I’m not too shy when it comes to refurbished or used electronics. For one, I save money on technology that I’m either curious about or want to play with. Many places that sell these items have very good return policy. I recently shifted back to Android from iOS. I have been using the iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch. I am currently using a Google Pixel and I’m looking for an Android Wear watch. I asked around and viewed some reviews to get ideas. Many people suggest the LG Watch Sport. The specs and features looks good but it’s more than what I want to spend. The search continues.
I found a good deal on a refurbished LG Watch Urbane. The price is right, $99 and I’ve had great experiences purchasing from A4C. The specs look good as well. The only thing I was concerned about was the Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. The newer Android Wear watches uses a CPU optimized for smart watches (Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100). I’ve had the first gen Motorola 360 and I was fine with it and its performance. So I ordered it and it arrived after a few days.
First off, being a refurbished item, the condition the watch came in is outstanding. As I mentioned before, I have had great experiences purchasing from A4C.com. There is some wear and tear on the leather band and the back of the watch but very slight. The screen is in pristine condition – at least for my eyes. No scratches or smudges. After connecting to my Google Pixel, I immediately checked for the Android Wear 2.0 update. This is one of the older watches that can be updated.
Now here’s my one day experience from wearing it. Coming from an Apple Watch, do not have high expectations. This has been a consistent experience whenever I switch to Android. Implementation just feels incomplete.
- Navigating around the interface can get sluggish.
- Changing the watch faces can get cumbersome.
- You get Google Assistant on the watch but to call it takes a few seconds. I find myself just pulling the phone out of my pocket and running it.
- The phone call notification on the watch (vibration) is a little soft for my taste. I can’t seem to find where I can adjust it.
- When checking the time on the watch, there can be a huge lag of turning on the screen to display the information. Sometimes it won’t even turn on. I would have to either tap on it or press the crown.
- Notifications do not work. The only thing that worked was phone call. No SMS messages, apps, etc. I checked the settings on both phone and watch. I have unpaired and re-paired. I checked the troubleshooting guides on Android Wear and nothing worked. Such a task to get simple thing to work.
- Finally, the charger is horrible. I have a hard time lining up the pins so the watch can begin to charge. I know they are lined up but I have to wiggle it a few times to get them to “connect” or recognize so the charging begins.
The good thing I noticed is battery life. The 8 hours I used it, it only used up 22%. But when I think about it, because notifications did not work and I rarely check the watch for time, the battery usage made sense. The watch also uses the latest Android Wear 2.0. The one thing missing that I wish it had was NFC so I could use Android Pay but for the price, it’s understandable.
I am planning to return this and get a refund. I have been thinking of just getting a Fitbit Alta HR or Charge 2. I was also considering either the Samsung Gear S3 Classic or Frontier (non-LTE). I recently found out that it no longer requires a Samsung phone and should work with most Android phones.
I am disappointed once again with my Android experience. I really want to use Android but I can’t seem to replicate the experience I get with the Apple ecosystem. Maybe if the Apple Watch will one day work on Android OS just like Android Wear somewhat works with iOS. Or wouldn’t it be great if Google themselves come out with their own watch – Goolge Pixel Watch? That would be awesome. Third party implementation on Android is just not a good experience for me. It’s great that Google allows for it, but some implementation seem incomplete or not thoroughly thought out. Some just make you move out of Google services and make them use theirs.
If you haven’t experienced using an Apple Watch, this might be a good choice for the price. It should work on both iOS and obviously Android. If you have used an Apple Watch, set your expectations low.