Sunday, January 11, 2015

Moto 360 Review: Don’t buy this

I have been using the Moto 360 for several months now and thought people might be interested in my thoughts.  Overall I just can’t recommend the it.  Even if you have your heart set on an Android Wear watch, I would highly recommend waiting to see what the next generation of devices brings because right now, it just is not worth your time or money.

Here is what I think about specific aspects of the device that people have asked me about.  Please add any questions in the comments that you would like me to address.

Battery life:  Not bad but not great, depends heavily on how you use the device.  When the 360 was first released its battery was actually pretty terrible and getting through a day would sometimes be a challenge.  After a few updates this isn’t that much of an issue now.  You can easily get through a day of normal use, but don’t expect much better than that.  I don’t think battery life is a deal breaker but I do wish it were better

Screen:  Again, Not bad but not great, the circular design is nice but I still find the flat tire aspect to be a bit annoying.  The screen is bright and the auto brightness feature is actually rather useful.  Unfortunately, it is a bit low resolution but it isn’t that big a deal given what you use the device for.

Design:  I like the look of the device and it feels much better on the wrist than the Square LG G watch.  I even get the occasional compliment and questions about the watch, which is nice.  I think this is likely the best looking wearable on the market and would even say it looks better than the upcoming apple watch.

Band:  I hate the stock leather band and find it uncomfortable and terrible for things like the gym or even the rain.   

Charger: The 360 uses Qi wireless charging which is pretty cool.  The included charging cradle is nice and when you are charging you get a nice looking desk clock.  This was my first real experience with wireless charging and it has changed my views on that technology from seeing it as just a gimmick to being something that is actually useful.  Unfortunately, the charging cradle can only really be used with the 360 since no other Qi compatible device will fit.  I feel this is a missed opportunity since it would be great if the 360 came with a charger that could work with my other Qi compatible devices like my Nexus 5.

Fitness tracking:  The Moto 360 will work with Google fit and track your steps and various activities you do throughout the day.  It isn’t perfect but generally does a good job and is even smart enough to know when you are running or biking.  The biggest issue though is that Google Fit isn’t well supported yet by fitness apps and really don’t do much.

Although the 360 does have a heart rate monitor, you have to be very still if you want it to actually work.  This means it isn’t very practical for measuring your heart rate while working out, which is pretty disappointing.

You can also do sleep tracking with the device which is interesting but given the battery life of the device not terribly practical.  It does allow you to have a silent alarm where the watch does a vibrating alarm on your wrist to wake you up, which I really do like.

Serious Flaw:  The design of the plastic back plate is flawed and will start cracking near the band.  This is a pretty well known issue now but so far I have not heard Motorola made an official statement about it.  If you contact customer care and complain to the right person they usually replace it, if online report are accurate, but this is a big enough flaw that people should avoid buying something this expensive until Moto fixes it.

Design is awesome

Sucks for fitness tracking
Android Wear is still a work in progress

Conclusion: I would avoid this device and Android Wear in general right now.  The 360 gets a lot right but makes compromises with battery life, screen quality, and even processor speed, that you are just better off waiting to see if the next generation devices are better.  Overall the Android Wear platform is basically just a way to get Google Now on your wrist which just isn’t enough for me to recommend it to anyone.  Maybe in a year things will be different, but right now save your money.