Motorola Moto 360 Review

Introduction


Motorola has been fighting an uphill battle for some time now, that’s just the reality of things. In today’s bustling smartphone industry, one that’s being shaped by the bigger, more renowned players like Apple and Samsung, we have forgotten how Motorola played its part to shape Android’s success in the space. Heck, it was only a few years ago when the Motorola DROID launched to much acclaim – putting the spotlight once again towards the company.

In recent years, however, its light has been dimmed ever so slowly due to the fierce nature of the business. Let’s be frank here folks, Motorola might not have the same level of authority as it once did back in the early 2000s, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they can’t come out with something innovative. Look further back than the Motorola DROID, the company was able to deliver the iconic, original Motorola RAZR.

Fast forward to the present, smartwatches have popped into our culture – giving us yet another budding segment that’s expected to see substantial growth over the next couple of years. Taking the bull by the horn, the Motorola Moto 360 was the talk of the town when it was unveiled back in Google I/O, easily garnering adulation from attendees – despite the fact it was going to launch well after its esteemed rivals in the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch. Well, the time has come for the Moto 360. With all the hype surrounding it, we’re itching to find out whether the wait is worth it!

The package contains:

  • Wall charger
  • Charging dock
  • Quick start guides

Design

The Moto 360 makes it hip to be circular, making it THE smartwatch we don’t mind resting on our wrist.

Until now, all of the popular smartwatches have been square in shape. Samsung’s line of smartwatches has been squarish for the most part, although, new models like the Gear Live are cut accordingly to contour the wrist more comfortably. Meanwhile, the LG G Watch is simply an ugly duckling with its cheap plastic casing and far-from-ergonomic design. Fortunately, for all of us, Motorola is finally the one to deliver a smartwatch design we don’t mind wearing and showing off!

Huey Lewis and the news argued longingly that it’s “hip to be square” in the band’s memorable song from the 80s, but in today’s smartwatch space, the Moto 360 makes it hip to be circular. In comparison to the design styles of its rivals, the Moto 360 amazes us with its iconic, industrial design – one that’s sturdy and luxurious from head-to-toe. Come to think about it, the design looks more like a traditional timepiece, as opposed to a tech gadget.

Staring at the thing, our eyes are just instantly affixed to its beautiful design. Elegant, luxurious, iconic, and hip are words that intimately describe the Moto 360’s immaculate industrial design. Sheesh, there’s no arguing that Motorola employs some awesome engineers, those who take pride and joy in their work! Impressively, everything came together perfectly with this gorgeous looking timepiece.

Right away, we’re locked into its round display, which is undeniably its standout feature, but before we get into the details regarding that, let’s take a look at some of the design’s qualities. First and foremost, the bezel is constructed from high-quality stainless steel, which not only houses its internal electronic components, but acts to protect it as well. Thankfully, the case has an IP67 certification, making it water resistant in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Washing our hands, jumping into the shower, or using it in the rain doesn’t faze the Moto 360 – so that’s one less thing we have to worry about with this smartwatch.

Secondly, our particular review unit comes with a dark grey colored Gray Horween leather band – another company that’s based out of Chicago, just like Motorola Mobility. Certainly, it has more of an appealing quality versus the plastic bands we see from other smartwatches, but Motorola will offer matching metal bands down the road to those who prefer to keep the look uniform. Strapping it on, we can’t complain about its fit and comfort. Being adjustable, it’s able to properly sit snuggly on our wrist. At first glance, it might look like the band isn’t replaceable, but Motorola assures us that it is. In fact, it uses a 22mm strap, but replacing it will require some extra work on your part.

Of course, the Moto 360’s size can become a nuisance to those with smaller hands. Most men will find its size to be ample, but for females, it proves too much of a distraction. It’s simply too big for some of them! Despite that, we have to applaud Motorola for its efforts, mainly because this is one of the best designed gadgets we’ve seen in recent memory!

For those of you wondering, there’s a single button towards the right edge of the Moto 360. Pressing on it once will turn on the display, while long-pressing gets us into the settings menu – where we can adjust its brightness, change the watch face, turn it off, and much more. Around the backside, there’s a heart rate sensor that glows in a subtle green color to measure our pulse (more on that later). Best of all, there’s no charging port with the Moto 360, as it opts to utilize a discrete wireless charging system instead.


Display

Armed with an eye-caching round display, it’s absolutely unique and classy. Still, we wish its resolution was just a smidgen higher.

A first of its kind, the Moto 360 is the first watch powered by Android Wear to feature a round display. Specifically, it’s a 1.56-inch 320 x 290 (205 ppi) LCD display with Gorilla Glass 3 that we’re presented with – and boy does it impress and astound! Technically, it’s not larger or higher resolution than the displays in the Samsung Gear Live or LG G Watch, but nevertheless, we’re most intrigued by its round nature.

Favoring a round display, it gives the Moto 360 a look that’s more akin to your traditional, high-end timepiece. However, upon closer inspection, it’s not completely using the entire real estate, as a small strip towards the bottom is unused – giving it that “flat tire” appearance. Yes, it slightly breaks up the display’s uniformity, but we’re not too distracted by this. Instead, our attention is merely diverted to the display’s high-quality performance.

Using good old LCD technology, we’re better able to view the screen outdoors, where the sun’s presence can become a distraction. Unlike the AMOLED screen of the Samsung Gear Live, the Moto 360’s round LCD display is still visible under the harsh conditions – further aided by its decent viewing angles. Colors, too, are represented nicely, as it produces tones that are vibrant and lively. Interestingly, there’s an ambient light sensor in the Moto 360, enabling the display to adjust its brightness automatically to adapt to the conditions. That’s something that the aforementioned smartwatches lack.

In terms of details, its pixel density count of 205 ppi is behind that of the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, but it still proves effective enough to make out things on the round display without a whole lot of squinting. When it comes to telling the time, it gets the job done in that regard, but upon closer inspection, we can make out some pixels. Even though we’re content by the details it produces, a part of us wishes the resolution to be just a smidgen higher – to solidify its stature over the competition.

Tapping and swiping on the screen with our fingers accumulates a fair amount of smudges and fingerprints, but we’re able to remove them easily with a quick wipe from our shirt. Thanks to Gorilla Glass 3, we’re not too concerned about this one getting scratched, but at the same time, it helps to give the screen a very smooth touch. Still, when it’s turned off, the pitch black look of the screen is equally able to attract attention – due to its stone polished look.

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49 Comments

1. josh_dent910

Posts: 6; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

Beautiful design!

23. Daniel.95

Posts: 89; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

Noob John V. You rate Nokia Lumia 630 and HTC One M8 for windows 8/10. Are them really = ? __________________________________________________​______ Now you rate Moto 360 , 8 Points, WTF The best Smartwatch better than future smatwatchs.

26. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

It got 8, because while it's a great smartwatch there is room for improvement. And seemingly WP experience was worse than Android experience on same hardware, that's why M8 for Windows got 8.

28. sgodsell

Posts: 7519; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Daniel.95 and ihavenoname you say that John V. is a Noob. A true Noob is someone that will buy a WP device in the first place. You bring up the Lumia 630. Face the truth its a crappy cheap device. No rear camera flash, no front facing camera with a low resolution display, and only 512mb of ram. The HTC One M8 was already out for Android. The only difference is the crappy WP8.1 OS. You bring the WP crap up here to smart watches and articles related to them. Now how many smart watches work with WP right now? Don't bother, There is none available right now that work with WP. Its kind of like the app situation as well. The same holds true for WP apps as well. I can't open my car door with WP yet. I can't open my front door yet. My banking apps are not on WP. The list goes on and on. But please bring up WP anywhere you want. So we can all find out the truth about WP and its lack of apps still. I personally will be getting a Moto 360.

33. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Sorry but have to correct you. Pebble does with an unofficial app on the store.

2. RobVLC

Posts: 13; Member since: Apr 02, 2014

Can you make calls or handle calls from the smartwatch and listen them directly in the BT headphone?

14. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

If you have a bluetooth headphone, you can do both of those without a watch already.

35. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

If you also have a phone. You would need all 3 devices.

49. bob_monkeywarts unregistered

I think so... I have a G watch and you can't make calls with the stock phone app, but there are a bunch of 3rd party apps that you can get that let you use your watch's microphone and your phone's speakers. So if your phone is paired to a Bluetooth headset, I guess you can. But if you buy a smartwatch just for the phone and use a BT headset, it doesn't really make sense to use 3 devices, though. You could also get a Moto hint...

3. hipnotika

Posts: 353; Member since: Mar 06, 2013

i dont make any comment for moto 360. it is nice. but i think all over, these smart watches are tooooo unnecessary. they are all money traps..

6. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Totally agree. Like social networks and frequent app updates weren't enough.

8. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I waiting for Android wear to hit release 2 before buying a watch. I too dependent on smart watch to go without it. Note 3 with gear and Xiaomi RedMi Note with Sony SW2. I having lots of fun trying out different watch app and watch customization.

12. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I'm really tempted to get a 360 But I'm going to wait for next year's smartwatches I want more battery life and the screen to be constantly on Hopeful that comes with faster more efficient CPUs and a Mirasol or OLED display

15. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

See I thought the same thing at first. However, now that I've been using my 360 for 5 days, I learned that I prefer the screen to not be constantly on. Motorola's sensors are extremely accurate. Every time I either lift my wrist or rotate it, every slowly, the screen turns on. It's fantastic. Screen on is pointless. Had you asked me this 5 days ago, I would have told you screen on or I don't want it.

18. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

True, but I want the screen always on because then it would look more like a 'normal' watch Also I want to see the smartwatches from Apple, MS and Intel as well

27. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Sony Sw2 screen is always on just without the backlit normal day light is enough make the screen visible. Double tap bring on the back light. For SW3 Sony has embraced Android wear. Good that they do. Samsung still dreaming about pushing tizen in gear S making it exclusive to Samsung phone. So Google better speed up the progress of Android wear to keep the OEM in lines.

36. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

"Every time I either lift my wrist or rotate it, every slowly, the screen turns on." /\ That is NOT a good thing.

37. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Can get really annoying inside a movie theater :) It'll keep turning on and off while you're eating your popcorn + drinking that diet soda.

4. djlucy

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Wow.....looks good, sexy, and yes....I love big faces on watches 58mm!!! Adding it to my monthly routine, different watch.everyday.

5. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

So LG G Watch R is ugly duckling copy of Moto360? So legit PA. Anyway Moto360 looks classy.

10. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The 360 has a more classy luxurious style The R has a more masculine sporty style I like both designs

29. TouchWiZSucks

Posts: 53; Member since: May 12, 2014

LG G Watch R got those super ugly BEZELS

30. T.Law

Posts: 423; Member since: May 10, 2014

But its screen is fully circular and it looks like a real watch.

7. schinnak

Posts: 116; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I agree it looks good. But when you talk about design, you need to factor in the practicality as well apart from the looks. That black bar on the bottom is a design flaw and should not be there.

34. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Lets not forget that this is almost a male only watch due to its size.

42. crazyemon3y

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

That black bar on the bottom is not a design flaw as the ambient light sensor is there. While many people don't like the black bar, it is much better than the alternative of having a large black bezel around the whole watch, with a smaller screen.

9. Onlinector720

Posts: 25; Member since: Sep 03, 2014

Isn't it a circular model?So why is the resolution 320*290?

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

There's black bar at the bottom Its where the ambient sensor is (for auto brightness)

13. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Not completely circular display? What a fail. It looks also way too thick to be elegant.

16. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

It's thinner than my normal watch. I'd actually prefer it a tad thicker but this is okay too. By no means is it too thick. Go look at some nice mechanical watches out there. There are almost all thicker. And that "flat tire" at the bottom is barely noticeable in real world usage. You just see it in the pictures because the pictures are huge and zoomed in. Trust me, that screen choice with the "flat tire" was the correct one. Here was there other option.http://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/687422/motorola-design-001.0.jpg

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