Monday, December 7, 2015

Motorola Moto 360 Watch Review

I purchased the Motorola Moto 360 (1st generation) watch a few months ago when it went on sale at a good price due to the arrival of the second generation Moto 360. The watch that I had been using (U8 Pro) stopped charging and I wanted an Android Wear watch. After a bit of research on the Motorola Moto 360 Android watch (and because of the sale price for the 1st generation), this was the watch I purchased.

You can easily tell the difference between the Moto 360 (first generation) watch with the Moto 360 (second generation watch). The most noticeable difference is that the button on the side of the watch for the first generation is exactly at the 90 degree mark whereas for the second generation, it is at approximately at the 45 degree mark. I don't have the second generation Moto 360 so can't really comment on it but after having the watch for approximately 3 months and having some spare time to devote to my blog writing, I thought that I would write my review/thoughts about the Motorola Moto 360 watch.

The Moto 360 watch's bottom portion of the screen is flat in what is commonly referred to on the internet as a flat tire. You can see this in the picture that I've included from their manual. Motorola calls this a "shelf" and according to them, it is used to hide various sensors including the proximity sensor. According to the reports that I've read, they do plan on eventually removing this "flat tire" but it is evident in both the first generation as well as the second generation Moto 360 watches. Removing the "shelf" according to them would mean a thicker or bigger watch. Personally, this "flat tire" bothered me a little bit at the beginning but after a few months, I don't fixate on it to the point where I even notice it.

One of the first things that I want to cover is battery life since most people will want to know about this. Based on my usage patterns (where the watch face is not illuminated until I receive notifications and I receive quite a few notifications every hour), the battery lasts for over 24 hours. I have never used the watch until the battery was exhausted so I don't know the exact time that it will last but based on my usage and estimate, I would say that it would probably last me approximately 32 to 36 hours or so. Since the watch didn't have any sleep monitoring software built into it (nor did I use it to track my sleep), I charged it every evening when I went to bed so the ~36 hour battery life didn't really inconvenience me.

The Moto 360 first generation watch comes with a wireless charging stand. The charging stand plugs into a standard microUSB charging cable. The watch charges very fast. It will take under 90 minutes to charge it to 100% (from the 20% range). While charging, the watch will display the time as well as what the percentage of charge on the watch.

The watch connects to an Android phone (I've connected it to my LG Nexus-4 and then later connected it to my OnePlus One) via bluetooth and handles the notifications very well. Please note that you can only connect the Moto 360 to one phone at a time and in order to connect it to another phone, it will require a factory reset of the watch. When it is out of Bluetooth range of the Android smartphone, it can also be set up to connect to a wireless network (WPA2-Enterprise is not supported) so that it can still receive notifications.

Set-up of the phone was very straight forward based on the on-screen instructions as well as using Motorola's Moto 360 manual. You can view Motorola's Moto 360 manual *HERE*.

What I like about the Moto 360 watch is that it gives me notifications for email, SMS, phone calls, as well as everything that would normally appear in the Notification bar of my Android device. I found it very convenient to read e-mails and SMS using my watch as opposed to pulling the phone from my pocket. Even though it notified me of phone calls, I found the notifications to be a bit weak so that sometimes I wouldn't notice that I had received a phone call until I looked at my watch.

The other thing I want to talk about is the heart rate sensor on the watch. I wear a Fitbit Charge HR and compared the heart rate results between it and the Moto 360 watch. I found that the Fitbit Charge HR was more accurate during higher intensity workouts than my Moto 360 watch. In terms of the number of steps, I also found that the 2 devices would give different readings. During my tests for short distances, they both had a relatively small difference in the number of steps shown but by the end of the day, the difference between the 2 devices was often times over 1000 steps.

Where applicable, applications which were installed on my Android phone automatically installed the Android Wear component onto the Motorola Moto 360 watch when I first linked/synched the 2 items together.

I've been happy with my Motorola Moto 360 watch so far and don't have any issues recommending this watch to anyone if they want to receive smartphone notifications on their watch.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

1 comment:

  1. Rather than edit my original review blog post, I thought that I would add a comment. My Moto-360 watch started to get cracks on the back of the watch. These cracks appear near the pins used to secure the watch band to the watch so the cracks appeared in 4 places. After doing some investigating on the internet, it seemed to be a common occurrence and I got the back of the watch repaired/replaced under warranty.

    In order to get it repaired, I had to have my bill (which showed that I purchased it less than 1 year ago... cracks started to show up to the point that they were very noticeable after ~8 months), my watch had to have shown no other physical/water damage, and the firmware must be the official unmodified Motorola firmware. When I finally got the back replaced, the longest crack of the 4 cracks was at least 1/4 of an inch or 6.35 mm. The other cracks were half of that.