By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 29, 2014 07:49 AM EDT
LG's newly-announced G Watch R stirred plenty of interest with its stylish, round P-OLED display, but the smartwatch may have a big drawback: its price.
If you're not up to date with the news, LG just unveiled its latest smartwatch on Thursday, Aug. 28, introducing its round-shaped LG G Watch R just days before the big IFA 2014 trade show kicks off. Motorola is expected to formally launch its much-touted Moto 360 circular smartwatch at the show, which means that LG pretty much stole its thunder by unveiling its G Watch R first. While other smartwatches out there come with a rectangular design, the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R sport a circular form factor that raised lots of interest.
LG made no mention of pricing in its official G Watch R announcement, but the company's German arm has spilled the beans. According to the press release from LG Germany, the new LG G Watch R will come with a price tag of 299 euros, i.e. roughly $395. That's significantly more than the $229 price of the LG G Watch that launched back in June, which already cost more than the $199 Samsung Gear Live that debuted at the same time.
In terms of specifications, the new LG G Watch R is almost identical to the LG G Watch, which means that its much higher price tag seems quite unwarranted. The new smartwatch is basically the same G Watch but with a circular frame, packing the same 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage capacity, and IP67 rating for water resistance. It does sport a better 410 mAh battery and a heart rate monitor, but these slight improvements hardly warrant such a big spike in pricing.
That's not to say that the LG G Watch R is not a powerful smartwatch and is not a worthy choice, because it is. Unlike the upcoming Moto 360, for instance, LG's new smartwatch makes use of every single bit of its 1.3-inch P-OLED display, which means a significantly larger effective area to utilize.
At the same time, the fact that the LG G Watch R will cost 299 euros in Germany does not mean that it will have the same price everywhere, or that its U.S. price point would be a direct conversion of the German price. The LG G Watch R could cost less in the U.S. and other parts of the world, but it remains unknown at this point.
LG will still showcase its G Watch R at the IFA 2014 trade show next week, and more details should become available at that point.