Moto 360 Review: Powered By Google's Wear OS.
, by Anusiya M, 6 min reading time
Moto 360 is a surprise entry to the world of smartwatches this year. Priced at 46,500 INR, this watch is powered by Google's own Wear OS with minimal customizations. It also brings the design you are familiar with to your wrist, powered by the latest technology.Despite the button with the iconic Moto logo embossed on it, a trust built across generations, the new Moto 360 (2019) doesnt exactly come from Lenovo-owned Motorola. Its designed and manufactured by eBuyNow, who has licensed the brand Moto 360. It puts an end to a 4-year wait since the release of the second generation of Moto 360 back in 2015.Powered by Qualcomms latest Snapdragon Wear 3100, with nearly double the memory to store apps and music to your hearts content, it is definitely a step up from its previous edition. To add to the charm, it retains the second editions well received always-on display as well. But a lot has changed in the smartwatch market since 2015 - a fact Motorola seems to be ignorant of as it makes a re-entry.The frontrunner Apple Watch Series 5 and even cheaper Wear OS powered Amazfit GTS have come a long way with improved looks. Having seen Skagen Falster 3 and Fossil Gen 5s attempt to redefine the look and design, Moto 360 should have done a better job to avoid the old bland feel which might have been trending back in 2015.
A Peek into the Design and Build
The original Moto 360, when launched back in 2014 stayed on top of the charts for its looks, it was a bit chunky. For the second edition, the biggest difference was that it came in two sizes - a smaller size that looked elegant on women. Unfortunately, the third edition does not include that.This time around you have two color choices: steel grey and rose gold with a PVD coating or a sandblasted phantom black stainless steel with a DLC coating case.
The coating ensures higher scratch resistance. The box also packs a choice between stylish leather straps or water resistant silicone straps. The 42mm casing houses a 1.2-inch circular AMOLED touchscreen display with 390 x 390 resolution and 327ppi pixel density, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.The added physical buttons compared to the other Motorola smartwatches are a welcome addition. While the first button retains its original functions, the second button can be customized to launch your favorite app, with Google Fit Workouts set as default. The build quality deserves a special mention - it feels nice on the wrist. The dressy look brought together by the black leather strap and grey stainless steel case combo is eye-catching.
The Corning Gorilla Glass protected touch screen display is bright and vibrant, just like many other Wear OS smartwatches in the market these days. The always-on mode in Moto 360 like the Apple Watch gives users a chance to keep the screen on, as long as you want. It may not be the best-in-class, but its never going to disappoint you when it comes to managing your notifications or tracking your health and fitness data.The gym-friendly silicon band comes in the box. Its easier to switch between the leather and silicon strap, with two small pins behind the strap. The smartwatches of late does not leave you with a choice of bands in the box, or leaves it as an additional purchase - Moto 360 adds value to users at purchase.
Googles Wear OS
The new Moto 360 is powered by Googles Wear OS and so you can see new watch faces for Google Fit, and widgets designed for quick peek into fitness and health data. Wear OS ensures compatibility with Googles state of the art app packages like Google Fit and Google Pay - and many more available in the PlayStore.The NFC onboard when coupled with Google Pay enables contactless payments, fairly easy to set up when paired with your smartphone.
While the lack of speakers prevents you from taking calls from your wrist, the onboard microphone lets you talk to Google Assistant baked right into the Wear OS (though the Assistant cant talk back to you!).Google Assistant adds an array of smart features - like responding to messages, better interaction with your smart device etc. As expected, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset coupled with 1GB of RAM and an 8GB of storage delivered the smooth performance that anyone would expect. Snapdragon Wear 3100 is a definite upgrade from its predecessor powered by Snapdragon 400, as it is a dedicated processor for smartwatches.
The device is magically fast without any lags or performance glitches. Another goodness that comes with Wear OS is that it connects swiftly with Android (Marshmellow or higher) and iPhone devices (iOS 10.0 or higher) - with Googles array of apps, time-tested for both operating systems readily available in respective app stores. The addition of Tiles makes getting around the phone relatively easy - a feature Google should have baked into Wear OS a long time ago. The software is bug-free and notification support works well, in hand with Google Assistant.
Health and fitness tracking
Moto 360 will not disappoint you when it comes to health and fitness tracking - packed with sufficient sensors and technology. It is great for outdoor workout, given the optical heart rate monitor, built in support of all four major Satellite Positioning Systems including GPS, GLONASS, Beidou and European Unions Galileo.The Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Barometer, HRM, and Ambient Light sensors assist indoor tracking. The 3ATM or a 30 m water resistance is good enough for a swim. Moto boasts that it has been tested for 10,000 swim strokes.
Google Fits watch face summarizes your daily step counts pretty concisely. The Breathe App, a part of Google Fit has the useful de-stress breathing exercises - but it does not stand out of the pack or offer anything extra compared to its competitors.Google Fit may not be the best app if you want to dive into your workout history, which is one of the issues with this watch. Google Fit gives a lot of emphasis on Heart Points and Move Points, which may be attractive to a normal user, but not much helpful for sports tracking. It may not be as accurate as Garmin or Polar as a sports/high intensity activity tracker. If sports tracking is not of priority for you, this watch has got the basics covered.
A Days Battery Life and Power Saving ModePacked with a 355mAh, Moto 360 gives you a days battery life on a normal day as promised by the makers. Motorola claims a Battery Saving Mode which activates when the battery is critically low, could extend the battery up to 3 days with limited functionality.Bottom-line, you will get the same battery life you would expect from any Wear OS watch these days. Motorola lives up to the promise to fill the battery from 0 to 100% in just 60 minutes.
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