LG Watch Urbane variant drops Android Wear, adds LTE service and NFC payments

Another LG smartwatch debuting at MWC? Indeed, but this one’s actually quite different

LG Watch Urbane LTE

Revealed earlier this month, the LG Watch Urbane puts a metal-centric spin on the stellar G Watch R, delivering more of a luxury-minded impression. But there’s another version coming, and despite similarities, it looks to be pretty different.

The LG Watch Urbane LTE makes several changes to the standard model, including - as the name suggests - adding LTE service for making Voice-over-LTE calls, texting, and using a walkie-talkie function. It’s the first LTE-equipped watch in the world, says the company; remember, the Samsung Gear S uses 3G.

But perhaps even more significant is the loss of Android Wear as its operating system. Indeed, LG is striking out on its own with the LG Watch Urbane LTE, utilizing what appears to be a proprietary OS to deliver a phone-like experience on the wrist. LG tells The Verge that it’s not powered by webOS, and thus isn’t related to the Audi prototype watch seen during CES - despite a very, very similar build.

However, it adds two additional physical buttons, like the webOS prototype watch. Also, the LG Watch Urbane LTE has built-in NFC functionality for mobile payments, akin to the Apple Watch. But which digital wallet service will be powering the transactions if not Google Wallet?

The Urbane LTE amps up the battery size to 700mAh, an increase of 1.7x over the other model and G Watch R, but otherwise the specs - including the Snapdragon 400 processor and 1.3in display (320x320) - appear similar to what we’ve seen in LG’s other watches.

Like the standard LG Watch Urbane, we’ll see the LTE model next week at Mobile World Congress, where we hope to discover what makes this wearable spinoff tick.

[Sources: LG via The Verge]