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Wearables

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LG Watch Style review: The Pixel of Android Wear watches

The Watch Style is the lower-end of the two smartwatches LG has just released in conjunction with Google. It's not particularly handsome, it's not particularly feature-packed, and at $249, it's not particularly well-priced; however, it's still my favorite Android Wear smartwatch that I've used to date, and one that I think will strike well with the average consumer.

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Fossil shares plummet on revelation that most people don't want $300 smartwatches

But they do want $200-or-so ones, it seems. This morning, Fossil announced its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2016, and while the company did turn a profit of $49.7 million, it missed investor targets substantially. The resulting effect on Fossil's stock wasn't pretty.

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Android Wear 2.0 should greatly increase the speed of voice commands and transcription

One of the major features announced as part of Android Wear 2.0 at Google I/O last year was standalone apps. Similar to Apple's "native" apps introduced in WatchOS 2, Android Wear 2.0 can allow an application to run independently on the smartwatch itself - no tethered phone required. Not only that, but Google itself is utilizing the feature right out of the gate to the great benefit of one of the core experiences on Wear, Google Assistant, in the form of voice commands and transcription performance.

On 1.x versions of Android Wear, your smartwatch captured the audio of your voice query and then sent it back to the smartphone, which then sent it up to the cloud for processing and pulled back down the final result, which then was returned to the smartwatch.

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Android Pay for Android Wear is here, and this is how it works

Android Pay for Android Wear (which is a mouthful) is easily the most-requested feature in Google's wearable OS, and probably has been since Wear was first announced. It's taken a while - a long while, if you ask me - but it's finally here with the announcement of the LG Watch Sport. The Watch Sport is, for now, the only Android Wear smartwatch that supports Android Pay. No legacy devices are receiving the feature as far as we know.

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ZTE is apparently working on an Android Wear watch called the Quartz

With Android Wear 2.0 launching soon, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at hearing some rumblings for new watches. However, I feel justified in my bemusement by this bit here: according to VentureBeat, ZTE is supposedly making a Wear device codenamed Quartz.

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Source: The first new smartwatch with Android Pay, the LG Watch Sport, will cost $349

After revealing late last week that LG's Watch Style will come in at $249, today we can confirm via one of our trusted sources that its bigger, LTE-enabled brother will cost $100 more. The LG Watch Sport will have an MSRP of $349 here in the US, though it is unclear if color or band options could raise that price for certain configurations.

As a reminder, the Watch Sport brings a lot of features that the Watch Style will lack: LTE for true standalone functionality, NFC for Android Pay, GPS, a heart-rate monitor, a bigger, denser screen, and more buttons.

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Source: LG's Watch Style will start at $249

Speaking to us, a trusted source claims one of LG's upcoming Google-partnered Android Wear devices, the Watch Style, will start at $249. The entry-level Style, leaked in greater visual detail yesterday, will be launched alongside the LG Watch Sport, a much more fully-featured smartwatch. We don't have pricing for that model at this time.

Also unclear is whether there will be options that increase the price of the Style based on band or color, but Evan Blass's leak (pictured above) of the silver and rose gold versions look to basically be mirror images apart from their coloring. So my guess is "probably not." This also leaves us to wonder just what the Sport version will cost.

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[Deal Alert] White Moto 360 Sport once again on sale for $99 at Amazon

It's not the first time it's been on sale, and it surely won't be the last, but the Moto 360 Sport is on sale at Amazon today for $99. The watch has its faults, but for just under a hundred bucks, it's one of the best values out there for someone looking for a new AW device.

One important stipulation you need to be aware of is that only the white banded watch is currently on sale. The orange variety will run you $30 more and the black one is not even worth mentioning as it's almost twice as much.

As I type this I'm wearing a beat up Sony SW3 with a torn band, which I have loved for its transflective display that has great outdoor visibility.

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VentureBeat: Google's smartwatches are built by LG, have digital crowns, will launch February 9th

In the most detailed report regarding Google's upcoming smartwatches yet, Evan Blass of VentureBeat says that LG will be the manufacturer of the devices, which are scheduled to launch on February 9th, the day he previously said Wear 2.0 would launch. Sales will commence the next day in the US, with international rollouts following throughout February and March. Blass confirms that our original renders of the watches are accurate.

They will be called the LG Watch Sport and Watch Style, meaning the names contain no Google branding. The Sport will have a 1.38" display, while the Style will be 1.2" across.

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Android Wear 2.0 is launching in early February

Google was supposed to release Android Wear 2.0 last fall, but there were... issues. Specifically, feedback for the developer preview was quite negative. Google decided to reassess and pushed the release to early 2017. After a few more dev previews, here we are. Google has notified developers that Wear 2.0 is coming in a few weeks, so they had better get their apps ready.

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