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Hands On - Moto 360

Some nights ago, late, my wife and I were watching TV. While I was constantly changing channels, as I always do, I stopped in an infomercial "Paint Zoom". After 5 min watching all the stuff it can do, I turn to my wife and say "Dear, I want that" smiling she says "You always want everything, you are a marketing victim". I had to agree, I really am a victim of marketing. Since I remember I always wanted a lot of stuff, the garden hose that is like the firefighters, the "Mercury Clean" spray, and lots of other stuff.

That aside, from sometime to now, I acquired a zest for electronics and I have become an "Early adopter" mostly for Google Devices. During the last 2 years I've been one of the firsts on buying a Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 on their launch date, and I was preparing for the Nexus 6 but, not anymore, little bit expensive and the Nexus 5 is still hanging on. But, this time, I got the most new device from Motorola, the Moto 360. Bought it during the launch date and I was one of the lucky ones to get it then. These are my impressions:

 

Well designed and Quality Materials

Moto 360 in wristAs they said in all of Tech Blogs, the Moto 360 has the best exterior design of all smartwatches out there, yeah, including Apple Watch. Why? simple, it's round. All other, are squared, with exception of the newest LG. We need to remember that we are talking about a watch, and a watch, in addition to be functional, has to look good, is a fashion piece and it has to look like a watch, not like a mini cellphone attached to your wrist.

We can see and feel the quality of the materials. The case is made from stainless steel, mine painted in black with excellent finishing, it has just 1 button that has some functions. It has a real leather wrist band although Im not fan of leather bands I personally prefer metal bands. But Motorola has everything figured out, they are going to sell metal bands for this watch too. Little bit expensive I have to say.

Software

To be honest, I haven't seen anything outstanding, for me the watch is just an incomplete extension of the cellphone screen, its functions and apps are mostly extracted from the phone. They are connected via bluetooth. I have to mention that the voice recognition engine is very good, I had mine configured in English and it recognized very well what I was saying even with my strong Mexican accent. Sometimes I need to yell at it, I suppose I haven't learn yet what's the correct volume to talk to it, I mean, I guess I still feel shy about people watching me talking to my watch, but the Moto 360 is definitely better recognizing voice commands than my Xbox 360. GPS app is buggy, it doesn't always vibrate when a new direction. Endomondo is not compatible with it so I switched to Runkeeper where the UX is a little bit weird, and Im pretty sure the tracking is very inaccurate. The system is still pretty much based on touch and the voice commands are only very few. The one that I use more is "Remember me... " but there are some other like

"Show me my step counts"

"Show me my heart rate"

"Take a note" - It saves it on Google Keep

"Send a text to... " - It sends and SMS

"Send an email to..." 

"Agenda for today" - It shows you today's event in your Google Calendar

"How old is (Some celebrity here)" 

and some other Google Now commands.

Notifications are the ones that your cellphone receives, when you dismiss them they are dismissed from the cellphone also, the vibration is slight and is not that annoying like the cellphone. They are well designed and you can still see the time. The best thing for me are the watchfaces, the round shape of the watch and the possibility to change the face was the selling point for me. If it wasn't for that feature I wouldn't even consider to buy a smartwatch. The default ones are very good, good image quality, excellent design, but I downloaded some other that are also very good. I recommend to use Facer and go to http://facerepo.com to get a lot of watchfaces for free. Google fit comes preinstalled but it is in its early stages with limited functionality.

Hardware

I'll start with the specs on their website.

Moto 360 Unboxing

Compatibility

Smartphones with Android 4.3 and up

OS

Android Wear™
 

Screen

Dimensions: 1.56" 320 x 290, 205ppi
Technology: Backlit LCD
Glas: Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3

Case dimensions

46mm diameter por 11.5mm thickness

Weight

49 gr. 

Battery

320mAh
Wireless charging with dock included

Processor

TI OMAP™ 3

Memory

4GB internal storage + 512MB RAM

Conectivity

Bluetooth 4.0 Low energy

Sensors

Pedometer 
Optical Heart Rate Monitor  (PPG)

Other

Single Physical Button
Vibration motor
Dual Microphones
 
The physical button has various functions as a shortcut. If you received a call, you press it and it stops vibrating. If press it when it is doing nothing, it goes to energy save mode, etc. It has microphones but it doesn't have speakers, so you can answer a call from it but you can't actually speak thru it. When you remove it from the dock and put it on your wrist you can feel it warm, not big deal but still weird for a minute. Good thing about the dock is that if you put it on your nightstand you can use it as a clock, because when it's charging it displays the time. It doesn't know when it is on your wrist so if you are not wearing it, and is not charging it will waste battery trying to read your heart rate unsuccesfully. It doesn't have lefty mode so lefty people will need to use it with the button on the incorrect side, not big deal either, I think.
 

The one million dollar question. What about the battery?.

 
I'll start saying that it charges very fast. It takes it less than an hour to charge from totally drained to full charge. It came with 30% charge when I received it, in 30 min I was already playing with it. It has 2 screen options, one of them the other Android Smartwatches doesn't have it, Ambient Screen.Moto 360 Screen Modes
 
I used the watch for a week with the following settings. 
 
  • Brightness: Auto
  • Ambient Screen: On
 
Getting the following results:
 

Day 1

  • Started using @ 4:30 pm
  • Obviously as it was the first day, I used it a lot. Two 30 min trips using GPS and a 5 min trip also. I completed the tutorial, tested all voice commands several times, received a bunch of notifications.
  • by 11:15 pm it was @ 15%. It was a rate of 12% per hour.

Day 2

  • Started charging @ 8:15 am totally drained
  • Charged completely by 8:45 am and started using it
  • by 5:30 pm 45% charge still good
  • by 11:30 pm only 4% charge available

Day 3

  • 100% @ 8:30 am
  • 13% @ 7:11 pm

Day 4

  • 100% starting @ 1:00 pm
  • 20% @ 1:24 am of the fifth day

Day 5

  • 100% when started using @ 1:00 pm 
  • 15% @ 11:30 pm

As we can see, on this mode the rule seems to be that the battery doesn't give us more than 12 hours. Therefore, if our day extends, for example, a Friday when we go up early for work, but we keep going until late after work when we go out for dinner or a bar or something, we are going to end up with a nice, usless, bracelet on our wrist. After the first week, I was going downstairs and almost felt down, I had to use my wrist to avoid losing balance and I scratched it a little bit. 2 day later, the glass broke.

I sent it to Motorola for repair. I have to say that they had excellent customer support, sent it on a Monday and received the new one by Friday. I didn't had to pay shipping, although, fixing it, because it was caused by me, leaning on it, the warranty didn't applied, and the fixing was kinda expensive. So now I know I have to be careful with the glass.

After all that, I received an update to make the battery life better, and since then I tested it with the same configuration above, these are my results:

Day 1

  • 8:00 am 100%
  • 10:23 pm 17%

Day 2

  • 8:00 am 100%
  • 12:13 am next day 4%

Day 3

  • 9:00 am 100%
  • 9:30 pm 14%

Day 4

  • 8:40 am 100% 
  • 9:30 pm 0%

Day 5

  • 11:00 am 100%
  • 1:30 am next day  28%

Although the increase of the battery lifetime is not significant, it is enough to actually say that it "lasts a day". Obviously, it dependes on the usage but in my case it lasts between 15 to 18 hours. 

In conclusion, it is a very interesting fashion piece, well designed, with greate potential, but I don't still think is very useful, with incomplete functionality, and a UI too dependent of the touch. If you are not like me that I love watches, and you are looking to buy it just for the functionality, I recommend you to wait, is not there yet. If you are a watch freak you will find it amazing just because the tons of watch faces, just if you are not a purist that loves the mechanism and that stuff.

EDIT: I took my moto360 to México for a vacation, I spent there about a month and I came back very concerned. Because it was a vacation I didn't spent too much time in just one place, I went to my home town and did a bunch of stuff, you know, visiting familiy, meeting with old good friends, eating out, and stuff. So I didn't had the phone charging all the time as I do here. I turns out that my cellphone drains the battery pretty quickly when connected to the watch, I guess it is the bluethoot, the watch kept is charge pretty much as described above, but my cellphone was going from 100% to 0% in less than 4 hrs. I have a Nexus 5 by the way. And know that I'm back on "normal" usage meaning the phone sits down in its charger all day in my desk, it keeps charged and I have enough charge for the rest of the day when Im out of work. But definitely in a busy day, where you are out and don't have a chance to charge your phone during the day, it will quickly drain. I blame the watch because that didn't happened when I didn't had it