When Motorola unveiled its round-faced Moto 360 in March, many began to speculate that this could be the first real smartwatch.
Its round design made it stand out among the dozens of square-shaped wrist-worn gadgets we’ve seen this year. Compared to its more rigid competitors, the Moto 360 looked different, more elegant, and most importantly — like a wristwatch.
While looks are important, functionality is just as crucial. Now that the $US249.99 Moto 360 has officially gone on sale, we’re seeing the first wave of reviews pop up. Here’s what the critics had to say about Motorola’s Android Wear-powered watch.
The Verge’s David Pierce praised the Moto 360 for its design, writing that it felt comfortable to wear all day without getting in the way. However, the watch’s battery life was his biggest concern. The Moto 360 only lasted for 12 hours on a single charge according to The Verge’s review, which Pierce calls “unacceptable.”Although the round face is attractive, Pierce notes that Google’s Android Wear software is clearly designed for square and rectangular watch faces. When scrolling through lists, titles and images would sometimes get cut off.
The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern loved the watch’s design and wide selection of watch faces, but also noted that the Moto 360 looks a bit large on those with smaller-sized wrists, especially women. The biggest shortcomings Stern noted in her review are battery life and the fact that the circular screen is cut off at the bottom, which she described as “frustratingly chopped off.”
USA Today’s Nancy Blair wrote that the Moto 360 “does a great job of feeling more like a watch” than its competitors. But the battery life is a problem, and its unclear if the Moto 360 can stand up against bigger rivals that are set to enter the wearables market soon, namely Apple.
For CNET’s Scott Stein, the Moto 360’s cut-off bottom was one of its biggest problems. He wrote that it “mars the look” of Motorola’s beautiful watch faces. While the watch itself is fairly large and may take some getting used to, Stein noted that it does feel good on the wrist.
Re/code’s Katherine Boehret emphasised how natural it is to control the watch using voice commands. The downside, however, is that the interface could be a little confusing to navigate, and some of the apps, such as email, are limited. She did note, however, that the round design makes it look more natural than other square-faced smartwatches.
Across the board, the consensus appears to be the same. While the Moto 360 isn’t perfect, it’s a step in the right direction. It’s the first smartwatch that feels more like a watch than a tech product, but it has a few notable shortcomings that will hopefully be fixed in future iterations. If this sets a new bar for smartwatches to come, wearable tech may become more natural and inviting to the everyday consumer.