LG Urbane 2
Last week we brought you news that the first Android Wear smartwatch with access to cellular data — read: doesn’t need to be paired with a smartphone — was on its way to the U.S. market, but now we are dialing down that enthusiasm after the device was pulled due to apparent issues.
The watch in question is the LG Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, which went on sale in the U.S. via AT&T last week and was due to come to Verizon on November 20. It’s all change, however, after LG yanked it from stores due to “a hardware issue which affects the day-to-day functionality of the device,” according to a 9to5Google report.
The company did contact media reviewing the watch — including Android Police — with a note which, among other things, noted that “whether the device will be available in the future will be decided at a later time.”
For now, neither the carriers nor LG have given a new date when the watch will go back on sale. In fact, AT&T is already offering refunds to customers while Verizon will reportedly not ship the watch to those who have made pre-orders. That doesn’t look too good.
This is a major setback for both LG and Google, the latter having recently added cellular LTE data access to its Android Wear operating system. That means that future smartwatches will be able to take advantage of the feature — which, on paper, means you can leave your phone at home if you head out for a run or errands — but this episode isn’t exactly the ringing endorsement that both companies will have hoped for from the get-go.
LG has another smartwatch that can run LTE, but it — the first generation Watch Urbane — uses the company’s own platform, not Android Wear. With this second edition of the Urbane, LG returned to the Android fold, but it remains to be seen what it’s next smartwatch move will be given the headache it is facing right now.