Moto 360

Square, round — it's all the same to Android Wear

While LG and Samsung have already offered up everything we need to know about how Android Wear functions and what kind of features we can expect from future devices — at least until Google changes things, which certainly will happen in some respect — the unique shape of the Moto 360 still leaves some room for discussion. The round design is undeniably beautiful, as we know from our brief time with it, and we know that it certainly looks and feels like a significantly higher-quality device than the current Android Wear offerings.

But what exactly does that round design give or take away? It turns out you don't really gain or lose anything, but a handful of subtle differences could push you further into the yes category for a Moto 360.

Google's restrictions on Android Wear ensure that there's not really going to be a functional difference in how you use the Moto 360. Motorola is working hard to set themselves apart in hardware, and while that will almost assuredly mean a larger price tag you're getting a superior product in the end. While the round display means there's more space for Android Wear to display content, those added pixels won't be doing much for you. In fact, in a post by Google's Roman Nurik just before Android Wear was shown off at Google I/O, we clearly saw what the plans for round watches are.

Everything is going to look and act almost exactly the same. You'll get your notifications as little cards on the bottom of the display, swipe through them to interact, and if you're a big fan of talking at your wrist you can do that as well. When displaying most things, the round display will just mean that there's extra space around the information to show off whatever is in the background. In the example given here, that means you'll get to see more of the beautiful photo in the background. In other cases where there's just a generic repeating pattern in the background, it means you get to see more of nothing. In fact, while it's only an 8x8 dp difference, the square watch technically has more space dedicated to showing your information.

In the end, you'll be getting the same thing out of software that you are with hardware, just in a more beautiful experience. It's not a huge deal to everyone — in fact there are plenty of folks out there who prefer the square design. But as you look at the whole picture for Motorola's smartwatch, it is becoming an increasingly difficult device to say no to.

Now all we need is an official Moto 360 price tag.


Reader comments

The Moto 360 will display information just like everything else


Any real reason for the black strip at the bottom in all views? Don't understand why that couldn't have been filled in with watch faces etc.

I'm assuming that's what you did for the round smartwatch that you engineered

Posted via my G Pad which is much better than some silly Nexus

No. He asked for a solution to the issue and I offered one. One that is in play with the other two Android wear watches. The pictures are below.

There are challenges to creating a round display vs a rectangle, so what applies to one doesn't necessarily apply to the other. So unless you have a working design where the drivers are spread around the bezel of a round display, then yes, you were talking out of your arse. But that's ok, I do the same from time to time...I just know when to admit it.

I didn't say it couldn't be done because I don't know if it can or can't be done. I'd be willing to bet that that you don't know for certain that it can be done...hence the talking out of your arse

you started your post with the words "sure there is"
Lets look up some definitions for the word sure, shall we:
"not having any doubt about something : convinced or certain"
" not allowing any doubt or possibility of failure"
"known to be true or correct"

I'm especially interested in that last one. "known to be true or correct" So you started by saying that you know it to be true that there is a way, and now you're saying its a supposition which by definition is something you DON'T know is true. Is English a second language or something?

I'm not going to say it couldn't be done on the Moto 360, but the 360 likely has a lot more hardware packed below the face of the watch, while the Godier should have a lot more room for the display hardware to be hidden.

HAHAHAHAHA!!! You're freaking hilarious. I don't know what's worse, that it took you half an hour to find this or that this is what you found. Did you actually check out this watch or did you just do a google seatch and post the first thing you saw that was round and said touchscreen? There is pretty much no display on this thing. Just LEDs around the edge. To even think about implying that it needs anything near as complex as what the 360 will use don't even have a word for how pathetic of an attempt it is. Seriously bro, just admit you're wrong and were talking out of your arse. No one will hold it against you. Such a sad attempt my friend. I though you were better than that. "All the basic display elements" HA!

Simply take notice. All four corners of the displayed card come extremely close to touching the round edge as opposed to the bezel around all four sides of the square designs.

Actually, the fact that Moto didn't do it suggests it's not currently feasible. If it could be done, Moto would probably have done it.

Posted via Android Central App

Pretty sure they said that area is where the ambient light sensor lives. Which the current two Wear watches, even with their bigger bezels, don't even have.

I love my G Watch but the 360 doesn't seem like it can get here quick enough. Go Moto!

Then people like you would bitch about the size of the bezel.

NoSexus' MO. If it's not Samsung, find something to complain about.

I, for one, would rather have bezel only at the bottom and edge to edge display everywhere else. I barely notice the bottom bezel, but I definitely notice the awesome lack of bezels everywhere else.

maybe you didnt notice the pictures above and the unused space that a round watch has as opposed to the square

Maybe you didn't notice the first picture in the article where the space around the edge is used to display round watch face designs and make it not look like a nerd toy.

The bezel on that Gear Live is about the size of your ridiculously long post of garbled text. And it's hideous.

I honestly have no horse in this race. I do not think that any of them, at this moment, are worthy. If I had to buy one, I would consider the 360 heavily, then the Samsung, then LG.

I am pretty sure I am going to wait at least another Generation or two before giving it real thought. I was kinda underwhelmed when it was announced.

Nah. You'll have each of the three in a drawer at the office to evaluate and then, with all your grandiosity, overwhelm us with the importance of your 'unbiased' opinion.

Sorry, but it's not that simple. You can't just wave a magic wand and spread hardware out willy nilly.
The bezel looks fine, people are just looking for something to nitpick over. If it wasn't this it would be something else.

Posted via Android Central App

The reason they put it all in the bottom is so they didn't have an ugly bezel all around the outside. Right now it mostly looks like any other round-faced watch, which is a good thing. A black bezel all around it would make it look MUCH less elegant.

Just in case anyone else asks. The reason for the bezel at the bottom of the display is to house the display drivers. They had to go somewhere.

I would hope you can remove the words "Ok Google" from the screen. It looks tacky and it doesn't add any value.

I don't give two shits about the "little black strip at the bottom, am I crazy? This design as opposed to the square just wins for me. Little black strip and all!


I think it's really petty to get upset over that bit at the bottom. I never even noticed it until people started having a cow over it.

OMG just take my +10000000!!! I don't know but its like bezels became like a phobia to some people seriously WTF???!! People don't know what to criticize so they have to find something to bitch about obviously. Cuz i don't see any other reasons

Posted via Android Central App

I genuinely dont see the beauty in it. Put in a simple analogue clock and it would look like any old cheap watch with a thin bezel. It does nothing for me at all.

No, but its just not an interesting design, its a bland circle, almost Apple like in its dullness and obviousness. Too feminine, and I don't like feminine design.

I know why its like it though, its massive and would look even more stupidly huge with a visible strap mount or interesting surround design.

Its too simple. Its not industrial, or muscular and thats what I like. Apart from the screen you can get almost identical mechanical watches on eBay for $10 and most are womens watches.

It's a large metal watch with no frills. That's far more masculine than feminine. Sounds like you have some gender insecurity issues.

Posted via Android Central App

Oh please, did you get that analysis in a Christmas cracker?

It looks like a womans watch, look for others and you'll see it looks similar, its just huge thats all.
Oh and FYI a device can be feminine in design and still be for men however, but i dont happen to like that style.

Im pretty much an anything but a moto 360 kinda guy. It really does nothing for me at all. My sister had a very similar looking watch when she was 10, the only difference was that it was pink.

Its the lack of strap flanges that make it look so silly. It cant have flanges though because then it would be absolutely enormous.

So I assume you think small cars and nice shoes are "feminine" as well. It's time to grow up and get over your petty insecurities.

Its a watch. Round. With a digital display... If it had analog hands there would be no point of this being Android Wear. The metal band gives it all the elegance it needs.

Posted via Android Central App

I think you missed the point. Anyway, I don't want 'elegant', I want attractive, this is bland and overly simple. It does nothing for me at all. I prefer the G Watch by a mile.

All it really needs are proper strap mount points, but then it would be even more stupidly huge.

It's already a big blocky device. If it got much bigger you'd need to wear it on a chain around your neck.

Posted via Android Central App

THATS THE POINT. Did IQs just drop recently or something?

Its huge and thats why it has the compromised design, because cards would be very small on a small round screen, far smaller than on a similar square screen.

You do know that both the LG Watch and the 360 have the same 1.65 inch screen right. 360 with less bezel right? Too big? Thank God you don't own an Invicta or Breitling. Yet it's huge. Most men watches average from 42-48 mm. 1.65 inch gives it around 42mm and that's big? With the bezel it'll be around 46mm. Average size men's watch. Then you say it's feminine cause it's round? Thanks God you don't own a Rolex. But if you think a plastic box with rubber straps is "attractive", sounds feminine BTW, then more power to you. The Sony SmartWatch 100x better looking than the Gwatch. But we all are entitled to our opinions.
Posted via Android Central App

They have the style to pull off the large size, and include strap flanges, which are more masculine and industrial in design, the Moto is just a plain dull circle, which makes it look comically large and like a womans watch, or sometimes even like a kids watch. Stylish design it isnt.

The article itself explains why a circle results in smaller cards, maybe you should READ it?

The G Watch is not plastic, its metal (see the iFixit teardown), the strap is easily changed. I never mentioned the Sony, but yes its better looking than any of them.

Its fairly subjective anyway, so its pointless arguing. Ive said I don't like it and that it looks silly, nothing you have said changes that.

It's a DIGITAL DISPLAY. what do you expect else for circular watch? Lol. This too comical. I have read the article. The cards are irrelevant to my point of the screen size. Like I said to each their own. I looked twice at that cracker jack watch LG made. I rather her the Gear Live and wait for that feminine 360. Elegance over ugliness
Posted via Android Central App

EXACTLY!! thats why its a stupid thing. Its a nice novelty, that Android wear doesn't work well for. The screen needs to be too big, making the whole thing look silly.

What you fail to understand is that watch designs like Rolexs have smaller faces than the 360 and the measurements are taken up to the point the strap mounts the watch, on the 360 the strap mounts under the face and is inside the radius of the circle. The face is HUGE and it makes it look like a dinner plate on your arm. On other watches the size includes the off-board mounting flanges.

The only people who can pull off such a large face are men with very large arms, and then the styling of it makes it look they are wearing a womans watch. To make it look right the strap should be mounted outboard of the face, but then, with the current display, it would be far too big for anyone to wear.

Im guessing you didn't read the article or didn't understand the implications of it, because it clearly demonstrates that the cards are smaller on a circular display, which is why the moto is so large. If it had a face of similar size to other round faced watches the cards would be very small indeed

Fine, just wait then. Ive seen one, I know how silly it looks, but if you want to justify it to yourself you go ahead.

I have 55mm watches so I have absolutely no issue with large watches. I wear nothing less than 46mm So yep sure can't wait.

Posted via Android Central App

I agree. I wouldn't necessarily call it feminine but it does have some characteristics of a feminie watch. Like you pointed out I think the lack or flanges where the strap connects is what does it.

I really like Oakley watches and like you said they have a more "industrial" design and that appeals to me too.

At the end of the day I think my pebble is far more useful than android wear since I'm outside all day.

Posted via Android Central App

uhm, the extra space WILL be used. by watch faces, that is what makes this watch special, it looks like a 'regular' watch, with the ability to change its appearance completely. or at least, that's what I hope the watch face api will take care of

Can you point me to the hands on comparison that you have between the three? I would be very interested in reading it.

I'm guessing its right next to your design for a round smartwatch with the display drivers spread around the bezel instead of at the strip on the bottom...or maybe its not his job to do a hands on comparison.

He stated it as a fact that it is the best watch yet, like he has one to compare to the others. Is English a second language or something?

Since you went there...
1) Elipsis: marks or a mark (as …) indicating an omission (as of words) or a pause
That's what's sitting at the end of his statement, meaning that he intentionally left something out. So your contention that he stated it as a fact is an unfounded conjecture based on your apparent lack of basic grammatical tools since there is clearly something else that he didn't include(which could very well be "IMHO"). Maybe you should develop some language skills before you try criticizing others.
2) I know for a fact that there are Motorola employees who have 360s. They would know if its the best Android watch yet, but none of them are posting hands on comparisons for a variety of reasons. So for you to dismiss his statement simply because he doesn't choose to post a hands on comparison is idiotic at best.
3) Maybe he doesn't have a 360 that he can use for a comparison. That doesn't mean he can't have knowledge of it. I don't have the sun but I know its hot. I don't have an ocean but I know its wet. I don't have the world's biggest ball of twine, but I know that the world's biggest ball of twine is in fact the world's biggest ball of twine.
So yeah, get off your high horse cuz you're acting more like a horse's ass.

Could you two just exchange numbers and text each other. Then the rest of us would not need to scroll through your sniping. It's half the posts!

Now, back to the 360...the bottom doesn't really bother me much either. It is certainly the nicest looking of a limited set of options at the moment. I can't wait to see where this tech goes in the future.

Posted via Android Central App

If it were "JUST" a watch the round design for a screen wouldn't be that bad. Not to mention that blank space at the bottom.... But this is an information piece, yes that you wear but still a screen that delivers information. Like paper. So when paper becomes more useful in a round shape, so will display devices...

Yeah it looks kind of "cool" but I'm thinking that coolness is going to wear off quick(pun intended).IMHO

Hi DetroitTech, while I fully realize that everyone is entitled to their opinion, I feel like yours makes no sense. Why attack the round shape of the watch as inferior to square paper when the purpose of the article demonstrates that you get the EXACT same information out of it that you do a square one? Also, regardless of your ambivalence to the matter, a watch IS a fashion piece. I mean, saying the coolness of a round watch is going to "wear off" is just silly. Why does square have to be the de facto form factor for information delivery? I applaud the Moto 360 team for innovating, and not sticking with that baseless, antiquated way of thinking.

I hope Android Central gets one of these to review soon. I still want to know how it does in direst sunlight.

Posted via Android Central App

Man quit posting about this thing unless it's to tell us when it's going on sale and for how much. It's almost as if you guys were hired by Motorola to keep the buzz going haha.

The "black space" at the bottom of this watch is where Motorola put the ambient light sensor to automatically control the brightness of the watch face screen.

I actually wouldn't have minded a little more bezel if it woulda got rid of the black strip at the bottom. Alot of watches have a thick bezel..

Posted via Android Central App on The Nexus 5

Agreed. That's what I've been saying. To me, the black area on the bottom of the screen looks like a design flaw. I find it hard to believe they can't find a solution for that.

Posted via Android Central App

Maybe that's why the watch hasn't been released yet. Maybe they have realized this design flaw will set them back, and they are in the process of redesigning the watch. If Motorola reads these comments, and you know they do, they will know that folks might not buy this watch because of this.

Posted via Android Central App

It is not a design flaw per Motorola, it is where the Ambient Light Monitor is located to control the screen brightness and can not be part of a watch face. It was explained at Google I/O by a Motorola rep.

Well their design choice could be considered a flaw. The real flaw is that the screen is too big, making all the rest of the design a compromise in order to keep it from being clown like in size.

I agree, comments that describe this watch as beautiful are way off. There has been nothing beautiful about any of the android wear watches and my preference is still Pebble Steel (and even that isnt well made or premium by a long shot, but it is ok)

We need to see quality smart watches that compare to quality wrist watches and i think we wont see these until premium watch makers buy into this new technology which probably wont happen in this decade.

Does anyone know who has actually been involved in the design process of these smart watches? Has it been a case of function over design due to technology limitations or somebody in the phone design team that thinks they know what we want in a watch and says...'that will do, lets get it out before anyone else'!

Just my two pence worth.

The problems just seem so minor to me.

The Samsung is just not a fashionable design, its a sports/fitness watch and wont be anything else.

The G watch is actually a lot better in the flesh than in pictures, all it needs is a bigger screen and less bezel, but no over all change in size.

The 360 needs conventional strap mounting flanges and maybe a little 'harder' edges, but then it would have to have a smaller screen, which would quickly show up the problem with android wear cards (they would be too small).

I hope you will do a real-world comparison when the 360 is finally released to see if there is or isn't more useful space on a square watch.

I definitely wants to see how the moto look and what it does in person. I seen the lg watch, gear live, gear neo, and gear 2. So far in my opinion the gear 2 looks the best. I believe the lg watch will look a lot better as more generation to come just like they improve with their phones

Posted via Android Central App

thanks for this, people seem to think the 360 is going to be forged from the mines of angels and grant you super powers when you wear one. It's a round G Watch with a fancier band for the most part. Do I like the way it looks? yes! Do I feel my G Watch inferior in every way? No!