If you haven"t been following the Urbane 2’s saga, it was originally announced and launched late last year, then swiftly pulled from shelves because of a “manufacturing issue.” LG presumably resolved the issue and the watch returned khổng lồ stores this spring.
A cellular connection on your watch means that you don’t have sầu to lớn carry your phone around with you to use the watch’s smart functions. All other Android Wear watches become little more than dumb watches if they aren’t connected to lớn your phone over công nghệ Bluetooth không dây or in range of a Wi-Fi network. But the Urbane 2 can use its cellular connection khổng lồ enable its smart features when you’re away from Wi-Fi and don’t have sầu your phone with you. Voice search, notifications, messaging, even phone calls are available from your wrist wherever you are.
But this freedom comes at a very high cost. The Urbane 2 is available from AT&T và Verizon and frankly, it’s expensive. AT&T sells it for $359.99, but you can get for $199.99 if you commit to paying for two years of data service on it. Verizon’s mã sản phẩm is even pricier: its $499.99 or $449.99 with a two-year contract. Both carriers charge monthly fees on top of your phone’s service for the watch’s data connection: $5 per month at Verizon and $10 per month at AT&T. Unless your watch is made of gold, it’s almost surely not worth these prices. The Urbane 2 is made out of steel, rubber, & plastic.Cellular freedom comes at a cost
Here’s how its cellular features work: if you go out & happen khổng lồ leave your phone at trang chủ & connected to Wi-Fi or cellular, the Urbane will let you vày all the same stuff as if your phone was in your pocket and paired over Bluetooth không dây, provided it was already phối up & paired lớn the phone. (The phone is necessary for phối up and installation of any apps or watchfaces khổng lồ the watch.) You can receive sầu new notifications, use apps, perkhung voice searches, và even answer phone calls và reply to messages with emoji, your voice, or canned responses.
But if your phone isn’t connected lớn Wi-Fi or cellular for whatever reason, the Urbane 2’s functions become much more limited. It will still let you access offline functions (timers, alarms, activity tracking, etc.) but any "online" features such as phầm mềm notifications, voice searches, weather alerts, or navigation will not work. The AT&T Model will let you make và receive calls & texts in the watch’s "offline" mode, but the Verizon version will just let you answer incoming calls.2
lưu ý that these scenargame ios apply when using the watch with an Android phone. It is much more limited when it’s used with an iOS phone & not connected directly via công nghệ Bluetooth không dây.
I’ve sầu been using the AT&T mã sản phẩm with a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The Urbane 2’s cellular features have sầu worked as advertised: if the watch isn’t connected to my phone via công nghệ Bluetooth không dây, I can still use virtually all of its functions. AT&T’s NumberSync service makes it easy lớn send & receive sầu calls & messages from the watch, syncing my messages and routing all calls through my main phone’s number. But it’s slow when connected khổng lồ a cellular network compared khổng lồ Wi-Fi or công nghệ Bluetooth không dây to my phone. Apps take longer lớn load data & voice searches và transcription can take an inordinately long time.3 Notifications that ping my phone show up on my watch, but I can’t bởi much other than delete the occasional tin nhắn or dismiss the notification entirely.
I’ve noticed that most of the time when the watch is connected lớn cellular networks, it is using the slower HSPA network, as opposed to lớn the faster LTE service. That leads me khổng lồ believe that it doesn’t have sầu full support for all of AT&T’s LTE frequencies, and is likely the cause of the performance bottleneck I’ve sầu experienced.
That functionality is rather limited và it’s hard to lớn justify the Urbane 2’s subscription cost for it. It might be appealing khổng lồ avid runners that want to lớn remain connected without a phone strapped khổng lồ their arm (lượt thích other Android Wear watches, the Urbane 2 has 4GB of onboard storage for music and can stream khổng lồ Bluetooth không dây headphones & it can use location services khổng lồ traông chồng your run), but since most people have their phone with them at all times anyway, the Urbane’s features are often redundant.
As a watch, the Urbane 2 is thicker, larger, và heavier than others, such as Motorola’s Moto lớn 360 or the Huawei Watch. Its 1.38-inch, fully round display is very sharp — LG boasts that the 480 x 480 pixel P-OLED’s 348PPI resolution is the highest you can currently get on a smartwatch — & often looks great, but it can still be difficult to lớn read outdoors.The Urbane 2 is thicker, heavier, and less comfortable to wear than other smartwatches
The fixed (read: you can’t change or customize it) rubber strap is stiff and uncomfortable on my wrist, and it often leaves marks on my skin. The Urbane 2 has two extra hardware buttons not found on other Android Wear watches, which are set khổng lồ launch the contacts menu và LG’s fitness tracking tiện ích. But they aren’t programmable, và I didn’t find either of those functions very useful in my day to day routine.
Battery life, which is a major concern with all smartwatches, let alone ones with cellular features, is svào enough to last a full day even with always-on screen features, and LG has added a power-saving mode lớn extover it further. The Urbane 2’s stamimãng cầu on cellular networks has been much better than Samsung’s Gear S2, in my experience, but it’s still something that needs khổng lồ be charged every night.
So here’s the best way khổng lồ look at the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE: it’s a pnhận xét of what’s khổng lồ come. Android Wear 2 promises khổng lồ greatly exp& upon a cellular connected watch’s abilities, allowing you khổng lồ use all of its functions without a phone and even install apps directly khổng lồ the watch itself. It will make using an Android Wear watch with an iPhone a much better experience, and it might even justify your carrier’s monthly service fee for the watch’s cellular features. It’s very likely that the Urbane 2 will receive the update this fall (developers can already install a pĐánh Giá of it on the watch now), & there will certainly be new cellular Android Wear watches hitting shelves around that time, too.The Urbane 2 is a pnhận xét of what"s khổng lồ come
But for now, the Urbane 2 is a bit too large, a bit too expensive, & not differentiated enough from other Android Wear options lớn justify its higher cost và monthly fees. If you desperately want a watch with a cellular radio, wait until this one (or the next one) comes with the software lớn actually make that useful.
Update 11:15AM, May 31st: An earlier version of this article stated that the monthly cost for service on the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE was $10 per month at both Verizon & AT&T. It is $5 per month at Verizon and $10 per month with AT&T.