Inside the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live smartwatches

Inside the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live smartwatches

Summary: The iFixit team have their hands on an LG G Watch and a Samsung Gear Live smartwatch, and the teardown reveals some similarity between the two devices.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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The iFixit team have their hands on an LG G Watch and a Samsung Gear Live smartwatch, and the teardown reveals some similarity between the two devices — an inside dominated by a Li-Ion battery, and a design that's surprisingly easy to open.

For small devices, the LG G Watch and a Samsung Gear are surprisingly easy to pop open to repair, earning them a repairability score of 9 and 8 out of 10 respectively (where 10 is the easiest to repair). There are no thick goopy adhesives or tamper-resistant screws to deal with — although if you're thinking of delving inside you must be prepared to handle some tiny screws.

Inside the smartwatches are the following:

LG G Watch:

  • 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
  • 3.8 V, 400 mAh battery
(Source: iFixit)

Samsung Gear Live:

  • 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
  • 3.8 V, 300 mAh battery
(Source: iFixit)

What struck me from the teardowns was how much empty space there was inside the smartwatches. I'm so used to seeing smartphones internals which are densely packed, so the empty space inside these devices came as a bit of a shock.

That said, this space does allow for more to be crammed into them, and looking at the circuit boards there seems to be plenty of scope there to pack the components tighter.

Topic: Mobility

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5 comments
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  • Android Wear hardware

    Since the Gear 2 is roughly the same size as the the Gear Live, then it makes sense that their might be more space in the Android wear watches. Considering the Gear 2 has an IR blaster (universal remote), a 2mp camera, a speaker, a home button, a dual core 1.2ghz processor, and I can't remember if I left out anything. But I still ordered the Gear Live over the LG G Watch because of the heartbeat monitor and the 320x320 AMOLED display. I can't wait to receive mine.
    sgodsell
    • fix your article

      BTW the LG G watch also has a 9 access accelerometer, gyroscope and compass.
      http://www.lg.com/global/gwatch/index.html#about4
      sgodsell
      • 9 Axis

        If '9 Axis' simply means having an accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, than Samsung Gear Live has those sensors plus the heart rate monitor.

        My big question is battery life. The G Watch has a 400 mAh battery while the Gear Live has a 300 mAh battery. Which has the better battery life? Looks like G Watch.

        What about screen? The G Watch is 240 PPI while the Gear Live is 278 PPI. Looks like the Gear Live has a better display.

        With the extra sensor and better screen, I will be recommending the Samsung Gear Live for our pool of Android devices for testing.
        stanhughes
        • Interesting.

          I find the sharper display choice interesting. Both devices here use the same system on a chip, but the LG has a 33% larger battery. It also stands to reson that the LG's lower pixel density screen will use both less power to run, and put less drain on the gpu.

          In theory it has quite the battery edge. I would counter the inportance of pixel density on smart watches for this reason as well as how we will use smart watches - you don't read articles, you take quick 1-3 second glances, flick through menus, etc. not like a phone.

          More pixels use more power, more system resources, decrease responsiveness on the same hardware. A pixel war on watches is not going to be a good idea.

          A colour display that can be read clearly in bright sunlight will be far more important than a 4K 3D superanoled
          MarknWill
          • *hit post by mistake

            *superamoled display on a smart watch
            MarknWill