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The Moto 360 is the Only Android Wear Device I Want

Moto 360 - 2

Tim and I were seated in the press section during Google I/O’s keynote last week as director of Android engineering David Singleton announced to all attendees that the first Android Wear smartwatches would be available later in the day. He started with the LG G Watch. A small golf clap followed. He then thought he was surprising us all by announcing that Samsung had created the Gear Live, which would also be available within a few hours. Another small golf clap followed. You could then feel the building about to explode with joy as he moved on to the Moto 360, a watch that is without a doubt the most anticipated smartwatch of all time on Android. And then came the news – it wouldn’t be available until “later this summer.” The entire crowd of around 6,000 booed and moaned and sighed simultaneously. While I’m a member of the press and technically not allowed to join in on that outcry, deep inside, I did. The Moto 360 is the only Android Wear smartwatch I want.

Why is it the only smartwatch I want, you ask? For one major reason – it doesn’t look like a smartwatch. When I wear a watch, I do so because it’s a fashion item that is also useful. Actually, to tell you the truth, at this point, it is really all about the fashion. I have a phone that can tell me the time if I really need it to. A watch has become an accessory first that also happens to tell the time. And since the Moto 360 has been beautifully crafted with stainless steel and leather to look like a watch first, smartwatch second, it wins in my book.

I don’t want people to ask “What is that blocky, glowing, robotic thing on your wrist that resembles a watch?” I want a smartwatch that shocks people when they realize that the classic timepiece on my wrist is more than they initially realized.

Keep in mind that I own almost all of the major smartwatches that were released within the last couple of years. I have both Pebble models, Qualcomm Toq, some random Kickstarter thing called Omate that I haven’t opened because it’s 4 inches thick, Galaxy Gears, Gear Fits, you name it. Because all of them look like futuristic square-faced wannabe watches, I don’t use any of them, even the cheaply built Pebble Steel can’t make the cut. They look cool for a minute, but the size or appearance or lack of functionality eventually becomes a turn-off.

I even have the LG G Watch now, thanks to Google. It runs Android Wear just like the 360, yet I find myself completely bored by it. It is by all means the most uninspired smartwatch design I have ever seen. I will be reviewing it shortly, but the general feel for the G Watch I have is this – since Android Wear is still in its infancy, the watch design better at least blow my mind or this thing isn’t going to stay on my wrist.

Moto 360 - 7

Normal watches, at least the good ones, carry a classic, round look for a reason – because it’s a beautiful design. Big, bulky square watches come and go, the classics stick around. I think it is clear that Motorola realized this. They didn’t want their watch to be a fad – they wanted it to be a timeless design that wasn’t going to be boxed into the futuristic design trend of today’s smartwatches. With the 360, they absolutely nailed it.

We were able to spend some quality time with the Moto 360 last week and came away in love. While the watch isn’t small by any means, it looks like a gorgeous watch on anyone’s wrist. The combination of the brown leather strap matched with the stainless steel exterior makes for one classy, almost retro, very subtle, but “holy sh*t that thing is beautiful” watch. The black version with black strap isn’t bad either, I just prefer the stainless/brown leather combo. The display, at least in our time with it, is so good that analog watch faces look like real analog watch faces. You almost can’t tell that this is a smartwatch until a notification pops up or you see someone interact with it. It has this beautiful chamfered edge that leaves the display looking almost infinity pool-like. Finally, it has a single button on the side, just like a typical round watch would, which helps the overall theme here – a smartwatch that looks like a watch first.

To wrap up, I’ll come back to my point above about the G Watch and say this – the Moto 360 has the design that will allow it to hang around as I watch Android Wear turn into (what we can only hope becomes) the best vision for a smartwatch UI to date. It should be exciting, especially knowing that if Android Wear and app developers take their sweet time, at least I will have a beautiful new accessory on my wrist.

  • http://twitter.com/RuSsYjO RussyJo

    If i wanted a square I’d already have a pebble. I have been holding out hope for a circular smartwatch for years and years. Have owned every gen of droid from the OG up to the Razr Maxx (yes, i even bought the Bionic the morning it was released). So the fact that Moto took up this challenge came as a very pleasant surprise to this loyal moto customer.

  • james anderson

    $9­­­­­­­­­7­­­­­­­­­/­­­­­­­­­h­­­­­­­­­r­­­­­­­­­ ­­­­­­­­­p­­­­­­­­­av­­­­­­­­­iv­­­­­­­­­d­­­­­­­­­v­­­­­­­­­ b­­­­­­­­­y G­­­­­­­­­oog­­­­­­­­­le­­­­­­­­­, I­­­­­­­­­ am ­­­­­­­­­making ­­­­­­­­­a ­­­­­­­­­good ­­­­­­­­­salary ­­­­­­­­­from ­­­­­­­­­home ­­­­­­­­­$5500­­­­­­­­­-­­­­­­­­­$7000/week ­­­­­­­­­, ­­­­­­­­­which ­­­­­­­­­is ­­­­­­­­­amazing, ­­­­­­­­­under ­­­­­­­­­a ­­­­­­­­­year ­­­­­­­­­ago ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­was ­­­­­­­­­jobless in ­­­­­­­­­a ­­­­­­­­­horrible ­­­­­­­­­economy. ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­thank ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­God ­­­­­­­­­every ­­­­­­­­­day ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­was ­­­­­­­­­blessed ­­­­­­­­­with ­­­­­­­­­these ­­­­­­­­­instructions ­­­­­­­­­and ­­­­­­­­­now ­­­­­­­­­it’s ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­my ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­duty ­­­­­­­­­to ­­­­­­­­­pay ­­­­­­­­­it ­­­­­­­­­forward ­­­­­­­­­and ­­­­­­­­­share ­­­­­­­­­it ­­­­­­­­­with ­­­­­­­­­Everyone, ­­­­­­­­­Here ­­­­­­­­­is ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­started,,,­­­­­­­­­

    >>>>>>>>>➜➜➜➜➜➜➜

    ➜➜➜➜➜➜➜➜➜➜➜➜➜➜ ,,,,w­w­w.­ⓦ­ⓞ­ⓡ­ⓚ­­J­U­R­­Y.­­ℭ­­Oℳ

  • Keg Man

    who is worried about smartwatch dings and scratches? I rock a g-shock watch because my watches take a beating

  • richard sarin

    Adding a highly secure payment system or functionality would up the game on this bad boy. It’s a nice looking piece of hardware though!

  • RoboCop

    I like my Martian Passport watch a lot…only $180 during an Amazon sale and is a watch first but does notifying, has a button that activates the Ok Google voice response, has a speaker, mic, and the watch battery lasts 2 years, the smart battery lasting over a week. I’ll get the 360 but its a shame more people aren’t checking the Passport out.

  • Tee

    DAT tattoo. Wtf?

  • Kenneth B.

    Dat Black Bar! XP It just ruins the watch-face for me.

  • Chris

    Kellex…. you nailed it. The wearable tech market will never hit the mainstream if is aesthetically odd or disjointed. I will absolutely buy this when it comes out too.

  • D.j. Sequeira

    Will this work with the One Plus One smartphone?

  • Dark_Laser

    So brave.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    I think by now, we can safely conclude that manufacturer does not have to put a custom skin on top of an OS to differentiate its product — a good hardware design is all it takes to attract people.

  • 213ninja

    stick to tech holmes. this statement about watches negates the entire piece: “Normal watches, at least the good ones, carry a classic, round look for a reason – because it’s a beautiful design. Big, bulky square watches come and go, the classics stick around.”

    that’s not only false, it’s ignorant. look, i get everyone on this site is sucking off motorola and the 360 24×7, but let’s not get too carried away with the nonsense…

    • Chris M

      I love big, bulky square watches……said no one ever.

      • 213ninja

        i’d recommend reading more closely before making dumb comments.

  • oldanbo

    the author SOOOOO gets it! This watch(?) is a piece of work. Moto gets it too. I have a small collection of wristwatches and this is next, I hope, on my hit list.

  • mcdonsco

    If the persons wrist in the title picture is the same size as mine, then I dont want it…if that wrist is dwarfed by mine; then I can’t wait to get it!

    Not sure why anyone with a wrist that size would want to wear it…I know, I know, “designer/premium watches are that big too”, yea and I dont like those either.

    • guesswhat

      Watch face is 46mm if that helps pretty normal size in watches ..I suppose you are not getting this watch :) ..wait for next wave of wear watches you will probably find < 40mm watches

      • mcdonsco

        Seen that number before, not sure why but never measured that before on my wrist till now! Looks like it may be doable for me; thanks!

        Is that just the face or end to end of the frame/body?

  • Dustin

    I really like the design of the 360… It looks like a watch you could wear on a night out… But what about being a fitbit replacement? I’m clinging onto the force…. Thoughts?

    • 213ninja

      wear seems to be lacking in the fitness department from what i’ve seen…i’ll reserve judgement until i can try one out, but from every demo video i’ve watched, you have to flip through 20 notifications just to see your step count….

  • John Davids

    “I don’t want people to ask “What is that blocky, glowing, robotic thing on your wrist that resembles a watch?” I want a smartwatch that shocks people when they realize that the classic timepiece on my wrist is more than they initially realized.”

    EXACTLY this. Nailed it.

  • http://andymerskin.com/ Andy Merskin

    I agree completely. I’m not about to wear a robot on my arm for the sake of having a robot. We designers are picky, so it’s got to be stylish. :)

    • NexusMan

      I LOVE the Moto 360, but I think robots are getting a bad rap. “Robots,” can be beautiful too…it’s just that the people designing them don’t get it. I would absolutely wear a square, futuristic smartwatch…if it looked good. Unfortunately, I have yet to see one. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be one.

      • http://andymerskin.com/ Andy Merskin

        Hopefully I didn’t give the impression that smartwatches are scary or dumb… I’m totally stoked for Android Wear. I was mainly just bashing the square-shaped robotic-looking offerings that barely compete with the Moto 360’s style.

        That’s been my beef with other smart watches all along, like Pebble, Samsung Gear, etc. To many people, that’s the style they’re looking for. To another many, they’re huge and don’t rival the aesthetic appeal that we’re looking for (as Kellex mentioned).

        • NexusMan

          Oh, no. I understand completely. I think the Pebble Steel previously came the closest to a beautiful aesthetic and I got so psyched when it was announced, but after examining it further, it too, proved to be just a little too blocky and aesthetically unappealing. It’s ALMOST there, though.

  • Veronica Sweet

    I like iPhone and Apple products more, but that is my opinion. I also like that the new iPatch case offers a new way to protect me from my iPhone cameras. I don’t want anyone looking at me while I am on my phone. Spying through cameras on smart phones is the number one way to get your privacy breached. If you want to see what the case looks like, check out http://www.ipatchcase.com

    • NexusMan

      Wrong site.

      • Veronica Sweet

        I realized that after leaving the site. I saw the article on Disqus and wanted to see what the hype was about.

  • Gem Jefferson

    I agree with everything. I want that watch so bad…

  • RobertPerez1

    I’m a financial analyst with a large corporation and the last thing I want is bright colors going berserk on my wrist when I’m in a meeting. And I don’t want whoever is sitting to my left to read my text messages. That part of why I like the Pebble, it is very understated and doesn’t scream look at your co-workers watch. But I’m sure that Google will program some kind of location aware stealth mode.

    • NexusMan

      This doesn’t do that.

  • schlanz

    WELL SAID, Kellen.

    *golf clap*

  • My Galaxy Prime

    I completely agree with this guy. My only reason for wanting this is because it looks like a watch. It is so beautiful. I can easily see this selling out in a matter of hours.

  • paul_cus

    I still like my regular watch. Maybe one day though, Motorola.

  • alexgogan

    Thanks for this, I am a tech junkie and really wanted one of this watches (love watches.. Have one that only works when its dipped in water for battery to work) but was uninspired by both LG and Sammy. My finger was twitching the buy button but kept on going back to the video of the MotoG.

    Strange felt I was actually betraying my love of watches if I bought either the LG or Sammy.

    Now if HTC, bring out something as beautiful as either of the One series I may be tempted.

  • Giovonni Fareed

    All i do at work is google Moto 360 all damn day long lol i have GOT to have it, the last time iv been this excited over technology is when i got my Note 3, 2 & 1 lol . Release the damn thing already & WHATS GOING ON WITH THAT TATTOO OF THAT HAND NEAR THE WATCH THO…kinda freakin me out lol

  • riggedveda

    “cheaply built pebble steel”…?

    The Pebble Steel is no Rolex, but its the only watch among the current crop that I would wear with a business suit. The Moto 360 does look good, but we’ll have to see how long the battery lasts, how it fares in sunlight, how big the dial looks in person, and what the strap options are. A wallpaper on my wrist would be a turn off, but there are some good-looking analog watch-faces too, so that’s a good sign. The Pebble Steel looks better with a digital watchface due to the low res display.

  • J PARKER

    Well said!!

  • William_Morris

    Considering the look of the other devices, the Moto 360 appears as the most elegant. I have a classic black-faced Bulova timepiece I wear on a daily basis and this is the only “smartwatch” that made me think I could switch it up and be satisfied.

  • beerme828

    Well Kellen, if you really have an unopened smartwatch that you’re looking to unload, I’m happy to take it off your hands. I like (even obnoxiously sized) new toys, and helping people eliminate clutter in their homes… lol

  • mgamerz

    I have a pebble and people don’t seem to care it doesn’t look round. They find it pretty cool most times.

    • NexusMan

      There are square watches. Tech smartwatch companies don’t have the patent on the square.

  • Ssl0408

    I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing any watch made by Motorola. I’ll continue to wear Cartier and Rolex

    • 213ninja

      Cartier???? oh wait, but classic timeless watches are all round, right???????????

      i’m glad you said this.

      • Chris M

        Most of their models are round soooooooooooooo

        • 213ninja

          exactly 1/3rd of their current men’s collections are not round, that’s plenty. i’m not sure why i’m even entertaining this though, you clearly have less watch knowledge than the blogger…

      • Ssl0408

        I love all Cartier watches, round or not.

        • 213ninja

          me too, i was being sarcastic…because the blogger said this: “Normal watches, at least the good ones, carry a classic, round look for a reason – because it’s a beautiful design.”

  • Steveo

    Geesh, this posting reads like a paid advertisement by Motorola. This watch is not all that and a bag of chips, it might be the best of the rest currently, but it could be better.

    • Ssl0408

      This site should be renamed to “Moto-Life.”

      • NexusMan

        Nice ring to it.

      • 213ninja

        agree.

      • Chris M

        guess you dont mind it too much. you are still here.

    • NexusMan

      It’s not out yet.

    • Godzilla

      Totally asinine statement.

    • Chris M

      ” it might be the best of the rest currently, but it could be better.”….pretty much what he said.

  • JohnBRobinson

    The black at the bottom kills it for me. I was ok with it until Rene had the article about it and now it just really bothers me. Maybe round 2 won’t have that next time around. http://tr.im/5ntlz

    • NexusMan

      As opposed to the bigger black bars at the bottom, top, and sides of your phone, and the LG and Samsung watches.

    • Nikuliai

      I’d happily keep that instead of having bigger vessels or a bigger overall device

  • Wall Breaker

    G Shock Wear = Perfection.

    • NexusMan

      Would be nice.

    • 213ninja

      i saw they tried something last year with android notifications and according to what i read, it sucked hard. maybe they’ll try again soon and get it right….

  • Wall Breaker

    I’m hoping Google releases a Nexus smart watch with a round face along side the nexus 6 this fall. Fingers crossed.

  • fractalsphere

    If this watch was truly a self-contained phone, instead of just an accessory to my phone I think it would be more of a market impact. True, it wouldn’t do well for constantly checking facebook or other media you want to consume, but for phone calls from a contact list (paired with a bluetooth headset) I think it would be nice not to have the ‘phone’ piece always in my pocket or on the desk or whatever. It would be the smartest dumb phone around, and that alone would be worth a look.

    • Charles Walker

      I understand where you’re coming from, but I think you are underestimating the value of a smart watch being paired with the phone in your pocket. They both serve unique purposes that result in something greater than the sum of their parts.

      • fractalsphere

        Oh I totally get the appeal of a paired device! =) It’s a serious consideration like this holiday season, TBH.

      • http://gplus.to/bdbplatano M. Puente

        I agree. I bought the Pebble as an experiment just to get a feel for a “smartwatch” and I came back pleasantly surprised at how useful the Pebble is and how quickly it integrated with my day-to-day. Going from not wearing a watch at all to not wanting to let my Pebble go for the few hour or so it takes to charge weekly, I would say it’s had an impact beyond just an “accessory”. I use Google Now like A LOT… so I am definitely interested to see how much more I will use my 360 when I get it. The Pebble might be as dumb as smartwatches get but no one can touch it on battery, I am already prepared to be disappointed in that department but at least the 360 will look great on my wrist, even if dead lol

    • NexusMan

      “If this watch was a phone…” OKAY.