The Moto 360 is among the first Android Wear smartwatches to be announced following Google’s official announcement of the Android Wear developer platform. Being the first smartwatch that has a circular design out in the market, it is highly anticipated by many. But does it live up to its hype?
Let’s take a look at the specs:-
- Processor: TI OMAP 3
- Display: 1.56” 320 x 290, 205 ppi, Backlit LCD IPS, Corning Gorilla® Glass 3
- Memory: 512 MB of RAM
- Storage: 4 GB internal storage
- Battery: 320 mAh non-removable battery
- OS: Android Wear
Design & Build Quality
Watch design is very subjective, which makes it difficult to make categorical statements. But for us, the Moto 360 is the best looking smartwatch to date. The Moto 360 looks and feels like a traditional watch. All of the core elements of a watch are there; from the Horween leather strap to the circular display and smooth stainless steel finish. It even has a “dial” on the side.
The Moto 360 is heavier than it look. We’ve been wearing it daily for a week now and we barely even notice it. The Moto 360 is also IP67 certified, which means it is totally protected against dust and occasional spills and splashes but having a leather strap makes it imperative to not get it wet. Thankfully, the strap is removable and replaceable.
Overall, Motorola has created a great watch that just so happens to be a smartwatch with added features instead of the other way around.
The Moto 360 has a circular 1.56-inch touchscreen display, with a resolution of 320 x 290. While the shape of the Moto 360 is circular, the screen is not a perfect circle. There is a small bar at the bottom of the Moto 360, which resulted in its unusual 320 x 290 resolution. This bar is necessary for Motorola to achieve the thin bezel profile as behind this is where the ambient sensors and some of the backlight components were placed. The alternative would have been to build them into a much thicker bezel like LG has done in the fully circular G Watch R. After a week of using the Moto 360 extensively, we were not bothered by this bar at all. We would take this thin bezel profile with the small bar at the bottom over a smartwatch with a thick bezel any day.
When Moto 360 was first announced, it was rumored to use an OLED display. Considering Android Wear has the option to leave the screen on at all times (ambient mode), it would make sense as OLED panels use less energy than LCD ones; they don’t have a backlight, and can switch off individual pixels when displaying black images to save even more power.
However, we’re glad that Motorola went with the LCD IPS display. The reason being, IPS displays are usually pretty visible and much brighter outdoors compared to an OLED display, especially under direct sunlight. Also, IPS displays have a more natural color reproduction. It all comes down to a matter of personal preference but we do prefer the natural colors of a good IPS display.
The screen is Corning Gorilla Glass 3 (similar to what most premium smartphones uses) rather than sapphire as used in the Apple Watch, but it should be strong enough for most. In our time with the Moto 360, it suffered a few impacts with no visible marks.
The Moto 360 is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 3 processor and 512MB RAM. It runs Google’s latest Android Wear operating system (OS) and has to be connected with smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher via Bluetooth LE. Other sensors equipped with the watch are a pedometer and an optical heart rate monitor. The optical heart rate monitor is an always-on feature, which helps monitor users overall activity level. This allows the Moto 360 to provide detailed stats about the user’s activity levels along with reminders to help the user reach their daily and weekly activity goals.
After a week of using the Moto 360 extensively, we noticed that at times, the animations are a little jerky, especially when we tried to swipe the cards too quickly after the display turned on. This could be due to the older chipset being housed in the Moto 360.
Moto 360 comes with a 320 mAh battery. With ambient mode turned on, it’s virtually impossible to make it through a full day without charging. We tried turning the ambient mode on, and it only lasted about 14 hours. With ambient mode turned off (default setting), we managed to have it last for more than 19 hours. When users turned on the ambient mode, it does give users a warning.
TL;DR, the Moto 360 needs to be charged every night. That’s not really a problem as most of us do not wear a watch to bed. Motorola ships the watch with a good looking wireless charging dock and the docked watch can act as a nightstand clock.
As the battery is only 320 mAh, it charges really fast. We found that it charges in about an hour from 0% to 100%.
The Moto 360 is powered by Google’s latest Android Wear OS and has to be connected with an Android smartphones running version 4.3 or higher via Bluetooth LE. Check out our full review of Android Wear right here.
In addition to the Android Wear app, Moto 360 users should download an additional app, Motorola Connect. This app allows the users to easily adjust the elements of the watchfaces, such as the background color, accent color and number style to make each design look the way the users like it.
Overall, the Moto 360 is a well designed smartwatch, with its elegant looks and is as functional as Android Wear allows it to be. The wireless charger that comes with it is a nice addition but the average battery life might frustrate some users.