Tech Reviews: Android Wear Moto 360

Metova’s resident gadget hound, Dane Hale, has been using the Moto 360 for about a month. Here’s what he thought of it!

Ever since Google Glass was announced it seems like “wearables” is a buzzword that keeps getting louder. With the announcement of Android Wear, Google made one of the best attempts at laying down a direction for the future of wearables. But the first few smart watches to display Android Wear felt very underwhelming and almost like prototypes. Motorola has finally broken that mold with its beautiful smart watch, the Moto 360.

 

Design

If there is anything that sets the Moto 360 apart from the other smart watches on the market, it’s its slick design. With the industrial look of the metal and it’s minimal, circular shape, this watch stands out as a really nice accessory to wear. I felt good wearing it on my wrist with formal wear as well as with my casual appearance. The watch faces show up in vivid beautiful colors with the 1.65 inch 320 X 290 resolution display. The size of this watch may be a little bulkier than a traditional wristwatch but never was it uncomfortable or got in the way. This smart watch actually looks like a legit watch. Unless someone saw me interacting with the watch, they wouldn’t know this was more than your average timepiece.

 

Software

Due to the Moto 360 running Android Wear, it’s almost the same experience that one would get on any other Android Wear smart watch. So you can receive notifications from your phone, you can respond to text messages with your voice and more. What the Moto 360 brings to the table is it’s own app to allow the watch faces a few options of customization. You can customize the background color, digital number color, accents, etc. The watch faces provided with the Moto 360 are elegant and stylish and with Motorola’s customization options, they are now a little more personal.

 

Performance

When the Moto 360 was initially released, it felt laggy and at times not very responsive. But Motorola has been hard at work to release several updates and they have pretty much squashed any bugs or performance issues that I have noticed with my Moto 360. It runs smooth and is always responsive to the touch.

Viewing the display wasn’t ever a problem, especially with its ambient light sensor adjusting the brightness to the light conditions around me. The only suggestion I have, which might just be for Android Wear as opposed to Motorola, is to allow more time to give a voice action before assuming I don’t want to do a voice action. The voice recognition on this device is what you would expect from most gadgets with Google search built in and it does not disappoint for the most part. Whenever I requested information the cards pull up on the display quickly and it actually gave me the impression I was actually saving time using the watch as opposed to pulling my phone out of my pocket. Which is exactly what I want from a smart watch.

 

Battery Life

Battery is another area, that when initially released, it wasn’t on par with what most people expected. There was no way that it could confidently make it through a full day with moderate to heavy use. Since it’s release, Motorola has pushed several updates and the battery life on this smart watch has greatly improved. I can easily get a day and a half out of this watch before I feel the need to charge it (this is with ambient mode off, which is where the watch face turns off till I either double tap the screen to wake or I make a gesture with my wrist to have it turn on). Granted, I have to charge it every night, but Motorola makes the experience a little easier by providing a wireless charging dock that will turn the watch into a little night stand clock as well.

 

Conclusion

With the trend of having bigger smartphones, it is becoming more cumbersome to pull a phone out of your pocket to just see a notification or respond to a text. That is where Android Wear is making a play that most people will want to save time and not have to deal with that hassle. Majority of what I do with an Android Wear watch is check notifications and see my Google now cards. But now with the Moto 360 I can finally have a stylish design to interact with while I do it. When it comes to recommending a smart watch to anyone wanting to experience wearables, this would be the one I would recommend most.

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