I’m sure you too have seen all of the other reviews, so I won’t go over what most of those have said. Nor will I tell you to buy the watch or not. Why? Because many of the reviews said to not buy the watch and I did anyway. I’ve had my LG Watch Sport for a week.
So how is it? Pretty good. As a prior iPhone and Apple Watch user, I know I’m not using it to its full potential yet. The Apple Watch pretty much needs to be tethered to the iPhone to be functional. The plus side to this anchor is that phone calls and text messages automagically get routed to the Apple Watch. I was expecting the same experience with the LG Watch Sport on AT&T. Not so. Well, maybe for you. Not for me.
I watched AT&T’s promotional videos for the LG Watch Sport, and when some showed up in stock locally (3 stores in our state), I bought one after waiting a couple of days (and about 90 minutes in the AT&T store). I bought the watch outright for $349 so I would not be under contract. You can save $100 and enter into a 2-year contract. However, if you do that, you’ll end up paying more ($249 + 24/mo at $10 = $489). I told the representative that I didn’t need to set the watch up there, but did want to make sure it booted. Most electronic devices come with some kind of charge between 30% & 80%. Not this time; the watch was dead. The employee took the watch & charger to the back of the store and charged it for a couple of minutes to make sure it turned on.
I slowly started setting up the watch while I was out to dinner (rude much?). The Bluetooth connection was simple and so was syncing over settings. Then the frustrations began. Later that evening (at home), I could not figure out how to set up AT&T number sync. AT&T number sync makes it so when your phone gets a phone call, your watch also rings. The same for text messages. The watch has its own sim card & its own phone number. I called AT&T, and long story short, since my Nexus 6P was not purchased at an AT&T store, they would not activate “number sync”. So now I have my phone with its phone number and my watch with its own phone number: never the twain shall meet. Notifications do still come over to the watch via bluetooth, but no texts nor calls.
After doing some research, I found people on Verizon had the same issue. The solution is fairly simple but slightly inconvenient. Did you know Google Voice is still around? I didn’t. It’s still free unless you’re making international calls. One of its features is ringing multiple phones at the same time. Sign up for Google Voice (and get another phone number!), add your cell phone and your watch phone numbers, and choose to ring simultaneously. Problem solved in spite of AT&T’s obstinance. Well, mostly. You will have to start distributing your new Google Voice phone number so people will call or text it instead of your phone’s number. I had one more issue. Google Voice would not send texts to my watch. I was unable to check the checkbox to allow it. This is because there is a bug in the new user interface for Google Voice. Switch to classic/legacy mode in your web browser. There you will see the watch marked as something other than mobile. Change it to mobile and check the boxes. You can then switch back to the new interface.
Tips & tricks & battery issues… in all of the reviews, everybody complained about the battery life. I did have a similar issue if the cellular network was turned on. I have been turning it off when at the house. However, an update recently came out and after 10 hours, with LTE on, my watch is still at 34%.
Software updates have been pretty steady. The watch will eventually do them (if you have auto updates turned on). If you want to force the issue, like myself, open the Play Store, swipe down from the top of the screen, tap the app icon on the left, you will see a list of apps that need to be updated as well as apps that have recently been updated. Sweet.
WiFi. The LG Sport Watch does have WiFi, but not 5GHz. It is 2.4GHz only. For the first day or two I didn’t realize I was not on WiFi at the house. (I have separate network IDs for 5GHz and 2.4GHz so when my phone synced over the WiFi settings, the watch couldn’t connect.)
Getting Android Pay to add cards on the watch was painful. But again, a recent software update fixed this. Before the fix, I could add one card, but not a card from another bank. I was stuck in a he said / she said moment between Google & the bank and gave up. A couple of days later, I saw Android Pay had been updated so I tried to add the second card again and it worked flawlessly.
The step counter has been wildly inaccurate. It counts steps while you’re in a moving vehicle. Hopefully they’ll fix that in another update.
Another quick tip I found: When looking at the watch face, swipe down from the top of the screen. You’ll see shortcuts for airplane mode, mute, theater mode, do not disturb, and the Settings app.