Review Price £199.00

Key Features: Android Wear; 1.5-inch 320 x 290 display; Gorilla Glass 2; 320mAh battery; 4GB internal storage; 512MB RAM; Bluetooth 4.0; Optical heart rate monitor; IP67 water resistant; dual microphones

Manufacturer: Motorola

It's round and wireless, but it's just like the rest

The Moto 360 has arguably been one of of the most talked about pieces of technology since it was announced back in March. Until now, Motorola has relatively kept quiet on the features and the final design of its circular smartwatch.

This was our first opportunity to get up close and personal with the Moto 360 and having already spent time with the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live, it doesn't take very long to realise that Motorola's first generation Android Wear smartwatch has some unique qualities but in many ways doesn't massively differ from the competition. 

Picking it up for the first time the first thing you'll notice is the stainless steel frame. This feels like a more expensive smartwatch than its rivals. It's definitely the best looking of the bunch by a country mile. The 1.5-inch backlit IPS screen is edge to edge so no horrible bezels but it's chunky. 46mm in diameter and 11mm high, the screen is about the same thickness as my thumb. It's not heavy to wear on your wrist, but it looks bulky. Those initial images Motorola released didn't really tell the full story of the design.

Like other smartwatches, it's IP67 water resistant so you don't have to take it off when you go in the shower. There's a vibration motor to give a physical nudge when notifications come through and for fitness lovers, there's a built-in optical heart rate sensor in the back to work alongside the pedometer. I'd be keen to see if Motorola has done a better job than Samsung with its heart rate sensor.

The screen quality is at least on par with what else is out there. It's a 320x290 resolution with 205ppi pixel density so roughly the same as the G Watch and the Gear Live. It's bright, but I'd like to see how it fares in the bright outdoors.

Motorola is offering two strap options currently but hopes to add more further down the line. For now you have choice between grey leather and black leather options. The options are not all that great. The grey one has a more suede-like feel to it while the black one doesn't look like great quality and feels a bit naff. It was the same with the Gear and G Watch. You can swap these out just like you can on the other smartwatches and in fairness you will probably want to.

There's just a single button and it's limited to doing just one thing and that's turning the screen on. The Moto 360 doesn't have an always on display as is the case with other Android Wear smartwatches. Motorola does include an ambient lighting mode although using it is as at the detriment of the battery life, which is a disappointing one day.

At least there's no charging cradle, which is a small positive. That's because the Moto 360 can be charged wirlessly. It uses the QI wireless charging standard so you can in theory use other third party wireless chargers. Motorola does have its own charger, which looks a bit like a watch stand you see propping up a watch in a shop window. It's black with a soft touch finish and has a micro USB charging port at the back. When you are running low, you can drop it in either way up to start topping up the built-in 320mAh battery.

Android Wear is the key component of the Moto 360 and there's little to separate it from its rivals. You still need Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to an Android smartphone 4.3 or above to use it and there's all the recognizable features. The same gestures work to navigate the Google Now-inspired interface and there's dual microphones to make sure saying, 'Okay Google' comes out loud and clear. There's a TI OMAP 3 processor to keep things running smooth with 4GB of internal storage and 512MB of RAM to match other Android Wear smartwatches.

Just like Samsung and LG, Motorola does have a say on watch faces but there's only 6 to choose from. There's more analogue ones than digital faces, which doesn't come as much of a surprise as Motorola is clearly trying to push that traditional, analogue look.

First Impressions

Whether the Moto 360 is the watch to kickstart Android Wear's appeal, I'm not so convinced having now seen it up close. There's vey little to separate it from other smartwatches already out there especially since LG announced its G Watch R smartwatch with a circular watch face. Wireless charging is welcome inclusion but it doesn't make up for the one day battery life. At £199, it's £40 to £50 more than other Android Wear smartwatches and shows signs of the same issues that make other first generation Android Wear watches so difficult to recommend. I hope to be proved wrong when I spend more time with it for the full review.

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