[dropcaps]When the Moto 360 was released back in September of last year, we found it to be the best Android Wear smartwatch on the market at that time due to its elegant looks and nifty features. That was 7 months ago though, and quite a lot can happen in such a long time span. Today we are taking another look at the Moto 360 by Motorola, as I describe my personal experience with the device during a three-week testing period. During that time, I found the Moto 360 to be the one of the best smartwatches on the market and the best Android Wear smartwatch, period. So, how about we get started then.[/dropcaps]
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When I got the email notifying me that a package had arrived for me, I quickly mosied on over to my mail center, knowing that I would soon have a shiny new Moto 360 to play with. When I took it out of the box, I was quite surprised. While I had seen many images and videos concerning the Moto 360, having never owned one, I was taken away by the truly elegant and sleek look of the device. The circular body encased in its metal body was just fantastic to look at. It gave it a very futuristic look, and I was quite impressed. The leather straps augmented that look by giving the Moto 360 a cleaner look. While I am a fan of metal bands, I feel that too much metal can make a device look gaudy. No, the leather band suited the Moto 360 by providing a great contrast to the silver, circular body.
After I finished gawking at the Moto 360, I put it back into the box and went on home. I wanted to be able to test the device in a more tranquil location, and the FedEX store was not that. Also, I am pretty sure that the lady at the desk was giving me a weird look, most likely due to the fact that I love gadgets and I tend to get overexcited whenever I get a new one. Anyway, when I got home, I proceeded to take everything out of the box and place them in an ordered fashion on my desk. The dock looked great, as it was small and out of the way. So you could place it almost anywhere and forget that it was even there. I placed mine right next to my bed, making it serve as a nightstand clock.
After I had everything situated on my desk, I took the next logical step and powered on the Moto 360. So began my testing period, and here are my thoughts on the Moto 360, in no particular order.
[df-subtitle]My first impressions of Android Wear[/df-subtitle]
[row][third_paragraph] [blockquote author=””]When the Moto 360 was announced, I instantly knew that I had to have one…[/blockquote][/third_paragraph][paragraph_right] Android Wear has been around for some time now, and I will admit, when I first heard about it, I was very excited. I thought to myself, “finally, a true smartwatch OS that will make owning a watch a great experience again.” Unfortunately though, after the first devices started hitting the market, I realized that I was not going to get the experience that I wanted. What experience was that, you may ask? Well, I honestly can’t really tell you. I wanted Google to give me an experience that I didn’t know I needed, and that when I got it, I would not be able to imagine not having it. I wanted to be able to quickly check my messages on my smartwatch and be able to reply to them in a quick and easy fashion. I wanted the smartwatch to be an extension of my phone, to be able to make me more productive. I guess what I really wanted, was a tiny virtual assistant on my wrist, which I foolishly thought I would get since I knew that Google Now would be a very prominent feature of Android Wear. Unfortunately, that was not the case and I quickly dismissed Android Wear and returned my LG G Watch, and went back to using my Pebble Watch. While this is not to say that the LG G Watch was inferior to the Pebble Watch, the Pebble Watch at least knew what it was and did not advertise anything else.[/paragraph_right][/row]
Fast forward to our present day, and Android Wear has seen some revisions and improvements that have made it a bit more useful. While it still needs quite a lot of improvements for me to be able to say that I am 100% satisfied with the OS, it has reached a point where I am content with having a device that runs it, which brings us back to the Moto 360.
After having had an unsatisfactory experience with the LG G Watch, I was just going to wait until Android Wear improved, or a device was announced that could make me forget about my previous grievances and make me want to own it. In my case, the latter occurred. When the Moto 360 was announced, I instantly knew that I had to have one, though this time I would wait some time before I purchased the device, since most new devices tend to have issues when they first come out.
[df-subtitle]Android Wear and the Moto 360[/df-subtitle]
Even though Android Wear is supposed to offer the same experience on all devices that carry it, I found that I enjoyed using it much more on the Moto 360 than I had on the LG G Watch. To be fair though, the software did have some time to mature between then and now. Anyway, after I turned on the device, let it run through the setup process, downloaded Android Wear on my HTC One M8, synced them together, and then set things up on the phone, I was ready to start testing and using the Moto 360.
Notifications, which one can argue are the heart of any good smartwatch OS, worked flawlessly on the Moto 360. All of my text messages, Gmails, FB messages, and other forms of communications were delivered to my wrist for easy access. I could then easily delete them, reply to them, or just simply ignore them (which I may have done on several occasions…). It was also nice being able to read entire messages on my wrist, without having to take out my phone to read them. I tend to spend a lot of time in class or in meetings, so being able to discretely read a message when I had a minute or two was a huge bonus for me. One of my favorite features though was able to speak directly to the Moto 360 and reply to text messages using nothing but my voice. This really came in handy when I needed to reply to my friends and let them know that I was going to be late. All in all, the notification system on the Moto 360 worked as it should have, with little hassle to be had, if any.
Sadly though, that was the extent of my usage for the Moto 360. In the sense that I did not find myself using it for much else. I never used the heart rate monitor, nor did I download any apps for it, or much else than use it as a watch and a notification center. I never really found the need or desire to do so. Which is by no means a bad thing, per se. I needed a watch that would allow me to receive my notifications on my wrist so that I did not have to take out my smartphone every single time, and the Moto 360 delivered wonderfully. As for the other features, it was nice knowing that they were there, but I did not find myself needing to use them. This is not a reflection on Motorola though, as Android Wear is a product of Google and not the hardware giant. Google just didn’t really improve that much on the whole smartwatch idea, and it, unfortunately, shows in Android Wear.
[df-subtitle]Battery life and everyday use[/df-subtitle]
The battery life on the Moto 36o, when it was first released, was horrendous, at least that is what everyone kept saying. I can’t really speak on that since I got mine after many software updates that really helped improve said battery life. I also never had the ambient screen turned on.
I was able to get a full days use of the watch, which is more than I could have asked for. I didn’t mind having to charge it every night since it was as simple as setting it down on the dock and letting it do its thing. Even better, I didn’t have to plug it into anything, due to the Qi Wireless charging capabilities of the Moto 360. When I would forget to charge the device at night, I would quickly set it on the dock and it would charge fully in less than an hour. So in the time that it would take me to get ready for work.
The Moto 360 is a neatly designed smartwatch and very comfortable to use. I never minded having it on my wrist, and I really enjoyed the compliments that I received on a daily basis while I had it on. This is a testament to Motorola and their great ability to make great products.
As I said before, this is by no means supposed to be a detailed review on the Moto 360. Just a short synopsis of my experience with the Moto 360 and some of the changes it has seen since it first came out.
While the Moto 360 did not have all of the features that I would have liked to have seen it carry, it still offered a great experience and I would gladly recommend it to anyone that wanted to get a smartwatch. So if you want a quality smartwatch at a reasonable price, then the Moto 360 is the way to go, as it remains the best Android Wear smartwatch on the market, and you can purchase one for yourself by heading over to Amazon, if you so choose.
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