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The Moto 360 Watch - First Impressions

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I've had my Moto 360 watch for about three days now, so these are only first impressions , but they might help someone to decide whet...

I've had my Moto 360 watch for about three days now, so these are only first impressions, but they might help someone to decide whether to buy one or not. Or you may find yourself more confused than ever.

Here is the best way to sum up my feelings of the Moto 360: Have you ever known someone or had something that you liked very much, but frustrated you to no end? If so you understand how I feel about this watch. On one hand, it is great, but on the other it is not so great. It looks good and seems to tell the time well, but battery life is a real problem. It's probable costs $100 too much for what you actually get, but compared to other watches that are just watches, I'm not so sure paying $250 is too much or not. There is much about the Moto 360 I am not sure about.

Here is one thing I am sure about, and it is the first thing you have to know if you are considering buying this watch. You must have an Android device with version 4.3 or higher for it to work. You MUST have android 4.3+. I assumed that my Blu Life Pure had the latest version of Android because I've had the phone for less than a year. I was wrong. It only has Android 4.2.1 (this phone has no custom ROMs), which used to be good enough for me (it's a great phone), but it is not good enough with Moto 360. Luckily, I have an old Samsung Tab 2 which did have a custom ROM, and I could upgrade the Tab 2 to Android 4.4.4 using CyanogenMod version 11. This worked. Using my Tab 2 with the custom ROM, I was able to connect to my new watch.

This is a good point to make. The very first thing the Moto 360 did when I took it out of the box and started it up was to ask me to install Android Ware to my tablet from the Google Play store. The watch will not work until you do that. And, of course, the Android Ware app will only work if you have Android 4.3+. So make sure you do have at least that version of Android before you buy the watch. Once you get it setup, you do not need the Bluetooth connection to use the watch to tell time or for some of the other apps, but you do need the connection for some of the apps.

Here are some of the great things about the Moto 360:

  • It is pretty
  • The leather strap, I have the light gray, is nice
  • It feels good wearing it
  • It seems to tell the time very well
  • I like the pedometer and the heart-rate monitor that comes with it
  • You can take notes with it by speaking (sort of)
  • There are many nice watch faces for it
  • You can put some simple games on it

Now for the bad, frustrating stuff:

  • The battery life is terrible
  • Navigating the apps is difficult, if not impossible
  • It does not come with many pre-installed apps that would have been useful, such as a voice recorder
  • Often the apps depend on having a Bluetooth connection with a phone
  • And finally, did I mention how bad the battery life was?

The watch comes with, pre-installed, a few watch faces, a timer, stopwatch, pedometer, heart-rate monitor, alarms, Google Now, and Google Keep. Google Now requires a Bluetooth connection and Keep requires a connection to create a note with the watch, but not to read a note that has already been created. All of these apps work pretty well. The most frustrating thing about them is the navigation. The Moto 360 can quickly become a maze. Luckily, you can normally press the button on the side, and it will take you back to your watch face (normally, but not always). I download a third party launcher from Play that helps, but navigating the apps and then trying to get back to the watch face can be a frustration. It is not the biggest frustration though.

The truly biggest frustration is the battery life. Having enough juice to see you through an entire day requires some planning. You can't use your watch with abandon and expect it to last from the time you get up until you go back to bed. If you play games on it while on break (there are some silly games for it), if you have a colorful watch face, or if you're always checking the watch for notices, you will probably not make it. If you only use it as a watch, then maybe check a note or two, you might be okay. The battery on this thing is limiting.

The next frustration is the lack of a really good voice recorder for taking voice notes. I was under the impression this would be possible when I bought the watch, but it's not, not really. You can make voice note using Google Keep, but that only sort of works. You speak into the watch, and Google Keep will try to write out a note for you if you have a Bluetooth connection with your phone. It works if it understands what you are saying. Chances are you will have to constantly repeat yourself. What would be better is a voice recorder. There are two as I write this on Google Play. Both require that you have a Bluetooth link to your phone, and they try to sync your recording as soon as you have finished speaking. I had assumed you could make recordings, save them to your memory, then when you came within Bluetooth's range of your phone or tablet it would then sync. No, it wants to sync as soon as you press stop, and you cannot make another recording until it has finished syncing the first one, or you might just lose your recording altogether. I find that frustrating. Perhaps in time, someone will make a much better, more robust, voice recorder.

Now I have one big question. Why does this watch come with four gigabytes of memory? There is no obvious way to store data on it. Perhaps there is a third party app to make this possible. None of the apps seem big enough to ever use that much memory. Maybe there is some way to put music on the watch and listen to it using Bluetooth, but I do not think you would want to because of the battery life problem. So what is all that memory for?

I cannot recommend that anyone buy the Moto 360, not as it is now. However, I am not going to return mine.

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Consider This:

I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be. -Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992)

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The Evolving Monkey : The Moto 360 Watch - First Impressions
The Moto 360 Watch - First Impressions
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The Evolving Monkey
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