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LG's WiFi-based smartwatch to go on sale this week

LG Electronics Inc., South Korea's No. 2 smartphone maker, said Thursday it will start selling its latest smartwatch that has a WiFi connection in its home turf, taking the device to a new level as it expects to ease low-signal problems at remote distances.

The LG Watch Urbane will be released Friday through three local mobile carriers -- SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Inc. -- with its price set at 396,000 won ($367), the company said in a statement.

It will also be available at some jewelers located inside major department stores in Seoul, as part of a bid to give consumers a wider range of purchase channels, LG said.

The wearable device is scheduled to go on sale abroad in 13 countries next week, starting in the United States, Britain, India and Japan.

The WiFi-connected LG Watch Urbane is an upgrade from the previous version of the same model released late last month that came with the long-term evolution network.

It will be installed with the Android Wear 2.0 platform, the latest edition of Google Inc.'s operating system for wearables that only recently debuted on Tuesday (U.S. time). The cloud-based Android Wear 2.0 enables users to stay connected to their wearable device and smartphone regardless of the distance, as long as they're in a WiFi-connected zone.

The LG Watch Urbane has received a positive response from around the world since it was first unveiled in Spain in early March. The smart wristwatch touts leather straps in brown or black, which give a retro touch, while its metal-clad body is highly resistant to scratches and rust.

The body of the wearable device comes in a 1.3-inch plastic organic light-emitting diode with the frame in two colors: rose gold and silver. It has a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor chip and runs on a 410mAh battery. (Yonhap)