Moto 360 Smart Watch review August 23, 2015 14:31

Pugilist Brand Gentleman's Grooming products owner Tom finally delved into the Smart Watch market, and bought a Moto 360 a couple of weeks ago. The Moto 360 has been around for about 10 months, as of this August 2015 article. A $149 price tag, combined with a $50 credit I already had on my cell phone carrier account, made this watch hard for me to resist for less than $100.

 Set up was pretty easy after downloading  the Android Wear & Motorola Connect aps to my phone, or should have been.......The first two synchs I attempted did not pick up all notifications such as e-mail and instant messaging. I found I had to download Google Hangouts and make that my default chat application.

After resetting to factory defaults, twice, the third time worked a charm, as they say. The Moto 360 now notified me of all e-mails, tweets, Facebook messages, Instagram likes and posts, as well as telling me the time and informing me of the local weather. 

I'm in California and spend some time at the beach or swimming pools. Be advised the Moto 360 isn't completely waterproof, but it did receive an IP67 water and dust resistance rating. It may be worn in the shower, rain and when you sweat, and can apparently survive one meter depth for about 30 minutes. I have not worn mine swimming, so can't vouch for that. You'll also need to change from the leather strap to metal or silicone. The first thing I did was change out my Horween black leather standard strap for a black metal mesh one, and add a plastic face protector film to prevent scratches.

Downloadable Pilot Watch face

One of the most addictive things beside playing with the various aps, from GPS to fart makers, is downloading different faces from aps such as Facer and Watchmaker. There's literally thousands of watch faces, from copies of luxury brands ( which are obviously illegal and pirated) to plain basic faces. Be aware the more elaborate the watch face, the bigger the battery drain.

The Moto 360 uses a 'flat tire' watch face design, in other words, the watch face display is not completely round, the bottom of the display is cut off like a flat tire, to incorporate various sensors. This means many watch faces are cut off at the bottom, which spoil the aesthetics, a little....

Steampunk Watch face from Facer

This brings me to my next point, battery drain!! This is one of the main issues with the Moto 360,  and I'm not alone, based on lots of other similar complaints on-line. Battery life goes anywhere from a ridiculous 5 hours, to 14 hours maximum. To achieve 14 hours you have to turn off all the watches bells and whistles, such as wrist gestures, ambient light adjustment, not use more complicated watch faces, reduce notifications and generally limit watch use. Which is the reason I and most people buy a Smart Watch to begin with?!?!

Charging is from a nifty cradle charger that you simply drop your watch into, the problem is it's the only way to charge your watch, so you'll either need to buy a second or even third charger for work and other locations, or carry your charger with you if you  plan to use your watch for more than 10 - 14 hours.

The Moto 360 functions as a bedside clock when charging in it's cradle

Overall I like the Moto 360, especially given the price point of as low as $149, a new Moto 360 is already planned for release, so the price could go down even more. I believe the Smart Watch sector can only continue to grow, however I think some of the early models such as this one are not completely ready for prime time, especially given the battery life and somewhat limited aps and functionality, such as no speaker on this particular watch. It's great for the telling the time, as a watch should be, and saves you pulling your phone out every few minutes to look at notifications. That's about it, you'll still need to use your phone to read complete e-mails and reply. 

I do love playing with those watch faces though.

Here's my pros and cons for the Moto 360.

Pros:  Low cost,  Changeable watch straps, Add-on aps, Round face design, Various available watch faces (although many are unauthorized), Easy cradle charger.

Cons: Pixelated display, Low battery life, 3 times to synch notifications, Flat tire design, New Moto 360 is coming soon. hold on to your money?), No built-in speaker.