Why I'm probably returning my Moto 360, but also not buying the apple watch.

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by spinedoc77, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #1
    I thought I'd post up some impressions after using my Moto 360 all this week. I will probably pack it up and return it and I hope my thoughts help some of you out who are thinking of buying it. It's a very nice watch with some major caveats which are deal breakers. I'll list out the cons I had with it:

    -Battery life: This was a crapshoot. Some days I'd be at 12+ hours of moderate use and it would be at 40% which was awesome. Other days I could play with it for 30 minutes and it would be at 60%. The screen being off is a major power hog, but sometimes I didn't use the screen and it would still die quickly, other times I used the screen a decent amount but it would last all day. So I'm not sure if there is a rhyme or reason here, the Moto 360 has very decent, yet at the same time atrocious battery life and I have no idea how to consolidate those 2 opposing statements.

    More on battery life: The watch was very sensitive to arm movement, so if you wore it while driving it would literally die in 2-3 hours, that's just unacceptable. At the same time I found it was somewhat difficult to get the watch to turn on by raising my wrist, many times it would not turn on until I exaggerated the movement of raising my wrist and elbow.

    -Android Wear: Very unfinished IMO. Some things were very intuitive, others not so much. Info cards would clutter up the screen often but it was unintuitive how to go through them. Once you deleted one it was gone forever, which was annoying with things like weather, etc. Text was kind of horrible IMO, the fonts were weird, kind of small but not tiny, and just formatted where they were very close together. Getting an alert about new email and 4 emails would all be squished to look like one for example.

    Installed wear apps were kind of funky too, some of them there was no way to exit out of them. Really you would just press the home button to turn the watch off, then turn it back on, then swipe, etc. Just getting around was annoying, push the home button and it brings you to google now where you can enter a voice command, or you can swipe down through a list of actions, settings, apps, etc. In all fairness this UI was meant to be spoken to and it works beautifully in this way, I found the voice recognition to be very accurate even in a noisy car. Still, there are many times we can't use voice recognition out in public.

    Fit and finish: This is a tough one. In pictures and if you don't touch or handle it the Moto 360 is absolutely beautiful. Nice aluminum housing with the monolithic glass face with no bezel at all. Turn on the watch and you get a beautiful watch face that just looks incredibly bad a$$, all you tech geeks know exactly what I mean. Now when you handle it, it just feels kind of flimsy, even though it's not, it's solidly built as far as I can tell. I think this is just the difficulty of coming from a heavy SS mechanical watch and is probably just due to my own preference, so I won't say it's a universal con, just one for me and possibly watch connoisseurs. The way the band attaches is a bit funky as well, you have an empty space above the band that makes the phone look unfinished. My opinion may improve once Motorola releases the metal bands which look quite nice and beefy in pictures. I'm currently using the pebble band and it's very wimpy, light and cheap feeling. What really annoys me though is how far Apple went with the fit and finish and I feel kind of ripped off by Motorola. Moto used a crappy 4 year old SoC to save money, no sapphire is a HUGE disappointment, the steel housing looks great but doesn't "feel" it has any solidness to it, the band attachment system is lacking and looks unfinished.

    Hear rate sensor: Here is probably my biggest gripe, it sucks. In all fairness the other smartwatches I've tried it sucks in also, but the only other smartwatch I owned was the Samsung gear 1. The HR sensor takes 5-10 seconds to read HR, you would have to hold your arm perfectly still and often it would give a very low reading the first time, then be fairly accurate after that. Also there is no way to keep the screen on to monitor HR, so every time the screen times out you have to tap it to turn it on, then slide down the menu to read HR, then tap on it and wait for it to read again. Alternatively you could activate the watch and just say check my heartrate which is pretty slick so I can't detract that much from this point. But I found myself wondering what use a heartrate sensor is if it's not 1) instant, and 2) continuously reads and shows you the HR in real time. I'm exercising I need to know my HR, especially if I am doing an interval power workout where I alternate sprints with fast walking.

    As to my thoughts on the Apple watch, I just don't know yet. It's horribly ugly so I don't think I'd get it as a every day watch, but I've also realized I MUCH prefer my Rolex and am about ready to give up on smartwatches as a fad anyway. But if the heart rate sensor on the apple watch works instantly and lets you monitor HR as well I may just grab one of the sport edition ones for the gym. I'm also expecting Apple to get the UI right, fonts, the way notifications are displayed, how to navigate the phone, etc. I'm not a big fan of the oversimplification of iOS, but in the case of such a small screen and limited input I think it's very appropriate.

    So just some thoughts and my wall of text.
     
  2. Rangomango macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #2
    Sell it on ebay! You'll make money even if it is used lol. Thanks for writing this up!
     
  3. Shuri macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    Interesting read. Since I'm "stuck" on my iPhone 5 I cannot test any smart watch, but I like the idea of having notifications on my arm and maybe a few other features, so I grab every review I can. ;)

    I don't think the Moto 360 looks that good, only on certain pictures, whereas I think the AppleWatch does not look bad at all, but I'm not sure how it looks live on my arm.
    But to be honest non smart watch to date could amaze me optical wise.

    To the topic heart rate: Why not getting a strap for the chest? I use one when for running, it's connected via Bluetooth 4.0 to runtastic. Works great! :)
     
  4. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #4
    Not true. Both the Pebble and Martian Notifier work with the iPhone and both cost under $150.
     
  5. spinedoc77 thread starter macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #5
    I had a strap before, haven't used it in a while as it just annoys me to have something like that on my chest. You are right though it's the best solution.
     
  6. Shuri macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #6
    Really? Does Apple provide Notifications through Bluetooth? Or how does it work if not? Wow, I didn't know that. :eek:
     
  7. Oohara macrumors 68020

    Oohara

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #7
    It does feel like the whole smart watch thing is very much in its infancy. I'm probably going to wait until the 3d or at least 2nd generation of these devices before I hop on the train.
     
  8. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #8
    Thanks for a first-hand report on the Moto 360 in particular, and smartwatch in general.

    Based on what's available, looks like I'm not the target for smartwatches.
     
  9. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #9
    Via BT (both classic and LE). The Martian Notifier has an app for both iOS and Android to customize the vibrations, LED light and notifications on the watch.

    Link is here: http://www.martianwatches.com/notifier/specs/

    Pebble has been around a couple of years now and has a ton of iOS stuff.

    Personally, I think the Martian Notifier looks the best, and since it is a normal watch with a 2 year battery, you can see it in direct sunlight and never have to worry about the battery dying and not having a watch. The OLED portion has a 6 day battery life.
     

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