This is LG’s first smartwatch powered by webOS

LG's new smartwatch swaps Android Wear for webOS. Photo: Android Central

LG’s new smartwatch swaps Android Wear for webOS. Photo: Android Central

A recent report confirmed LG’s plans to launch new wearables powered by the webOS platform in early 2016, but it turns out the South Korean company has already unveiled one.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 At CES 2015 in Las Vegas last week, LG showcased a new smartwatch that it has developed with the help of Audi, and it’s the first to shun Android Wear in favor of LG’s own software.

The device looks a little like LG’s flagship G Watch R, but it sports a shiny stainless steel design, a crown, and a pair of physical buttons. During its unveiling at CES, LG didn’t give too many details away, but Android Central tracked the company down to find out more about the new watch and its software.

“LG looks set to implement more standalone app functionality in its webOS wearables,” describes Alex Dobie. “Pressing the center button brings up a list of apps, with icons styled after LG’s smartphone UI.”

In addition to a dialer, there are apps for messages, music, calendar, email, and “LG Health W.” There’s also a custom Audi app built especially for this particular device, which lets you control various aspects of certain vehicles — including the ability to unlock doors with NFC.

Other functions include the ability to record voice memos, a remote shutter for connected smartphone cameras, and a find my phone feature. Dobie also notes the presence of a “Sounds” option  inside the settings menu, which hints at the posibility of a built-in loudspeaker — that that wasn’t confirmed by LG.

Like the G Watch R, LG’s new watch has minute markings etched into its bezel, a heart rate monitor on its back, and it is water-resistant. The device doesn’t have a name yet, according to the reps at CES, but it’s model number is LG-W120L.

A source told The Wall Street Journal earlier this week that LG is building webOS smartwatches because the company has the freedom to do whatever it wishes with the platform, whereas its options are restricted with Android Wear — which, unlike regular Android, doesn’t allow third-party skins and other modifications.

Now, here’s the bad news: The watch LG is showing off at CES this week is just a prototype, so you won’t be able to buy one. However, given that the device looks a lot like a G Watch R, LG’s first consumer webOS watch could look a lot like it.