane is Android-powered device and includes a photoplethysmography sensor. What does that mean? It can measure a wearer's heart rate and determine average pulse during exercise. Plus there’s a nine-axis gyro, accelerometer and compass to track speed and orientation. So there’s performance as well as sophistication, clearly.
Look out for more brands aiming to make smartwatches cool. TAG Heuer has an upscale watch in the pipeline for this year, while Richemont’s Montblanc has something it’s calling an e-Strap in mind.