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Buying G Watch or Gear Live smartwatch? How to check your phone's compatibility

Wear Check lets you know if your smartphone is compatible with the LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live or Moto 360 Android Wear OS smartwatches.
Wear Check lets you know if your smartphone is compatible with the LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live or Moto 360 Android Wear OS smartwatches.
Hil Scott

Making good on a promise made during its annual Google I/O developer conference keynote (June 25), Google is letting you immediately get your hands on an Android Wear smartwatch. Available to buy now direct from the Play Store are the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live.

The first two wearable devices running Android Wear to hit the retail market, the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live are currently sold exclusively at Google’s official Play Store online market. As GSMArena reports, at some point in the future, the watches will be available through other retailers.

Android Wear is compatible with Android smartphones running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or higher. Newer model Android phones are either running the aforementioned operating system or the latest Android 4.4 KitKit. If you’re interested in buying an Android Wear smartwatch and not sure if it’s compatible with your smartphone, Google has an online tool called Wear Check to help you out. Through your phone’s browser, visit g.co/WearCheck to check its compatibility status with Android Wear. Wear Check site will instantly confirm your smartphone’s compatibility with a check mark for “yes” or an “X” for “no”.

Back in March when Google announced the Android Wear operating system designed for wearables, LG announced that it was teaming up with Google on the G Watch. Simultaneously, Motorola also gave a preview of its upcoming circular designed Moto 360 Android Wear smartwatch during a Google Hangouts session. The upcoming wearable is expected to launch this summer, although the exact release date and availability of the Moto 360 remains a mystery.

Unlike the Android Wear powered Gear Live, Samsung’s latest line of smartwatches, including the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo run on the open source Android alternative, Tizen.

The fitness focused, sportsband look-alike Gear Fit watch runs on what Samsung refers to as a real-time operating system. “It's a much simpler OS, and it helps us keep the battery life three to four days whereas Gear 2 is [about] two days,” Samsung Telecommunications America senior vice president of products and technology, Seshu Madhavapeddy told CNET.

Samsung also switched from Android on its original Gear watch with a software update to Tizen. Now the Korean based electronics manufacturer puts Android back on its wearable with the release of the Gear Live, sporting the new and improved Android Wear OS. To learn more about the Samsung Gear Live, priced at $199 and the LG G Watch, priced at $229, head over to the Google Play Store.