I seem to have acquired a newfound interest in periodically checking my heart rate, especially after any physical activity. It must have something to do with the heart rate monitor… but I’ll get back to that. Let’s begin with the unboxing experience.
As expected, the Moto360 came in a high end rigid box. Keep in mind, this isn’t just a tech product packaging, but also a watch which raises expectations. Watches regularly come in extravagant, original packaging that yell designer, or luxury. In this case, The Moto360’s circular, minimal packaging does a good job reflecting the nature of the product. Edges are crisp, fits are smooth and it’s soft to the touch.
Beautifully executed with the watch itself sitting immediately under the image. The two part rigid box comes apart to reveal the product immediately, no buildup. I may be nitpicking here, but the insert holding the watch in place is a high quality carton. Don’t get me wrong, it’s professionally molded and feels great… but still for a $250 watch I was expecting more than an egg carton. Overall, it still keeps true to the minimalist feel and experience, letting the main tactile focus be the watch itself.
Simple and beautiful. The top inner section of the cover has a simple circular foam piece that protects the watch face. And I must say, look at those gleaming chamfered edges. Anyhow, the rest of the accessories were tucked away under the molded pulp insert. Nothing special, but we’ll take a closer look at those accessories shortly.
Being me I have very small hands and an equally small wrist. The watch itself is gorgeous, but I can’t deny it may come across as awkwardly large. To be honest, I don’t notice the size whatsoever. On a larger individual I’m sure this isn’t a problem. The face itself is Gorilla Glass, the body stainless steel and the band, Horween leather. Overall a great combination of materials.
I never once cared for pedometers. I go to the gym daily and I’m a health nut so making it a point to walk was never a concern. However, Google’s fancy step counter makes it fun, setting goals and showing you your weekly progress. I guess there’s no denying that I now realize how much I sit around every day. It’s lame yes, but I do get a bit of joy watching myself reach those step goals.
Facebook messages, texts, emails all relay to the way. It’s actually quite nice being able to peek at your notifications without having to reach for and unlock your phone every time. It’s especially nice to leave your phone wherever and not have to worry about missing a call. As long as it’s in the range of bluetooth, your wrist will start buzzing.
I must note however, the functionality is absolute crap. I can’t access multiple messages, let alone a full facebook message. If the conversation is too long, it’s simply cut off and all you can do is reach for your phone. Responding is limited to speech input, which never works right anyways (maybe 10% of the time?).
The selection of watch faces is the icing here. So many gorgeous faces to choose from, and carefully crafted by the creators themselves. I’m sure if they opened it up to the public, people would start making and uploading all sorts of hideous, tacky crap. All the faces are elegant, professional and clean, but range in character from fun to serious. This one’s a nice classic face.
Another favorite of mine. This one tends to be busy at times, especially when notifications start clogging up the screen. It’s pretty embarrassing but someone asked me for the time the other day and it took me a good ten seconds to decipher what I was looking at. Beautiful face nonetheless.
So here’s a serious word of advice. Absolutely do not try to use the watch while driving. It’s a terrible idea, unless you’re glancing at a call or notification. Having navigation on your wrist makes no sense. Trying to interact with Google Now and constantly glancing to correct its errors is frustrating as is. And to do all this while driving, you’re just asking for an accident. If anything it’s just another distraction on the road.
One of the most exciting features. Inductive charging. The base is a fun little object with a soft touch matte finish. Compliments the watch nicely. It’s great being able to drop the watch onto the charging base and be done with it. No fiddling with mini USBs in the dark, figuring out what’s right side up.
The biggest letdown to take note of is battery life. It’s ridiculously short. We have enough devices that require charging every day and this just adds another. Thank goodness it charges to easily and what’s nice, quickly. Just within an hour you can go from empty to nearly topped off. However, if you’re on the go, it’s highly doubtful you’ll find an inductive charger anywhere around, and you can’t just plug in a micro USB. I’ve found myself out and about countless times with a useless little brick around my wrist, battery drained that didn’t even tell me the time. If you’re just checking time however it’s fine… but it’s a smartwatch. You’d better use it for more.
To conclude, the watch is gorgeous. Motorola made an excellent choice going with a circular screen, keeping to the traditional appearance of a watch. Anything rectangular in shape is just too far from the norm, and also limits the range of “elegant” looking apps and watch faces. Sorry Apple. For the price, hell yes. Watches cost up and above that anyhow, why not have one that does more. Unfortunately the biggest drawback is the lack of utility. And this is the biggest letdown for now. On that note, I’m off to go develop a wearable app! It’s a good a time as any.