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LG Watch Style review

A thin, almost no-compromise reintroduction to Google's software

LG is no stranger to Android Wear. Its previous smartwatches are among the best around to date, and the LG Watch Style strengthens that pedigree.

The LG Watch Sport fills in some of the blanks in the hardware department and, by extension, adds some crucial functionality for hyper-connected people, fitness gurus and Android Pay fans. That said, the LG Watch Style is undeniably a more fashionable device, and cheaper to boot.

As this smartwatch was built in close collaboration with Google you can expect its best qualities to set the precedent for what we're likely to see more of this year. And – good news – what's here is more or less exactly what we'd hoped to see.

But some of the familiar pain points of Android Wear, like the worse-than-expected battery life, are here, and unfortunately not likely to go away any time soon. 

Who's this for?

The LG Watch Style is the thinnest Android Wear smartwatch yet at 10.8mm, which alone is enough for some to spring for LG’s latest.

But if you need convincing, there are certainly more reasons to be interested. It’s easily the most striking Android Wear smartwatch out there, and will appeal to fashionistas as well as those who don't have time for excess in design.

It’s also one of the first non-Apple Watches to essentially be fully compatible with iOS – just one of many perks to be found in Google’s new OS version. 

Should you buy it?

The Style proves that LG has its finger on the pulse, listening to what customers want in a smartwatch. And with Google’s help, it's had the opportunity to put into practice what it's learned before anyone else.

However, it’s entirely possible that its competitors are listening just as carefully, and could outshine LG’s stylish smartwatch before 2017 is half over.

If this is your first smartwatch, the value here is exceptional for the $249 (UK and AU price still to be officially compared, but convert to £200 / AU$325) price tag.

Although many current smartwatches will be treated to the new Android Wear 2.0 software, that chances are good that LG’s latest is both better looking and slightly more capable with its slick, twistable crown.

That goes double for iPhone owners. If you’re looking for a cheaper and more traditional-looking alternative to the Apple Watch, you probably just found it. 

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.