“It’s time” Motorola proclaims. Time for the first smartwatch actually looks like a classic wrist watch. And in that regard, the Moto 360 and Motorola deliver.
The Moto 360 is by far the most attractive smart watch that has hit the market or been announced. The rounded design and stainless steel body are the first things that catch your eye. Not only does this watch look good, but it feels good as well. I don’t have small wrists by any means but the 360 feels comfortable on my wrist. The rounded construction just feels right. The squared off designs of other smart watches on the market pail in comparison to the 360’s sleek design.
In the time I’ve been testing the 360, it simply hasn’t lagged once. This is impressive considering the watch is powered by a TI OMAP36xx processor that was most notably used in the Motorola Droid X and Palm Pre 2, both of which were released in 2010. While a bit power hungry the processor easily pushes through basic tasks like checking notifications, voice dictation and checking your heart rate.
Easily the most frustrating part of the experience with the Moto 360 is battery life. Among all factors I consider battery life king in my devices and the Moto 360 is gimped by its 300 mAh (or 320 mAh depending on who you believe) battery. To get through a day on a single charge, you almost certainly have to turn off Ambient Screen which is one of the killer features of the watch even though Motorola boasts of an “All Day Battery” on it’s Moto 360 product page. While not in use, Ambient Screen lowers the screen brightness on your phone and removes the notifications to give you a quick view of the time without having to raise your arm to activate the accelerometer or pressing the button on the side. On the flip side, with Ambient Screen turned off, the watch almost never failed to turn on when raising my wrist and always responded to the button to turn on the body.
Screen brightness is a pleasant surprise here. With the watch set to the lowest setting I never had trouble making out what was on the screen, even in sunlight. Auto brightness also seems to do a good job of balancing screen brightness and not killing your battery too quickly.
The Moto 360 is a beautiful device held back by a just acceptable processor and battery. The fact that you must turn off features to make it through a single day reminds me of the days of the Galaxy Nexus when watching your battery was a full time job and LTE, GPS, WIFi and Bluetooth were only allowed to be on when you absolutely needed it. The screen could be a little higher resolution but I’d hate to see what that would do to already poor battery life. When the 360 is on, it’s brilliant. Android Wear is still early in it’s infancy and controlled by Google but the 360 makes the best of it. The circular design, stainless steel body and Qi charging are reasons enough to pick this up if you have the extra cash.
The future of the wearables are bright and the Moto 360 is the first stand out contender in a field of otherwise cheaply built, ugly smart watches that should only be considered if the $250 price tag is too much.
Readers, what do you think? Is the Moto 360 worth the $250 price tag? Will the only adequate battery life hold you back from purchasing? Let us know what you think in the comments.