The Google I/O keynote event is done and dusted for 2014, and one of the biggest announcements for Android-loving consumers was the launch of two new smartwatches - the Samsung Gear Live, and the LG G Watch - both of which are available to pre-order right now.
Both wearables will run the new Android Wear operating system – a version of Android modified specifically for devices such as smartwatches.
The LG G Watch features a 1.65-inch IPS LCD screen, a 1.2GHz processor, 4GB of storage and is Bluetooth-enabled. It’s also reasonably durable, with certified IP67 water and dust resistance. The G Watch retails for $229 USD and orders will ship from July 7.
The Samsung Gear Live is priced at $199 USD and like the G Watch, will ship out on July 7. The Gear Live has a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED screen and a metal watch face, with Bluetooth 4.0 LE and a built-in heart-rate monitor, accelerator, gyroscope and compass – making it great for fitness tracking.
Like the G Watch, the Gear Live is also IP67 water and dust resistant, but seems to lack the interchangeable band of earlier Gear products (although it will be available in your choice of black or ‘wine red’ straps).
According to Google, Android Wear will focus on giving a user relevant and necessary information at a glance – and often without being prompted. The OS features heavy Google Now integration and uses speech recognition to enable a smartwatch wearer to easily compose emails and texts, conduct searches and ask questions hands-free.
Android Wear will push important notifications from linked devices to your wrist, as well as alerts from social and news apps, reminders and suggestions of things you might need.
There’s a strong focus on health and fitness monitoring – particularly for devices that include a heart rate sensor, such as the Samsung Gear Live – as well handy features such as music control and commute times and navigation.
The Gear Live and LG G Watch weren't the only wearables to be showcased at the conference - the much-awaited Moto 360 was also featured, and its sexy round display has been generating plenty of message board discussion. Sadly, Motorola's upcoming smartwatch isn't yet available - according to Google, you'll have to wait until the US summer to place your order.