Moto 360 | a well balanced smartwatch

Reviewing the Moto 360, I again came to the conclusion that Motorola really knows how to focus on the important things. A watch needs to look good, needs to be comfortable to wear, needs to be legible in all light conditions, and, in the case of a smartwatch, the charging needs to be hassle free. The Moto 360 delivers on all of those. It is not perfect, but I now understand why many still think it is the best Android Wear smartwatch.

Design

I have had the LG G Watch and Pebble Classic before trying the Moto 360. Those 2 watches perhaps have similar features, but they don’t look particularly good doing them. With the Moto 360 I have had genuine positive comments on how it looks.

I think the good looking leather strap, the stainless steel casing, and the edge-to-edge screen all make for a striking design.

And eventhough I am all about functionality-first, I have to say that in the case of a smartwatch, looks certainly matter!

Comfort

I don’t want to spend much time on it, but I have to say that the leather band is very comfortable, besides looking great.

Screen

The Moto 360 has a light sensor and this is a pretty important feature for a smartwatch. I never have to fumble with the brightness level of the screen, which again makes for a comfortable user experience.

Also, the colours, resolution and viewing angles of the watch screen were good in my opinion. They could be better, but I never had the feeling that the screen was not satisfactory (which couldn’t be said of the LG G Watch, for instance).

Battery life and charging

Although I really enjoyed the battery life of the Pebble and I wish all smartwatches had it, the Moto 360 has found an acceptable solution to the battery life issue.

The battery life of the Moto 360 is far from great in itself. It has got me through every day, but generally with only 5-15% left at the end of the day. Whereas with the LG G watch I found the charging to be a real hassle, Motorola has found a great solution to the problem. The watch has wireless charging and it has a stand that makes the watch double as a bed-side table clock when it is charging.

So, I just take the watch off before I go to sleep, put it on the stand and when I wake up in the morning, the watch is ready to go with 100% battery. Meanwhile, during the night I have a cool looking clock on my night stand.

Areas of improvement

No watch is perfect, and neither is the Moto 360.

The battery is probably the achilles heel of the watch. Because of it, the phone does make some compromises: such as not being able to have the screen on all the time (a la Apple Watch) and the screen does not boost to full brightness instantly when in bright sunlight. They are not deal breakers, but need to be addressed in the version 2.

Also, although the leather strap is really comfortable for daily use, it is not ideal for sports. I think it is not something I can fault Motorola for, though, because when you choose this watch, you don’t immediately do it for its suitability for sports tracking. It does open up the possibility of having a more sporty version of the Moto 360?

Summary

All in all, I am really enjoying the Motorola Moto 360. At this point in the product’s and category’s life cycle, I don’t recommend it, but that doesn’t mean that it is not a very good smartwatch. I can’t wait to see Motorola’s next iteration of the Moto 360.

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