LG has officially announced the Watch Urbane and the Watch Urbane LTE, two handsome wearables that they had previously announced at the end of February. Why should you care? Well, primarily because the Urbane LTE are bucking Google and instead are running webOS and is a fully-featured phone with NFC and a bigger battery.
It’s almost as if WebOS, like the old man in the wagon, is calling out “I feel fine. I think I’ll go for a walk!”
While Android Wear is a primarily a notification carrier, the LTE version runs WebOS so that it can support calling, messaging, and richer applications. This means the watch can connect to the web directly and pinpoint your location or translate text. It can also make calls, albeit via a Bluetooth headset or the watch’s tinny speaker.
What’s more interesting, however, is the decision to use WebOS at all. Android watches have existed almost as long as Android has been around and the decision to resurrect a non-standard mobile OS for a watch project sounds more science fair than market survey. The watch is Korea-only for the moment and I doubt it will roll Stateside any time soon. Alternatives to established mobile software is ostensibly welcome by the vociferous minority but I doubt seriously this thing will put a dent in even Android Wear uptake.
It is nice of LG to dust WebOS off this week. I’m sure the die-hards will be happy to see one of the better mobile OSes of the previous decade finally get a bit of post-mortem attention. I doubt, however, one watch will save it from the charnel pit.