Motorola Moto 360 review – an elegant smartwatch with a rich set of features
Just over a month ago, we published a review of the LG G Watch R (translated), which, in addition to being the first smart watch on the Bulgarian market with a round display, was also the first to run the Android Wear platform. Just recently, there was another rather attractive model added to Smartphone.bg’s online store, which also has the two characteristics mentioned above – the Motorola Moto 360.
It is the appearance of the device that won over millions of fans, immediately after the official announcement. Adding the software innovation of the Android Wear operating system turns Moto 360 into a useful gadget, as well as a stylish accessory.
Before we delve deeper into features and specs, here is an official introductory video about the device.
In the package
Even before you open the box, you may be surprised by its cylindrical shape. As far as package contents are concerned, there’s a MicroUSB charger, wireless charging stand, as well as a few instruction leaflets.
The first thing about the Moto 360 you are bound to notice is the roundness, which hearkens back to a classic wristwatch, and at the same time, makes the device stand out from competing smart watches. The LG G Watch R is also round. The latter’s display, however, is slightly concave because of the additional ring that surrounds the base. With the Moto 360, it’s the other way round. The display is just slightly convex, which makes sliding your finger along the screen a pleasant experience.
The strap is made of leather and is currently only available in gray. It has thirteen holes, so that it can fit nicely ’round any wrist. The body of the watch is made out of stainless steel, and there is a shiny coating on its back, featuring some of the basic capabilities of the device. The heart-monitoring sensor is also there. The sides of the Moto 360 are almost entirely clean. The crown, which has a power button function, is on the right, while on the right, there is a microphone. There are no speakers, so the microphone can only be used for Google Now voice commands.
We measured the watch and came up with a thickness of 11.8 millimetres, weighing in at just about 50 grams, which makes it a whole 12 grams lighter than the G Watch R. The Moto 360 also has the IP67 water resistance certificate, so dropping the device to a depth of a meter for no more than half an hour should be fine.
Motorola and LG are the two major manufacturers, who’ve decided that their smart watches should have the classic round shape, and that decisions appeals to a big portion of the customer base. The Moto 360 is equipped with a 1.56 inch display, which is slightly bigger that the 1.3 inch one on the G Watch R. The technology used here is LCD, however, and there is also Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, which the LG model lacks. The resolution is 320×290 pixels, which means a pixel density of 205ppi. Viewing angles are fine, and you should have no problems in outside lighting conditions, since the Moto 360 also comes with a special brightness increase mode. It should be noted that there is a small black section in the lower half of the Moto 360, which is not part of the touch-sensitive display.
G Watch R proudly boasts a plethora of appearance customization options. In addition to different outer appearance, there is also the option of changing the information displayed on the home screen; things like pedometer count, weather forecasts and so on. The Moto 360 does not have that sort of variety, but Google Play is already jam-packed with different visuals, so that shouldn’t present a problem.
The battery has a capacity of 320 mAh, 28% smaller than the 410mAh of the G Watch R. According to Motorola, however, this will be enough for a whole day of mixed usage. After testing the device, we can support that statement for the most part, although, more intense usage may give you less than day’s battery life. On the plus side, charging time is relatively short. You can fully charge the battery from 0% for about an hour. The special wireless charging stand is a definitely a nice addition.
Software and capabilities
Control and menu settings
By a single touch of the display, you are taken to the main menu, where you see a column of all functions. If you are on the home screen, the various notifications will appear in the lower half, and if you want to view them, you have to swipe them up. Swiping to the right will close the notification, while swiping left will give you additional information related to it, if available. Swiping down on the home screen will get you the battery charge status, different vibration and brightness options, as well as the settings menu. In the latter, you’ll find more lighting settings, airplane mode, a restart option, a wallpaper change option and general information about the watch.
On first boot, immediately after you choose the menu language, the system will provide you with the option of installing Android Wear apps from the Google Play store. To connect your watch to a smartphone or tablet, they need to be running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or higher. You can check device compatibility by going to this URL with the respective Android device.
The Android Wear app is necessary, if you want the smartwatch to use information from the Android device. In itself, the app doesn’t offer many options. You can choose the look of the watch, familiarize yourself with some voice commands and access all available Android Wear apps on Google Play. The number of apps is constantly increasing, so you are bound to find something that interests you.
After connecting the watch through the Android Wear app, Motorola suggests you install the Connect app, which will also provide you with information about the watch, as well as some control options. For example, Connect gives you the ability to customize the home screen to your liking. You can change colors, dial design etc. You can also set your own photo as a wallpaper for the watch. Motorola Connect also offers personalization of your Moto Body profile. We’ll discuss the Moto Body apps further down.
You can download Motorola Connect for free from Google Play:
Searching in Google
One of the main functions of Android Wear watches is the ease of access to Google Now. You can literally check anything in the search engine, as long as it recognizes your voice command. The results can be transferred to your smartphone by selecting a small icon, which appears in the upper-left corner of the result.
Notifications and reminders
All notifications you receive on your phone can be displayed on the watch as well. This includes messages, social network notifications and so on. You can also create voice notes and get reminders.
Sports and heart rate
Much like other smartwatches, Motorola’s device is equipped with a heart rate sensor, placed on the back of watch. This time, the sensor has been very well concealed, so as not to distract from the overall design and irk the user. Like with the G Watch R, which also runs Android Wear, the sports-oriented Google Fit and Runtastic apps are pre-installed. In addition, you get the Moto Body apps – Calories, Heart Activity, Heart Rage, Steps. They will provide you with additional information about distance traveled, your pulse during sports activities, calories burned, as well as daily and weekly statistics about your progress. You can even get trainer advice, motivating you to achieve your goals.
Once again through a voice command, you can start navigation and target-setting. The function uses the Google Maps app on your smartphone, and each time you need to take a turn, you will be notified in advance. That is achieved through a gentle vibration, which will remind you to take a look at the watch.
Messaging and emails
Sending text messages and emails with the watch is also possible through voice. You give the name of the person who is to receive the message and then the message itself. Even though we successfully tested that function, there is always the risk of incorrect text input. To use voice message input you have to open the Google app (the blue icon) on your Android smartphone and then choose Menu> Settings >Accounts & privacy, toggling “Contact recognition.”
As noted, Moto 360 can’t be used to make calls, but if someone does call you, the watch will display that, and you will have the option to reject or accept. Choosing to accept the call would mean that you have to quickly reach for your phone, of course.
Games and applications
As we’ve already mentioned, Android Wear apps on Google Play keep piling on, and even though the number of options is not yet staggering, you are sure to find some useful apps as well some games to kill some time. You get a pre-installed calendar, chronometer, alarms and more.
Moto 360 is a great example of the continuing development in smartwatches, both in terms of design and capabilities. It is suitable for users with a fast-paced lifestyle, for sports enthusiasts, and for those who just want to keep up with the latest trends in technology. Wearables are becoming more and more popular, and you will see them being used more frequently. The Moto 360 certainly has what it takes to become one of the most coveted wearable devices.
Some of you will probably need some time to get used to the small screen, but when you do, you will reach for your phone less and less often for simple everyday activities.
For current information about pricing and purchasing options of the 360, go to Smartphone.bg’s online store:
- Beautiful round design, use of stainless steel
- Android Wear + many apps and functions options
- Ability to customize the appearance of the watch
- Moto Body sports apps
- Gorilla Glass 3 display protection
- Relatively short battery life
- Lack of ability to make phone calls
- Only compatible with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and up