There’s no escaping it; Wristwatch technology is increasing and is going to be part of our everyday lives. Although it’s been possible to have a smartwatch with notifications for several years through the Pebble and third-party watches. Over the last year, Android Wear has made the smart watch mainstream. And in the next couple of weeks, with the advent of the Apple Watch, having a smart watch will be “mainstream cool”. So what does Android Wear have to do to compete? Here, we look at the most desired Android Wear device, the Motorola Moto 360.
Motorola Moto 360 Review:
When the Motorola Moto 360 was announced, it was the most hotly anticipated device in the range, being the first circular faced watch in the Android Wear platform. When it was finally released in September 2014, people were upset that the circular display wasn’t fully circular. Other than that, the Motorola Moto 360 is still a desired device.
Design and Display:
The Motorola Moto 360 is 11.5mm thick and has a 1.56 inch screen with a resolution of 320×290 for a density of 205ppi. The screen is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, meaning that scratches are less likely, which is good for a wrist watch. It’s true, the display isn’t a full circular display, as the bottom of the screen has been chopped off by a light sensor which will help dim the screen depending on the ambient light. This doesn’t take away from the aesthetics, however.
The rest of the Motorola Moto 360 has a tiny bezel of only 2 mm. On the right hand side of the stainless steel case, there is a small button which will allow you to turn the device on, return to the watch face and silence alarms. The rear of the Motorola Moto 360 has a smooth plastic feel which covers the optical heart rate monitor.
The Motorola Moto 360 comes with a choice of bands: Either leather or metal in a range of colours. Black, Stone and Cognac in leather, and light stainless steel, dark stainless steel and champagne stainless steel. The cases come in similar colours to complement the band. It’s not clear whether you can use any strap which would fit, but you can buy the bands from Motorola separately at a price of $29.99 (£20) or $79.99 (£53).
The Motorola Moto 360 is powered by a 1 GHz Cortex A8 processor and backed up by 512MB memory. The device has 4 GB of storage for apps, music and other items. It’s possible to load music on to the watch so that when you’re out running, you can play music.
As well as this hardware, you also have the Optical Heart Rate Monitor and pedometer which will track your steps throughout the day. This is then linked to MotoActive. Strangely, the monitoring cannot be loaded up to Google Fit, so if your device doesn’t support tracking on your phone, then Google Fit doesn’t get used.
For obvious reasons, we can’t put the Motorola Moto 360 through a benchmark.
Currently, the Android Wear is running 5.0.2. which needs Android 4.4 KitKat on your phone or tablet to work.
Android Wear allows you to sync app notifications from relevant apps on your device to your watch. Depending on what apps you have running on your device, and if they’ve enabled Android Wear integration will determine what apps you can use on you Motorola Moto 360. It’s possible to use the Android Wear app on your device to decide what apps will show notifications on your Motorola Moto 360 and which will be able to be used. More apps are available from the Google Play Store.
The Motorola Moto 360 comes with 12 pre-installed watch faces ranging from analog style to digital to minimalistic. More watch faces can be found on the Google Play Store, although most cost a small amount.
The Motorola Moto 360 also comes with Motorola Connect, which allows you to connect to the Motorola specific apps on the Motorola Moto 360. These are things such as the Motorola Active (Motorola’s version of Google Fit) and also locate your Android Wear device.
The Motorola Moto 360 also has voice control using Google Now. It can be used to launch apps, reply to texts/emails/messages and get simple answers from Google Now such as weather, traffic, and sports results. The dictation engine is from Google which is quite good, allowing you to make reasonable replies from your watch. If the reply is incorrect, you can cancel sending the message and re-dictate it to your watch.
The Motorola Moto 360 is powered by a 320 mAh battery, which has a good life. When we received the Motorola Moto 360, it had no power. We placed it on the magnetic charging stand and within minutes, it had turned on and was charging. Within 75 minutes, it was fully charge and ready to use. We then kept the watch running and using it and setting it up. We found that with moderate use, we managed to get a good 36 hours use from it. We then simply placed it back on the charging stand on the bedside table and whilst it was charging, it became a good bedside clock. If there was one fault with it, the screen was a little bright in a dark room, and we would have liked it to be dimmer at night. On the battery life, however, we can’t fault the Motorola Moto 360.
The Motorola Moto 360 is a good Android Wear watch. Despite people being disappointed that the Motorola Moto 360 doesn’t have a fully circular screen, it still doesn’t take away from the great service it gives in a great, attractive design. We can’t wait to see what Motorola will do with the Motorola Moto 360 and more importantly, what Google will do with Android Wear.