Sunday, September 7, 2014

Moto 360

MOTO 360: Wearable Gadget

It's been a long time coming. Despite its end of summer launch window, the Moto's curved stylings were enough to overshadow the first pair of Android Wear watches, the squared off, uninspired, cheap-looking LG G Watch andSamsung Gear Live. In the meantime, though, a second wave of Android Wear watches has already begun jockeying for attention (and disposable income).

When a device is as sleek, futuristic and eye-catching as the Moto 360 you can do one of two things. Wear one under a shirt and suit so that you can easily peep at the circular smartwatch as and when you need to. This is the way all the Motorola execs do it - we didn't even notice many of them had the 360 on at first glance. 
The second thing you can do is slyly turn your wrist around or pretend there's an itch on your arm so that you can bring the Moto into people's eyeline to get more attention.
That's what we've been doing. 
Because it looks awesome and we want to show it off. Even in a room full of other people who are wearing a Moto 360.
It takes up about the same amount of space on your wrist as a regular analogue watch, or for that matter the square LG G Watch (which looks even more uninspired in design now we've sat it next to the Moto atop our wrist). It is chunky though at 11.3mm high so it does sort of declare its presence even if you don't want it too. At least, then, it's light. The 360 with a black leather strap, the unit we've been given to review, weighs just 49g. That's heavy enough so you know it's there but light enough to avoid feeling like you have a tiny computer strapped to your arm. 
The steel body feels sturdy with a perfectly smooth circular edge and a single power button on the right hand side. We tried winding it - nothing happened but still, it's a nice borrowing from watch design school. If you select the watchface with a ticking hand and two timezone dials then squint, it could be an IWC.  

Some people will moan about the strip that cuts off the bottom of the circular screen. But Moto showed us the alternative in its Model Shop. A fully round screen, with no room for the display drivers, would have meant much bigger bezels. In fact, the prototype Motorola threw out looks a little like LG's G Watch R. We think Moto made the right choice. Source 
Why Round Face?

The Moto, as expected, has the best Android Wear watchfaces so far. From an animated ticking clock face with timezone dials to a stylish rotating set of circles, they really show off the form factor. There's only seven, yes seven, to get started with but we're hoping to be able to download many more in a matter of days. With Moto holding competitions for watchface designs, we don't think it will stick at seven for long. Like the Gear Live and G Watch, you can set the watchface to always on, or 'ambient' here - the 360 warns that this decreases battery life but hey, a watch is for telling the time. 
Battery Last Long Day
Moto says the 360 should last a day of mixed use and after our initial play, we'd be inclined to agree. After eight hours (on auto brightness) of setting it up, testing voice, changing watchfaces every five minutes and taking our heart rate, the 360 still had 47% battery which isn't too shabby. 
It's a 320mAh unit, which sounds like it shouldn't take long to charge. But the Moto 360 charges wirelessly, via the bundled dock, so expect it to take longer than a microUSB cradle. When docked, the 360 displays the time in a night mode so chances are you'll stick the charger by your bed and charge once a night, during the week at least.
It's an elegant solution, the charger is big enough that it probably won't get lost (unlike the Gear Live's cradle, for instance) and it means the designers didn't have to ruin the build with a microUSB port. We'll update this hands on review after a couple of charges with the timings of how long it takes to get from 0-100%. 

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