Today we had the newiest of the new Android Wear smartwatches grace our teardown table—the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch!
Interestingly enough, both watches took a page out of the Samsung Gear 2’s book with regard to external and internal design. We’re not saying that LG cloned Samsung's creation, but there are marked similarities between the two.
Yet despite the similarities, we found a few important tidbits supporting a higher repairability score for the LG G Watch. A cleaner internal design with fewer thin ribbon cables and glued-in flexible circuit boards means that working on a G-unit will be a tad bit easier. Both watches did well; the Gear Live scored an excellent 8, but the G Watch hit a stellar 9. With that extra smidgen of repairability goodness, the LG G Watch might be a better buy for anyone who wants to keep their watch ticking an extra year or two.
LG G unit highlights:
• Four T5 screws on the back allow for easy, adhesive-free access to the internals. Thanks, LG! Things could have been a lot worse for this little guy.
• A small rubber gasket runs around the perimeter of the LG G, giving it the advertised IP67 rating.
• We were pretty darn sure the G Watch was utterly buttonless—until we found a cute little paperclip-actuated reset switch on the back.
• The LG G Watch has a more traditional, but trickier, strap removal process than the Samsung Gear Live (and Gear 2). Instead of pulling a built-in pin, you'll need to compress the spring with a thumbnail, precision tweezers, or a handy Swiss Army Knife blade.
• The 3.8 V, 400 mAh battery holds a 33% edge over the Gear Live's 300 mAh battery.
- SK Hynix H9TU32A4GDMC 512 MB DRAM with the Qualcomm APQ8026 System on Chip layered beneath
- Qualcomm PM8226 power management IC
- InvenSense M651 6-axis accelerometer + gyroscope
- Synaptics S3402B ClearPad 3400 series touchscreen controller
- Broadcom BCM20715 Bluetooth 4.0 controller
Samsung Gear Live highlights:
• Four T5 screws on the back allow for easy, adhesive-free access to the internals. Thanks, Samsung! Things could have been a lot worse for this little guy.
• A small rubber gasket runs around the perimeter of the Gear Live, giving it the advertised IP67 rating.
• The bands come off in a snap. It's the same design geared towards replaceability as found in the Gear 2. A neat little pull lever disengages one of the holding pins, allowing the band to roam free from the watch.
• Hey, what's this? A Bluetooth / Wi-Fi antenna? This thing isn't supposed to have Wi-Fi! We don't know if Samsung is hiding anything for the future, but we are quite adept at reading cable inscriptions.
• The battery inscription says "1.14 Wh." According to our mathemagics and the 300 mAh battery, we conclude this watch runs on a fairly standard 3.8 V system.
- MAX77836—likely micro-USB interface controller and Li+ battery charger
- STMicroelectronics STM32F401 Cortex M4 microcontroller
- Samsung KMF5X0005A-A210 512 MB DRAM package with the Qualcomm APQ8026 System on Chip layered beneath
- Qualcom PM8226 power management IC
- InvenSense MP92M 9-axis Gyro + Accelerometer + Compass
- Cypress Semiconductor CYTMA54 touchscreen controller