LG launches hybrid Watch W7 with mechanical hands and WearOS

An interesting concept, but in practice, it doesn't really work.

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lg watch w7
Credit: The Verge

The smartwatch market is a somewhat confused place with many manufacturers releasing WearOS devices that are just plain awful. Add into that list LG’s new Watch W7.

I’m not quite sure in what world a design team thought that blocking most of the screen with physical mechanical hands was a good idea, but here we are. LG’s latest watch adopts the hybrid pseudonym by pairing a smartwatch with what is considered a traditional watch. Many OEM’s before LG have experimented with hybrid watches but have opted for retaining the physicals of a real watch and giving it the power to receive notifications thus warranting the ‘smart’ branding. LG has flipped that approach on its head with the Watch W7 and taken a traditional smartwatch with a 1.2-inch touch display and slapped to physical watch hands on it.

LG worked with a company called Soprod in designing the watch’s mechanical functions and movements. “In addition to keeping accurate time, the mechanical hands also display additional information such as altimeter, barometer, stopwatch, timer and compass directions,” LG says.

LG says the watch itself will last for 2 days of use, although the mechanical hands themselves will keep turning for 100 days straight on a single charge. The W7 has a knob and two buttons on its right side and uses standard 22mm watch bands so you’ll be able to interchange with ease.

While the mechanical hands get in the way of the screen and notifications, LG clearly thought of this as you can hold the top right button to slide the on-screen content up higher and make the hands go horizontal.

The W7 has no LTE, no GPS, and no NFC, which means you won’t be using it for Google Pay anytime soon. LG also decided to put the older Snapdragon Wear 2100 in the device instead of the newer 3100 platform but it may not have yielded any benefit given the focus on the W7 doesn’t appear to be on the WearOS experience.

The device is aimed squarely at those who want to dip their toes into the smartwatch arena but don’t want to let go of the mechanical workings of a traditional watch. However, at $450, I would say there are much better options on the market!

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Our resident Brit, Dan loves to write about anything tech, and has been doing so for a long time, with a personal interest for all things Android. Dan has been associated with some of the tech publications like AndroidAuthority. He loves exploring new gadgets and sharing industry insights on MySmartPrice.

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