Moto 360 First Impressions

I was very lucky to get my hands on the Moto 360 smartwatch from Motorola, and after 2 days, I’ll be sharing my first-hand experience.

Motorola’s beautifully crafted smartwatch is certainly one of the best looking smartwatches you can find right now on the market. With a 1.56″ circular LCD display, a 320×290 screen and the Corning Gorilla Glass 3, it looks very eye pleasing. Comparing the LG G Watch I owned previously, the Moto 360 certainly does stand out. Just within 2 days of use, lots of people came to me and asked about the watch, while on the other hand, the LG G watch didn’t get much attention even after 2 months of use.
Screen-Shot-2015-04-14-at-5.21.14-PMThe Moto 360’s display is not completely round. There is a small indentation, also known as a flat tire on the bottom of the display, which houses the screen drivers and sensors, which is a trade off with the screen very near to the edge of the watch. Personally I don’t find it annoying at all, as I would rather have this than a complete circle and large sides, like the LG G Watch R and LG G Watch Urbane.

 

 

05-moto-360-charging-100429899-large.idgeThe Moto 360 charges slightly differently from other smartwatches, including the G Watch R and Apple Watch. The watch charges wirelessly through the Watch stand. It is very convenient to charge the Moto 360 as it doesn’t require you to plug in the watch, as you can just place the watch on the charging dock, leave it, and it will automatically start charging itself. It also acts like a mini night clock, as when you place the watch on the dock, it dims its display and shows its current charge and time.

Just like every other product out there, there will be some disadvantages, and it certainly also applies to the Moto 360. After switching from the LG G Watch to Moto 360, lags and stutters throughout the UI is noticeable. This is because it uses an older processor than the LG G watch, the TI OMAP 3 chipset, also used on the Galaxy Nexus, is both more power inefficient and lower in performance as compared to Snapdragon 400 on all other Android Wear smartwatches. It also ran outdated software, which may be the reason why the performance is pretty bad. After updating the software (Android Wear 1.3), I noticed the performance being drastically improved.

Moto_360_Ambient_Screen_WarningUsing the LG G Watch, I could get 2 full days with an always-on display, and I didn’t need to worry about the battery life. That is not the case with Moto 360 though, as I was prompted with a warning that stated the reduction in battery life if I were to enable the always-on display function (called Ambient Display on the Moto 360). I’m a power-user, which led me to naturally leave it disabled, hoping I could get as much battery life as the LG G Watch. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and it barely lasted a day, having only 10% after 10 hours of use. This is not what happened on the LG G Watch, and yes the TI OMAP 3 chipset is quite certainly to blame.

The watch also suffers from disconnects when the phone and watch are left charging and inactive for awhile. I needed to toggle the Bluetooth on the phone for the watch to reconnect, which was quite annoying.

Overall, the Moto 360 is in fact a beautiful watch, with downsides such as lower battery life, lower performance, and some software bugs. All of them could be fixed in the future with software updates by Motorola.

If you ask me whether I regretted changing to the Moto 360, I would still say no, as I love the Moto 360 and I am indeed happy that I switched. You can check out the Moto 360 here on Motorola’s page.

Low Zhi Heng
Low Zhi Heng

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