The Moto 360
If you’re looking for a stylish smartwatch that goes against the norm and doesn’t just look like a miniature phone for your wrist then this is likely to be the smartwatch for you, with its circular display and a more traditional analog design this watch does live up to its name as ‘A watch for our times’.
What can it do?
Other than the obvious feature that it clearly displays the time on its analog display the Moto 360 smartwatch comes with an ambient light sensor, this means that the backlit LCD display brightness automatically adjusts itself depending on the lighting of your surroundings at the time, allowing for less eye strain and more ease of use for any lighting, be it bright daylight or a dark car journey.
The smartwatch’s screen is protected by gorilla glass 3 and this proved to be very scratch and crack resistant, a very useful touch for anyone that’s prone to scratching their phone screens a lot, especially since repairs can usually cost a lot. Since this is still an android smartwatch it comes with the usual features of a normal android phone, being able to use voice commands to send messages, set reminders and check the weather. Given that the voice command capabilities are still prone to misinterpreting your speech resulting in the wrong action happening this is nearly unavoidable with any smartphone or smartwatch voice command software.
Here’s one of the more interesting features that come with the Moto 360, it comes with its own take on the fitness app genre. Moto Body is the built in activity tracker aimed to improve people’s lifestyles and health, it is able to read your heartbeat at any time from the sensor on the back of the watch, give you coaching advice to provide motivation and allows you to set goals for yourself with distance and speed. By syncing with the location services that all smartphones/smartwatches have it allows you to monitor how far you’ve jogged or ran and in how much time. Whilst the Moto 360 doesn’t come with that many built in apps it has access to a widely growing number of apps, some of which include Facebook messenger, Pinterest, Twitter and more each day. This is aimed to provide an ‘app for any occasion’ and it does seem to feature almost everything a normal smartphone would provide.
Just like any smartwatch the Moto 360 needs to be connected to your own android smartphone via Bluetooth, this gives it the ability to control emails and texts from your wrist, making it much easier when on the move. The connection also gives it the ability to play and control the music your phone plays, a very useful feature if you go on runs or will be wearing the watch during exercise.
The battery life is one of the only things holding the Moto 360 back, whilst charging it on the charging dock is very easy with you only having to place it on a stand for an hour, the battery life can only last for a few hours and a lot less if you have the brightness on full all day. This being said it isn’t a large problem since the watch does go into a ‘sleep mode’ of sorts when it’s not being used to conserve its power. This does save a lot of power and can help the watch to hold out during the long days or if you plan on having a night out somewhere
So what’s under the hood?
Well the Moto 360 runs the Android wear operating system with a TI OMAP 3 processor and 4GB of internal storage along with 512MB of RAM, if you aren’t familiar with this it means that the watch runs very smoothly and has got plenty of space to download apps that you might need. As for it’s more visual specs the display screen is 1.56 inches in diameter with 320 x 290ppi, a nice resolution that doesn’t require any eye strain to view. The watch case is 46mm in diameter with 11.5mm in thickness, this makes it weigh only 49g with the leather band model and 124g with the metal band model. There is 10 different models for the bands and 3 different cases, each with a Pedometer, Optical heart rate monitor and On-body detection and has a water resistance of IP67. All in all this makes it a very quaint piece of tech with its specs that compare well against the more popular forms of smartwatches.
Can I make my watch mine?
From the main Motorola website where you can order the smartwatch for yourself it provides the ability to ‘build your own’ moto 360. The options it covers vary from simple colour changes on the rims of the screen to changing the entire base background of the watch and the way it displays the time. You also get the ability to have a metal link watch band if you don’t like the leather band the watch typically comes with. Most of the colour changing features are free however for the ‘fancier’ looking details it can cost an extra £30-£50 depending on the changed detail. Not a very large price but for just changing the colour this can be a bit excessive.
How much does it cost?
Surprisingly for a smartwatch this only costs $149.99 at its base price, and even if you decide to upgrade it with the metal chain-link wrist band it still stays under $200, less than most smartwatches cost for the same quality of product. Shipping is free from near all stores including places like amazon and John Lewis and when it isn’t free shipping doesn’t get any higher than $7.
2018 Update: You can actually get a pretty decent discount auto-applied on the Moto 360 by clicking here.
The Pebble Smartwatch
Are you looking for a simple, modern and easy to use smartwatch that works with both IOS and Android? Well the Pebble smartwatch is exactly that with its basic design and a more simplistic screen than most smartwatches on the market now. But there are some unseen beauties in this blockish watch.
What can it do?
Unlike all smartwatches the Pebble isn’t touch screen, this does hinder accessibility but can make navigation a lot simpler. The pebble’s real beauty lies in its functionality and more specifically the simplicity of its functionality. Unlike a lot of smartwatches the Pebble wasn’t intended to be a miniature smartphone but almost like a third party aspect to accompany your phone, receiving your texts and emails through it and providing easier access to communication without being cluttered by buttons everywhere. Like all smartphones the pebble is able to play your music over Bluetooth and control the music, making it much easier than taking your phone out during something important.
Even though the pebble seems to take on a much more ‘flip phone’ looking design it is able to do all the things that a normal smartwatch can do, including access social media, intercept your incoming calls so you can accept or ignore calls. Because of its open source code there are thousands of apps ready to download, meaning you can do everything from just your watch as well as being able to download games for when you get bored. These apps can range from accessing social media up to fitness or dating apps such as tinder, meaning you can do almost anything your normal smartphone can do with the ease of it being on your wrist.
Charging your pebble watch is very simple an can only take up to three hours, all you have to do is plug in the lead the same way you would any normal phone and the battery life can last up to seven days depending on how much you use it.
Can I make my watch mine?
Every pebble comes with the ability to download different watch faces, the app store provided over a hundred different watch faces that completely customize the user experience to suit personal preference and reduce any eye strain from certain colours. The colours of the screen cannot be changed however and remain a simplistic black and white contrast with each other. Pebble watches come in five different colours for the rims but as far as customizability goes this is close to all there is for this watch.
What’s under the hood?
The Pebbles screen is only a 1.26 inch display with 144 x 168 pixels per inch. With the case being only 52mm X 36mm X 11.5mm and the band being 22mm wide. This makes the watch relatively small but also makes it weigh less than conventional watches at 38g with the standard band included. The watch is compatible with any smartphone running IOS or android, this is one of the main things that set it apart from the competition. The Pebble comes with a 3D accelerometer, a compass and a light sensor. The battery is made of lithium-ion polymer which is one of the best battery materials you can use for any device. The watch case is made of polycarbonate and the band is made of TPU rubber or silicone for the white pebble. Unlike a lot of smartwatches the Pebble is able to survive up to 50 meter water depth, so running in the rain or swimming isn’t a problem for this watch. So even though the design of the pebble may not look great to some you can be assured the quality of the product is strong with all the materials used being very high grade.
How much does it cost?
A Pebble watch only costs $99.99 from all retailers and since there isn’t any pricey upgrades this is as much as it costs, a very reasonable price since all smartwatches usually cost more than $150. Almost all online shopping places such as Amazon sell a Pebble smartwatch so it’s very easy to find with shipping being free from most stores. You can actually get it with a discount auto-applied at Amazon by simply clicking here.
These two smartwatches are very different in all aspects of themselves. The Moto 360 is a touch screen circular watch with a very stylish design that allows users to customize their watches screens and bands, whereas the Pebble only comes in 5 different colours for the screen rims but does provide a very large amount of downloadable designs for the screen. The Moto 360 does provide a vast amount of apps to suit any occasion with sensors to optimize your experience with the watch.
The touchscreen is easy to use and offers a user customizable interface much like android phones commonly are. The Pebble’s much more simplistic interface that utilizes a three buttons system on the side of the watch to operate all of its features can be preferable to a touch screen by certain people and its open source software allows for limitless apps for anything a person can think of really. One of the best features of the Pebble is that it is able to connect to both IOS and Android whereas the Moto 360 is only compatible with Android phone users, severely limiting the amount of people able to use the watch without buying an android phone.
The screen resolution for the Moto 360 is significantly higher than the Pebble with the Moto 360 having a 320 x 290ppi and the Pebble only having a 144 x 168ppi screen resolution however this does mean that the Moto 360 is a bigger watch overall. The Moto 360 costs £150 compared to the Pebble’s £100 but this price difference isn’t a deciding factor on which is better since the technology used on the Moto 360 is more expensive.
The battery life on the Moto 360 is significantly less than that of the Pebble, the Moto 360 can only last for a day at most really whereas the Pebble can last up to a whole week. Both of these smartwatches come with their own pros and cons but overall it would come down to user preference whether they want a classic rounded style touchscreen or a more modern simplistic button operated watch.
Looks like you are reviewing the first generation Moto 360 here. Why? It would have made much more sense to refer to the sensibly improved Moto 360 2nd generation.