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How to use an Android Wear watch with an iPhone – and why you may want to

Andrew Hayward | June 22, 2016
Granted, you get a lot less functionality with Android Wear watches via an iPhone, but the price difference compared to an Apple Watch could add a lot of upside to the downgrade.

What are my options?

According to Google, the following watches are compatible with an iPhone 5 or newer running iOS 8.2 or later: the Asus ZenWatch 2Fossil Q FounderHuawei WatchLG Watch UrbaneMotorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen)Moto 360 SportMoto 360 for Women and the TAG Heuer Connected. The new Casio Smart Outdoor Watch also lists compatibility on the Google Store.

However, that's not a complete accounting of available watches. Earlier Android Wear devices like the first-gen Moto 360 and the LG G Watch and G Watch R  also work, although users have noted needing to perform a factory reset on the watch to perform the pairing. It's likely that any newer Android Wear watch will work fine with an iPhone, and it doesn't hurt to search around to see whether an older device will, as well.

android wear iphone selection

On the low end, the Asus ZenWatch 2 offers a surprisingly capable device for just US$150 in 45mm and 49mm sizes. Meanwhile, the glossy and pristine Huawei Watch starts at US$400, but that's with stainless steel and a sapphire crystal watch face included, which will set you back at least $799 on the standard Apple Watch.

The Moto 360 is probably the best-known of the Android Wear pack and, as mentioned above, Motorola has expanded the line a bit for the second round, adding in a Sport model with a silicone band and GPS tracker, as well as a sleek and smaller Moto 360 for Women model. The base 2nd Gen model starts at US$300 for a 42mm model, with the 46mm option sold for US$350.

The ZenWatch 2 sells for half the price of the smaller Apple Watch Sport, but if you look at the older Android Wear devices - that is, the ones not still sold in the Google Store, but potentially found elsewhere - you may discover bargains.

That's especially true if you consider refurbished or used models: I picked up a refurbished LG G Watch for US$50 on eBay a year ago, less than a year after it hit stores, and it's pristine and highly functional. It's not the nicest smartwatch I've ever had on my wrist, what with its large case, loads of bezel and generic rubber strap. You typically get what you pay for when you buy a cheaper alternative - then again, I paid $50, and it works perfectly with my iPhone.

android wear iphone gwatch wrist

How do I pair it?

It's a pretty easy process, actually. Google has an Android Wear app available from the iOS App Store, and once that's installed on your phone, you can pair the device through there. You'll match the code shown on your watch to the one seen in the app, and then it'll complete setup from there.

 

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