By Evan Ackerman
We saw prototypes of LG’s wristwatch cellphone at CES last year, and believe it or not, these are actually going into production this year. The design is finalized and the software is nearly ready to go, and it’ll hit Europe in Q2 of this year for an unspecified price. It’s going to Europe first because LG doesn’t have to worry about carrier monopoly there, but they say it’ll get to the US sometime this year for sure. It’s got quad band GSM, 3G, a touchscreen, Bluetooth, voice recognition, text to speech, and basically everything you’d expect and want in a functional phone that you can wear on your wrist. If I didn’t already have an iPhone, I’d go nuts for one of these.
Pressy, after the jump.
LG Unveils First Market-Ready 3G Touch Watch Phone
Full touchscreen, video calling and voice recognition in an elegant, wearable package
Seoul, Korea, January xx, 2009 — LG Electronics, a worldwide technology and design leader in mobile communications, will officially unveil the world’s first market-ready Touch Watch Phone (Model: LG-GD910) with 3G Video Telephony (VT) service and GSM Quadband Network capabilities.
This chic, wearable phone is a follow-up to the prototype that LG introduced at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2008 and includes a number of upgrades, including a full touchscreen interface, 3G capabilities and video calling. Most importantly, this watch phone will actually be available for purchase.
“Our new 3G Touch Watch Phone is stylish, sophisticated and the height of technology, but it’s also undeniably fun. How else can you reenact those scenes from your favorite sci-fi or spy movie?” said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The Watch Phone also demonstrates LG’s technological leadership, proving that we can bring all the components in today’s most advanced mobile phones down to a very small scale.”
At first glance, LG’s new Watch Phone appears to simply be a high-end timepiece. The company used materials and stylistic elements found in watches from top manufacturers to ensure that people will be comfortable wearing it for any occasion. The Watch Phone has a curved tempered glass face, high quality metal casing and is a mere 13.9mm thick.
The Watch Phone is as technologically advanced as it is stylish. It is the first touch watch phone in the world to feature 7.2 Mbps 3G HSDPA compatibility, enabling high-speed data transmission and video phone calls using the built-in camera.
LG did not sacrifice functionality in favor of size and the Watch Phone is fully capable of sending text messages, making phone calls, and, of course, keeping accurate time. This is all achieved using the phone’s touchscreen interface on its 3.63cm (1.43-inch) screen and LG’s intuitive Flash Interface.
Voice recognition features, which can be used with or without a Bluetooth headset, make it easier to place calls and look up contacts. Text to Speech (TTS) reads text messages and other information out loud for even greater convenience. The phone also includes stereo Bluetooth and a built-in speaker for playing back music files. A large phonebook and scheduler help with organization.
“This Watch Phone is the result of a great deal of research and development, something that is very important to us at LG. We will continue to invest in creating innovative new products and technologies like this and setting trends in the mobile phone industry,” Dr. Ahn said.
The 3G Touch Watch Phone will be first unveiled at the CES 2009, being held in Las Vegas from January 8 to 11. At the show, LG will demonstrate some of the Watch Phone’s main features including its Flash Interface, MP3 player, Voice Calling, Text messaging and Text to Speech. The phone is set to go on sale in Europe sometime in 2009.