LG is obviously deeply committed to OLED TVs, but our first stop on the stand was its OLED smartwatch, the G Watch R. Attracting a lot of attention from consumers, the product is the first smartwatch with a circular face that uses all of the display – which LG has made a big deal of, at Motorola’s expense (the circular Moto 360 has a black bar at the bottom of its display).
‘P-OLED’ is how LG refers to the G Watch R’s display technology, which doesn’t stand for passive OLED (although it is, apparently, passive – Man. Ed.); it is the name for the flexible polymer OLED substrate that is used for the screen. The only other device to use P-OLED before has been the LG G Flex smartphone, which was – rightly – criticised for its low colour and brightness uniformity, poor resolution (245ppi on a 6″ screen) and ghosting.
Obviously, the use of P-OLED raised some red flags for us when it came to the G Watch R. However, we could not (immediately) spot any artefacts – although we tried! LG certainly appears to have developed the technology in the 10 months between the G Flex and G Watch R. (a commentator at the DisplaySearch conference mentioned that there were big crowds around the G Watch R in its round form, while nobody was looking at a square one – this is a fashion business! Man. Ed.)
Switching between screens and apps (the phone utilises Android Wear) is fast thanks to the 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, although there were some issues with the touchscreen, where touch input lagged when swiping quickly between screens. The watch is light on the wrist and, possibly a minor point, actually looks like a watch. It will also show the time in standby mode, like Samsung’s Gear S.
The G Watch R has a 1.3″ screen with 320 x 320 resolution and 300 cd/m