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Moto 360 review

7.2/10 AVG.
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The Moto 360 is the most attractive Android Wear device you can buy right now, with a design that's more reminiscent of a regular watch.

- Nicole Lee, Engadget 

Moto 360 is beautiful, smart and provides an excellent user interface. We just wish it wasn’t so finicky — and lasted longer.

- Lance Ulanoff, Mashable 

Specs / Features

Warranty (Months) -
Release date 5-September-2014
Size 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 in)
Weight N/A
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Reviews summary section

What's good

  • Beautiful and stylish design
  • Ambient light sensor adjusts brightness automatically
  • Qi wireless charging
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear

What's bad

  • Large size makes it a bit awkward for people with smaller wrists and hands
  • Display not a perfect circle due to black area holding driver and ambient light sensor
  • Poor battery life
  • Low resolution

Like other companies, Motorola has embraced the smartwatch market with the release of the Moto 360. As the 360 in the name suggests it sports a round display and is, in fact, the first of its kind in the Android Wear department. Instead of looking like a miniaturized smartwatch, Motorola took design cues from stylish designer watches not only with the circular design but the materials they used to make it. Rather than plastic, the Moto 360 uses leather straps, which reviewers found to be far more flexible and comfortable. Gorilla Glass 3 and brushed stainless-steel house the 1.56-inch LCD display. Not only do they provide a stylish aesthetic, they also protected critics' review copies from scratches and general wear. Still, CNET found the display slightly too large and the body itself a bit thick when compared to its straps though they add, "…the clean design and lightweight feel give it a Movado-like minimalism."

With an oddball resolution of 320x290 the Moto 360 doesn't have the sharpest display. In fact, with a pixel density of only 205ppi reviewers noticed some fuzziness though it wasn't a deal-breaker. They add that the lower resolution also means larger text so it could not display as much information and the round design occasionally led to text getting cut off. And if you're looking for a completely round display, you might want to look elsewhere. The Moto 360 screen is not perfectly circular. In order to maximize the screen size and avoid a thick circular bezel to store the ambient light sensor and display driver, Motorola opted to cut off a slice of the circle at the bottom. The result is a black bar at the bottom. While not horrible, critics still found it distracting especially against white watch faces. Besides this, they were quite happy with the screen as it had good contrast, viewing angles and color reproduction.

Besides being the first round Android Wear smartwatch, the Moto 360 is also the first Android Wear watch to have an ambient light sensor. This sensor is completely separate from the "ambient screen" watch setting. Basically, the light sensor allows the watch to adjust to the different light conditions by increasing or decreasing its brightness. Ambient screen, on the other hand, will dim the screen when the watch goes idle instead of going to black. Of course, it will go black eventually if it is taken off and left somewhere even with this setting enabled. In order to bring up the menu settings, Motorola has included a handy shortcut – simply press and hold a small protruding crown on the right hand side.

Beneath the display is fairly rudimentary hardware: 4GB of onboard storage, 512MB of RAM and a very basic processor. While these specs are hardly revolutionary, critics didn't experience much lag when swiping through the menu though they did experience some sluggishness when receiving notifications. It also comes with a small 300mAh battery. Critics barely eked out half a day's worth battery life under heavy use though they were able to get around 2 days with ambient mode off. Still, they found themselves charging it every night. Speaking of charging, the Moto 360 takes advantage of Qi wireless charging and experts timed full recharge in little under an hour.

While the Moto 360 does have its flaws reviewers are still impressed with its forward-thinking design and features. Engadget calls it "…the Android Watch wear to beat." GSM Arena states, "Moto 360…is a safe pick for an Android Wear device."

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