LG Cancels Launch of LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE!

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Uh oh. The word cancel is never one that OEMs want to use when referring to a brand new product launch. Unfortunately, that is exactly what LG said today regarding launch of the brand new LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE. The odd thing about canceling the launch of this watch is that it is already on sale at both AT&T and Verizon. In addition, quite a few people have already purchased the watch, myself included.

According to sources at The Verge, the AT&T is offering refunds to customers that purchased the device. The cancelation is apparently due to a unnamed hardware issue which LG says impacts the day to day performance of the watch. Verizon has also halted preorders of the device and is refunding previous preorders at this time.

At this point, it seems pretty unlikely the watch will be relaunched. If this were a software issue, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but recalling all devices and remanufacturing them will be a huge pain for LG. The question remains, what could the hardware issue be? In my time with the device I haven’t noticed any serious battery life or overheating issues. The main issues I’ve noticed are the following:

  1. Poor LTE network switching. My watch has been on HSPA+ most of the time I’ve had it. When the watch goes from LTE to HSPA+, it never comes back to LTE unless I manually switch cellular off and then back on. Of course, this could be particular to AT&T, my local area, and is also likely something that could be fixed with software updates.
  2. Bluetooth calling doesn’t work from watch. You can only listen to music via bluetooth, no calls. Also, you cannot listen to music via the speaker…only make calls. Pretty lame, but also something that could likely be fixed via a software update.
  3. GPS doesn’t work with all apps. You can’t get navigation from Maps when using stand-alone mode. This is also pretty lame, but also easily fixable in a software update.

Those are the only problems I’ve noticed, besides the watch being huge in size. None of them seem like hardware issues, especially ones big enough for a recall. I’ll be interested to see what comes out in the next few days as the primary reason. In the meantime, I hope this watch isn’t giving me wrist-cancer until I return it to AT&T. Let me know your thoughts on this interesting cancelation by LG. Did anyone buy the watch and have a severe hardware failure? Let me know in the comments!

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Jeff Springer

"I am currently a researcher and Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University. I fell in love with Android with the Nexus One release and realized that it was superior to iOS in all the ways I care about. I still use a Mac (and an iPhone for the camera), but my Apple tech products pale in comparison to my number of Android devices (watches, tablets, and phones). When I’m not rooting/modding one of my many Android phones or doing math/programming, you can find me taking in Phoenix Suns/Arizona Diamondbacks games in downtown Phoenix, and drinking good beer!"

4 Responses

  1. Fred says:

    I have been able to use the watch to make Bluetooth calls.
    Hardware?
    trying to think of critical hardware problems for a standalone smart watch….
    what about the antenna. i remember reading it is in the band.
    not happy with the charger.

    hate that LG cant be forthright about the problem. I dont trust sources that are cryptic.

  2. Rsmin says:

    Jeff, are you keeping yours now? I am thinking of taking mine back and get the Gear S2 4g. Would hate to have something totally break on this and have a watch that couldn’t be sent back for repair or replacement. Thanks fire you’re great videos on YouTube.

    • Fred says:

      well considering supply and demand, I figured they would appear on ebay. and they did. for around $800. lets see if they sell.. your watch may be worth more now that no one can buy it.

  3. Fred says:

    I read the description of one of the watches on ebay. and to their credit they do mention the recall. they were upfront about being locked to at&T. they did mention it is rumored that the recall was due to the watches being unlocked and the carriers werent happy about that. dont know if that is true or where that came from. but its the only thing i have found so far.

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