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· 2014-10-23

Moto-ring into Wearables

Moto 360 image

I must admit, I’m actually really happy with the Moto360. After reading a load of reviews and speaking to people that already had the device, I was fully prepared for a subpar experience. Maybe that’s the beauty of not being a bleeding edge early adopter :-)

The woes that were extolled were many, and the only good thing people had to say were about the stunning good looks; battery life was woeful, not even lasting a day; performance was hit and miss; connectivity to phone was spotty; the list goes on, one almost wonders why on earth I would still want one. As it happens, both Google and Motorola have been fairly quick with updates to the device. Android Wear is still exceptionally young, having only been released at Google I/O this summer, but has already had at least two significant updates.

I’ve not had any connectivity issues between my Moto360 and my Nexus5, not once has my watch been unable to either connect to the internet or drop the connection. People complained that the vibration for notification was too weak. Seriously?! If it was any stronger my arm would shake as if I was suffering from some serious withdrawal symptoms. I genuinely find the vibration just right, strong enough to be certain it was a genuine notificationa and not a phantom notification as a result of my stomach rumbling because I craved something to eat. I’ll be honest here, and those that know me won’t be surprised at all by this statement, I’m not the most artistically observant person. Meaning I don’t notice small variences in colour hues for icons and glyphs, I don’t notice tiny pixelation, I don’t notice things like Issue 41827, that is unless someone points it out to me and I look really hard. I may just see it then after a while, the Sad Santa thing took me quite a while to notice the difference.

After a full day of slightly above average usage (I ended up demoing it to my wife for a wee bit), I was left with 57% battery remaining - and that was before the latest update that purportedly improves battery life by upto 15%. Not bad considering many said it barely lasted half a day. I have managed to find one case where I was able to deplete the battery rather rapidly though, it is by no means disasterous as I was fully expecting battery to be impacted. That case was going for a 10km run using Endomondo, with active heart monitoring enabled. After an hour of exercise I had used 40% of my battery, as the screen was permanently on alongside the heart rate monitor taking a reading very regularily. Thankfully the watch charges pretty rapidly and within an hour I was back to a full battery. I love the fact that the Moto360 uses QI charging, which means I don’t have to have the specific watch dock to charge and can use the same method as my phone and tablet (Nexus7).

My wife, who is normally fairly critical of my gadgets and gizmos, was genuinely impressed with the device. She hadn’t even noticed it was a new fangled “toy” and just took it to be a normal watch. She agreed with the many reviews (and myself) that it is indeed a fine looking thing, and when I showed her the functionality she actually wanted one - well almost. She mostly has her phone in her handbag, which is never that far away from her, but often wont’ hear the phone due to running around taking care of three children (well four if you include me). Being able to get notifications and quickly replying to text/Facebook messages would be a godsend for her. The watch as it stands is too big for her, she has always had the small faced watches aimed specifically at the dainier wrist, so for now she won’t be getting an Android Wear device.

One complaint I have so far is that the lovely charging face is too damned bright at night when I want to sleep, and I’ve not worked out how to get the damned display to either switch of or dim all the way down. It’s by no means a deal breaker and most likely just an oversight in the settings by me. Another one is that you can reply to text and Facebook messages but not Hangouts, WTF Google?! If I get an IM I get the option to reply by SMS, not what I want. Other than those two grumbles, so far I’m loving it and recommend it to anyone that’s on the fence. Sure they may be a new version coming out in the future, but it’s not been announced let alone rumored yet.

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Categories: Android

Tags: AndroidWear, Motorola, Moto360, Wearables