What is Android Wear? Meet Moto 360, LG G Watch, and Samsung Gear Live Smartwatches

Just last month at Google I/O Developer Conference, we were served with the next batch of wearable devices – smartwatches that were powered by Android Wear. Two of these devices, Samsung’s Gear Live and LG’s G Watch, are already available for pre-order in select regions of the world through Google Play.

Android Wear, Android Smartwatch

On the other hand, the much awaited Moto 360 by Motorola is set to debut later on this year (most probably during the summer season in the US). Android Wear is Google’s own depiction of what a “smartwatch” should be. From the look and feel of the Android 5.0 L “Material Design”, up to the deep integration with Google Search, Android Wear is Google inside out.

Android Wear is designed to provide “information that moves with you”. Information that moves with you doesn’t mean that it just tells time wherever you are, it also means that the operating system gives suggestions based on the time of day and takes into account your location as well, making Android Wear contextually aware of your surroundings. I know the word “contextually aware” is thrown everywhere around Google’s products (where I also stated the phrase in my Android Auto post) but the phrase really fits in where Google wants it to be, because the aim of the next generation of Google products is to deliver a similar “Google experience” with whichever operating system you are using; be it Android in your mobile phone, in your car, or in this case – your smartwatch.

Android Wear, Android Smartwatch

As such, you will receive Google Now cards in addition to your notifications, providing you a much more convenient way of browsing through your texts, or emails or whatnot, instead of digging for your smartphone inside your pocket. Aside from that, hands-free voice controls are also a given in Android Wear, where you can reply to text messages, or set up reminders and alarms (another convenient way of connecting with others when your hands are dirty and your phone is in your pocket).

Being a commuter who uses public transport, there are times when I shouldn’t take my phone out from my pocket to respond to text messages or check my location via Google Maps because I might end up going home without a phone anymore. With Android Wear, I can discreetly check through text messages or emails with the safety of my phone in my pocket. I’ve used Sony’s first generation smartwatch (the Sony LiveView, remember that?) and I can say that smartwatches can really be put into good use, given the right situation.

Android Wear, Android Smartwatch
Now you can simply look at your smartwatch when in need for directions to somewhere you don’t know to ward off restless eyes away from your phone.

Excited for devices with Android Wear to hit Philippine shores? Here’s a little rundown of the ones currently available in other territories but are expected to land here soon, namely, the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live

Both smartwatches are identical in some ways – sporting the same 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage to come with it, as well as being water resistant enough that you can take a shower while wearing them on your wrist. On the software side, both devices run Android Wear with only the watchfaces being the customizable part (This means no TouchWiz skin for Android Wear, I guess.).

Android Wear, Android Smartwatch
LG’s G Watch

Samsung Gear Live
Samsung’s Gear Live

Samsung Gear Live vs LG G Watch
The smartwatches' packaging side by side.

Samsung Gear Live vs LG G Watch
Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch, respectively.

Apart from their design identities, the only difference between these smartwatches are their screens and batteries, and Samsung’s addition of a heart rate monitor on their Gear Live.

Android Wear, Android Smartwatch

LG G Watch features a 1.65-inch LCD display at 280x280 pixels with 400mAh for its battery while Samsung Gear Live has a 1.63-inch AMOLED display with a higher resolution than LG’s at 320x320 pixels and a 300 mAh battery. Yes, it looks like the manufacturers put in measly batteries on those smartwatches but according to them, the batteries should be good enough to last a full day with constant usage so there’s nothing to worry about (I was also charging my LiveView every day and that was a product more than a year ago. I was expecting improvements in battery life by now).

What’s your take on the current state of smartwatches, TP Friends? Are you guys willing to join the wearable scene with these on your wrist? Let us know in the comments below!

#TPWriterFellows Batch 1 Member and DLSU student, Nico Aguila is the self-proclaimed 'official' tech support guy of his friends. He's always ready to give you tips and tricks with Android devices and even gives you advice on which phone or tablet you should get whether it be running on Android, iOS, or Windows Phone operating system. Nico sees TechPinas as the best tech website in the Philippines and also as his safe haven when he reads tech news that is happening in the country. When he graduates, Nico plans to find a stable job in tech, have a family when he can, and of course, expose his future kids to technology and TechPinas so that they'll enjoy great bonding times together.