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LG has been working for two years on the development of its circular LG G Watch R, it went on sale in the U.S. on November 14th and we saw it first at IFA when it was announced.

Touted as World’s first full circular Plastic OLED (P-OLED) display” that utilizes 100 percent of its watch face, the Android Wear powered device certainly features a gorgeous display enclosed in a typical rounded sport watch. Its closest competitor, the Moto 360 does not uses 100 percent of its watch face, as you can see on our photos in the review. Except a few hardware differences such as the presence of a heart rate sensor, all Android Wear smart watches deliver a similar experience, so for the $300 price range, the choice lies in the build quality, the battery life and the look and feel.

I have used the LG G Watch for quite some times now and, despite its very masculine look, I enjoyed wearing and using it, thanks to its gorgeous display. Some people may prefer the Moto 360 for its thinner design, while others would enjoy the masculine, vintage sportwatch, however I will not debate about taste. Read the full review to learn how the LG G Watch R holds up against our expectations.

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Specifications

  • Product size 46.4 x 53.6 x 9.7 mm (1.57 x 2.30 x 0.49 in)
  • Product weight 62 g
  • Display Type 1.3″ full circle Plastic OLED (P-OLED)
  • Resolution 320 x 320 pixels, (245 ppi)
  • Diagonal 1.3-inch (circle)
  • Processor 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 (APQ 8026)
  • OS Android Wear
  • Camera No
  • Connectivity Bluetooth 4.0
  • Internal storage 4GB eMMC
  • RAM 512 MB
  • Battery Capacity 410mAh
  • Sensors: 9-Axis,  (Gyro/ Accelerometer/ Compass), PPG (heart rate monitor), Barometer
  • Dust and Water Resistance IP67
  • Interchangeable strap

Display (Excellent)

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The key feature in the LG G Watch R is definitively the display. LG claims that its team had to work for 2 years to be able to develop a 1.3-inch full circle P-OLED display (that uses 100% of its surface unlike other competitive round watches), because the rounded shape produces much more waste of OLED material than a rectangular one, or a circular one made of several pieces of OLED material. The design team had to work on the costs to be able to deliver. I did not get the description of what exactly needed to be done on that side, but this could probably be the topic of a whole other article, if LG wanted to disclose its industrial secrets.

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The prefectly circular Plastic-OLED made of one piece of material – according to LG this was difficult to deliver at regular cost

The image quality is truly amazing, so far, it is the best I have seen on a smart watch.  Due to the absence of ambient light sensor, the screen brightness has to be set manually. Some people have complained that the super bright display is still visible in the dark, even set at the lowest brightness. The P-OLED display consumes less on a dark background than regular LCDs, that is the reason why the default chronograph clock face in the demo software features a black background, which is necessary knowing that Android Wear requires the display to be always on.

The Plastic OLED display delivers high brightness, and a crisp and clear image quality. Sometimes I found the display too bright, and for more discretion I sat the brightness level at 1 instead of the default 4.
I tested the viewing angle and even when watching the face at almost 180 degrees, I could clearly see the numbers and read the time perfectly (see photo below).

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Filed in Cellphones >Reviews. Read more about Android, Android Wear, Smartwatch and Wearable Tech.

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