The Moto 360 is easily the most attractive smartwatch in the current market. Not only does it look and feel the most like an actual watch in comparison to its competition, but its design is simple, elegant, and beautiful. From the stainless steel case, to the Horween leather band, and even the fancy packaging, this "watch" is the most impressive, and comfortable device that I've ever worn on my wrist.
|Left: ipod Nano - Middle: Moto 360 - Right - Accutime standard Watch|
The screen is big, and beautiful, with pictures displayed on it looking bright and colorful. Text is sharp and legible. The black levels look great. Everyone who has seen this screen in person on my wrist has complimented about how great it looks, and even in direct sunlight, I can easily read any notifications that come in.
Make no mistake about it, the Moto 360 will draw attention to itself when you wear it out in public.
|The Moto 360 is just slightly thicker than a real watch or an ipod nano.|
|These may all be watches, but it's amazing how different they all are.|
Your phone and watch will then be seamlessly connected via bluetooth with your chosen notifications popping up on your watch. If that is one of your worries, then do not fear. You do have total control over what notifications pop up on your watch screen. Android wear is flexible enough to let you filter out what you do not want.
|Android wear has flexible controls.|
|The Moto connect app adds flexibility.|
|The "My Design" face is customizable with backgrounds, watch hands, date, accent, and tick marks.|
|My customized watch face.|
|Outdoor visibility is great.|
|The "wireless" Qi charger is simple to use and elegant. Plus it charges the watch to 100% in just over an hour.|
|Want to take a selfie without actually having to hold your phone? Android wear allows for that.|
|Full screen text message notification|
|Text with contact pic|
|Text is clear and very legible.|
|Step counter card|
|The built in Heart Rate monitor is fairly accurate.|
|Use Google Wallet? You'll also get notifications for it on your watch.|
|Full screen music playback screen|
|The pop up notification for music and other apps look great.|
|Music downloading screen.|
|Music Downloading screen.|
|Traffic notification card.|
|Traffic notification card expanded.|
Up to this point, we've gone over the capabilities and physical attributes of this smartwatch. "How is performance?" may be one of the questions on your mind. The heart of the Moto 360 is a Ti Omap 3 solution, and it's not the newest or most power friendly chipset on the market. As mentioned earlier however, battery life is more than acceptable considering this highly touted "handicap." In day to day use, swiping through cards and apps is fluid and smooth. The only time that you will notice lag and stutter is when waking up the watch from a deep sleep. This is especially noticeable if you use a 3rd party watch face since the ones in the Play stores are mostly "hacked" as there is no official watchface API in Android wear at this time. Once I uninstalled the unofficial watch face, performance sped up again considerably. It seems that when the watch is awake and everything is loaded in the 512mb of ram and in use, all apps work quickly and smoothly. This was evident as at times I've simultaneously run the music player, heart rate monitor, step counter, Google fit, and text messaging without hiccups. The touch screen works as expected, and swiping away notifications is easy and effective.
Voice controls are hit or miss depending on ambient noise. Again, most of the issues with this occur when waking the watch from a sleep mode. You do end up with some hilariously bad translations of your text messages. Luckily, you can cancel and erase messages before they are sent. In my unscientific percentage, I'd say that voice commands work well (even in noisy environments) about 65% of the time. Voice dictation by itself is closer to working 90% of the time since your watch will already be awake. Again, these are the growing pains of a 1.0 product in a fairly new category. Your mileage may vary.
As for the most basic use:
Tap: Takes you to Google now, another swipe down in this screen takes you to your "app drawer" & settings.
Tap and hold: Change watch faces.
Swipe down from top of screen: Battery life, and Mute/Unmute notifications.
Swipe left to right: Navigates through notification/app screens.
Swipe right to left, Go back or dismiss notification/app screens.
Swipe down to up: Swipe through cards and notifications.
*Update: Swipe down on card notification: Hide card without dismissing it. Swipe back up from the bottom of the screen to view the card.*
The Moto 360 is definitely a 1.0 product. If you are not normally an early adopter, then you would be wise to wait for the 2.0 version of this product. However, if your expectations are realistic, then you will definitely be pleased should you choose to purchase. For your $250, you get an elegant watch, timer, and fitness device that informs you of the weather, sets reminders, and takes voice dictation. Android wear still has some growing to do, and Google is set to deliver additional functionality soon with the Android 5.0 Lollipop release, and Android wear 2.0. My biggest gripe with Android wear as an OS is that I do not want everything to be voice controlled, and the settings/apps can be a hassle to get into sometimes. Luckily, this being an Android product, installing wear mini launcher made this product even more of a pleasure to use. Some folks out there have done things such as unlock the full android OS on the watch, run a fully playable NES emulator complete with a paired controller, and even boot up a somewhat functional Windows 95 up to the desktop. It's certainly amazing stuff that shows how powerful the hardware on your wrist is, but again, this is best used as an elegant watch with added functionality.
One interesting fact to note is not about the Moto 360, but about the battery life of your phone. Although there is an always-on bluetooth connection between your phone and your watch, your battery life my seemingly improve since you will not need to power on your phone screen as much.
If you are a watch aficionado, or a tech enthusiast, then by all means, buy this product. To all others, try before you buy, but be warned, everyone that has seen this on my wrist definitely wants one.