LG unveils first 4G smartwatch, based on WebOS software

WebOS, the cult favorite smartphone operating system pioneered by Palm, is making a comeback in mobile thanks to LG and its latest smartwatch.

LG on Thursday took the wraps off the LG Watch Urbane LTE, the first smartwatch able to connect to a high-speed 4G wireless network. The smartwatch doesn’t run on Google’s Android Wear software, but instead on what the Korean electronics conglomerate calls its LG Wearable Platform operating system.

The LG Wearable Platform has its roots based on the WebOS operating system, according to a person familiar with the product. It’s the same platform that powers the company’s line of smart televisions.

The use of WebOS, which LG acquired from Hewlett-Packard in 2013, on both devices suggests the company has more ambitious plans for its proprietary operating system. WebOS, like Samsung’s Tizen mobile operating system, could be a way for LG to pare back on its dependence on Google and its Android operating system and power multiple products with its own platform.


Samsung has employed its Tizen software, developed with partners like Intel, on affordable smartphones focused on consumers in the emerging markets, its smart televisions and some of its Gear smartwatches.

It’s an unusual path for WebOS, which began life at Palm, designer of the Palm Pilot, with its Pre smartphone. The operating system built a small, but loyal fan base, but saw mixed success with the mainstream market. In 2010, Palm sold itself to Hewlett-Packard for $1.2 billion. While HP’s ambitious plans for WebOS crumbled, just over a year later the company turned it into an open-source platform. When LG picked it up in 2013, the company initially wanted to only use its ability to multitask on different apps for its smart TV. Things appear to be changing.

LG, however, isn’t looking to break from Google. Earlier this month, it introduced the LG Watch Urbane, which lacks a 4G connection and runs on Android Wear, Google’s version of Android designed for wearable devices.

It’s unclear how different the LG Wearable Platform is from Android Wear from a user perspective — no screenshots were provided.

LG will likely continue supporting both operating systems, staying in good graces with Google while fostering an alternative platform that is more flexible to its own needs.

Android Wear itself also hasn’t been taking the world by storm. Six products running the operating system accounted for 720,000 units, or just 15.6 percent of a total of 4.6 million wearable products shipping last year, according to research firm Canalys.

There remains a question of whether consumers actually want a smartwatch, although Apple could certainly clear things up with its Apple Watch, expected to hit the market later this year.

The Urbane LTE marks the fourth smartwatch from LG. Like the Urbane and G Watch R, the Urbane LTE has a 1.3 plastic-organic-light-emitting diode circular display, which has an always-on “ambient mode.” The Urbane LTE and Urbane also employ the same 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 4 GB of memory.

But the Urbane LTE has a few key differences from its non-LTE sibling. With an independent LTE connection, it can make and receive calls and text messages. It also has a heftier 700 mAh battery, offering several days in standby mode. It includes a near-field communication chip to potentially turn it into a mobile wallet able to pay at NFC-enabled registers.

It also has three physical buttons on the right side of the smartphone — a top button for access to settings; a center button to switch between the watch and apps; and a lower button to act as a back function. Users can hold the back button down to send out a safety beacon to a preset emergency contact.

While the Urbane came in gold and silver, the Urbane LTE only comes in silver.

Both the Urbane and Urbane LTE will be paraded out at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

LG G Watch software fix will solve residue buildup


LG is pushing out a software patch for their LG G Watch, and the reason is a bit stranger than usual. It seems some users are reporting a buildup of residue on the charging pins — something that has no effect on the device performance, according to LG. In an aim to keep people happy with the G Watch, LG is sending out a software patch for the problem.

So, what is that problem? The battery current is causing the terminal pins not he bottom (rear?) of the G Watch to discolor. According to LG, it’s not a problem at all, but they’ve heard the complaints:

Recently it has come to our attention that a small number of G Watch devices have been reported to have developed discoloration and residue buildup on the terminal pins located on the back. While completely safe and unlikely to affect charging, LG will be rolling out a maintenance release over the next few days that will disable the current when the G Watch is not in the charging dock. The maintenance release will be rolled out automatically over-the-air to all G Watch owners. We thank G Watch users for their patience and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Obviously, LG’s smart watch will still charge when you attach it to the charger, and will (hopefully) have the same battery life. It seems to be as simple as powering down a few pins while you’re wearing it. It’s worth noting there have been no reported issues of people having burns or other skin irritations while wearing the G Watch.

LG wants you to play games with the case cover closed


LG is out to prove the Quick Circle case for their flagship G3 is “as much about fun as function”. To hit that point home, they’ve announced a new game for their device. More specifically, the game is for the G3’s Quick Circle case. Instead of getting simple notifications via the case port, you’ll now be able to game as well.

You can already check the time or handle phone calls with the case closed — already beneficial to people still making actual calls with their smartphones. Gaming, though, that’s new. We’ve seen games come to the small screen already, but not like this.

Puppy Pop, the first game designed for the Quick Circle case, will be familiar to most “time waster” game fans. Puppy faces fall from the top into a 3×3 grid. Draw a line through three or more faces to make them “pop” away. Like any good time waster, you can also share your scores on your favorite social media site.

It’s another move by LG to further divert Developer interest away from other platforms. Though still Android, LG has created a sub-sect within the OS via games like Puppy Pop and their split-screen utility. LG wants Developers making things for their devices, specifically. They also want users to make sure to buy their stuff. Does Puppy Pop make you want a G3 and Quick Circle case, though?

LG’s 5 inch Windows Phone 8.1 handset launching soon?


LG is working on a 5 inch Windows Phone under the model number LG D635. According to Alan Mendelevich, the founder of cross-promotion network AdDuplex, the handset has showed up in the network’s database.

The LG D635 will feature a 5-inch HD (1280x720p) display. At present no further information about the specs of the phone are known. Considering the screen resolution, the phone might fall in mid range category. In May, LG Uni8 running on Windows Phone was leaked which was touted as the first handset from LG running on Windows Phone 8.1 device.

The last Windows Phone handset launched by LG was the Optimus 7 in 2010. Earlier in February, Microsoft partnered with nine smartphone manufacturers to launch more Windows phone. LG was one of the partners including others like ZTE, Xolo, Karbonn, Lenovo and others.

More LG G Vista specs leaked, coming to AT&T and Verizon


Earlier this month LG G Vista surfaced via press images. Today a user manual of LG G Vista for AT&T has leaked, confirming that along with Verizon, the smartphone will also be available with AT&T.

AT&T’s variant (model number D631) will have a 5.7-inch display with 720p resolution,  8MP rear and a 1.3MP front-facing camera. It will be powered by 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8926) processor, 8GB of internal storage and 3,200mAh battery.  The LG G Vista for AT&T is expected to pack 1GB (8Gb DDR2) of RAM, but @evleaks claims that the G vista for Verizon features 1.5GB (12Gb DDR2) RAM. It will also support 4G LTE and run on Android 4.4 KitKat.

The phone resembles to the company’s flagship phone LG G3 with wider bezels. It is expected to launch on July 31st on Verizon, but no word on plans for an international release.

Verizon offering LG G3 for $99 with contract


Verizon will offer the LG G3 smartphone for $99 with a two year service agreement starting from July 17. Those who opt to buy the phone outright can do so for $599.99; EDGE customers can purchase for $29.99 per month over two years. Available in black and white options, the LG G3 includes 32GB internal storage and 3GB RAM. Additionally, the phone boasts a 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display and quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. Oh, and don’t forget that 13-megapixel rear camera with laser focus.

Verizon will also carry the LG G Watch on July 17, pricing the smartwatch at $229.  Compatible with any Android smartphone running 4.3 or later, the Android Wear device comes in Black Titan and White Gold.

LG G3 South Korean sales top 100,000 in first week


South Koreans are obviously excited for the G3. The newest flagship from LG has reportedly sold around 100,000 units in the first week of existence. That puts it well ahead of sales for the Galaxy S5, outselling the rival flagship about 5:1.

The current sales figures put the G3 at about 25,000-30,000 units daily. the Galaxy S5 moves about 7,000-8,000 daily. When it comes to first week sales for both, the comparison gets a touch more surreal: Samsung sold about two million Galaxy S5 units the first week. The difference was that Samsung launched their device globally, and was immediately available in over 100 markets. The G3 is only in South Korea for the time being.

By comparison to last year’s G2, sales are roughly double. It seems the subtle design changes are finding favor with fans, and the slim bezels are always a fan favorite. the redesigned buttons on the back are also much more pleasant versus the G2.

The G3 is expected soon for other markets, and we’ve seen carriers such as T-Mobile tease us with the latest from LG. We’ve had our hands on one since launch, and we must say: if you’re on the fence about a new phone, wait a few weeks until the G3 comes around to you.

LG G3 Mini leaks under the LG G3 Beat moniker


LG G3 is most definitely one of the best smartphones this year, if not the best thus far. We’ve been waiting for some info on LG G3 Mini ever since first rumors started. Thus far its been rumored that the device will sport a 720p 4.5″ display alongside a 5MP camera and so on. Today’s leak tells us a somewhat different story.

LG G3 Beat smartphone leak has appeared on a Chinese website alongside some pictures. The thing is this device looks like a shrunken down LG G3, which is why we consider this will be the LG G3 Mini. If they decide to call it that of course. This leak says that the device will feature a 5″ 720p screen, 2GB of RAM, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 8MP camera and a 16GB of internal storage. The leak also says it will run Android 4.4.2 out of the box and will be powered by a 2500mAh battery. 4G LTE should also be a part of the package.

We don’t know how “mini” this device will be with a 5″ screen, but that’s where mobile technology has gone these days, unfortunately. Price of this handset should be around 2,500 yuan, which comes to around $400. There’s no word on when it will be released though, but we’re guessing late July release date.

LG F70 with LTE gets priced on official India website at Rs. 19500


LG F70 started rolling out globally globally in May, few months after if was announced at the MWC 2014. Not the smartphone has been listed on official LG India website with a price tag. It has a 4.5-inch WVGA display, powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat). It has a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 0.3-megapixel (VGA) front-facing camera. It is the company’s first mid-range smartphone with LTE support. It comes with tri-band LTE connectivity, including the 2300 MHz LTE (Band 40).

It has new KnockCode, Guest Mode, Quick Window, Plug & Pop and more new features. It packs 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage with expansion slot and 2440 mAh battery.

LG F70 specifications

  • 4.5-inch (800 x 400 pixels) IPS display
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Android 4.4 (KitKat)
  • 5MP rear camera depending on the market
  • 0.3MP (VGA) front-facing camera
  • 1GB RAM,4GB Internal memory, expandable memory up to 32GB with microSD
  • Dimensions: 127.5 x 66.4 x 9.95 mm; Weight: 129.6
  • LTE/ 3G HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC
  • 2,440 mAh battery

The LG F70 comes in black and white colors and is priced at Rs. 19,500 (MRP). It is expected to go on sale in India soon. Check out the LG F70 Hands on below.

New LG G Pad series shown off in promo video, roller skate with it and more


LG’s new tablet series kicked off in Europe last week with the G Pad 7.0 and now you can get a look at features on all the devices in a promo video released Tuesday.

Aside from showing some absurd and unique ways you can use the devices, such as while roller skating, although we wouldn’t recommend it, or at the barber, the video also shows some features unique to the devices.

Some things highlighted in the video are Quick Memo+, Smart Keyboard, Touch & Shoot, Knock Code, QPair 2.0 (notifications as well as the ability to answer calls and texts from your phone), Dual Window and a new graphic interface.

Along with the G Pad 7.0, we should see the G Pad 8.0 and G Pad 10.1 deployed in the next few weeks, and hopefully, some global expansion. The devices will be available in five colors — black, white, red, orange and blue.