Moto 360

A few more thoughts on the sexiest Android Wear smartwatch

It's been a couple months since we first got our paws on the Moto 360, and it was pretty much universally declared the best of the bunch. The square LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live simply looked plain next to this round wonder. Since then we've seen new arrivals from ASUS, Sony and another from LG. And we also now have in our possession a fully functioning Moto 360, unshackled from the demo mode we've all grown tired of seeing.

On one hand, we pretty much knew what to expect. The Android Wear software hasn't changed a bit since Google I/O in late June. But at the same time, this is new territory. Round territory.

And we've got a few more thoughts on the Moto 360.

1. Round may look better to you, but ...

Moto 360 and LG G Watch

It almost feels weird to say, but it's getting used to the round display on the Moto 360 feels like it's taking a little time. The user interface is exactly the same as the square models — it's just that there aren't any corners anymore, and we're having to retrain our brains just a little bit.

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Still, it looks so much better. But if you've got a square watch and you're perfectly happy with it, you might not need to shell out any more cash just yet.

2. Those steel links are to die for, but the leather straps aren't bad, either

Moto 360 Steel

Motorola went to great length to tell us about the straps on the Moto 360, and how they weren't just going to put some piece of rubber on there like the other guys. (Ouch.) They're using the same leather from the Horween Leather Company nearby in Chicago that they're using on the back of the new Moto X. And it's quite nice.

But for our money — an extra $50, to be exact — the steel bands are the way to go. They give the surprisingly light watch a bit of weight, and that in turn gives it a little more prestige. (As if it needed any?) And they just look good.

The only question: Silver? Or black? (And when will Motorola ship them?!?!) OK, that's three questions.

3. Thank you, Motorola, for a proper Qi charger

Motorola's completely correct when it says it didn't want to blemish the Moto 360's lines with a charging port. So, wireless it is. And it's apparently using proper Qi charging, which means you should be able to plop it down on any proper Qi charger you have.

Take note, everyone else: This is how to do it. (Looks like any sort of debugging will have to be done over Bluetooth, though.)

4. Get used to a blank face

Moto 360

One of the cool things about Android Wear smartwatches so far has been the always-on dimmed mode, so you can always flip up and see what time it is. The Moto 360, however, doesn't roll that way. When the screen's not on, the screen's not on. The one exception is when it's on the dock, charging. That's when you get a dimmed, sideways clock and charging indicators. They look quite nice (and we have a feeling the Moto 360 is using the same DayDream mode other watches use for the dimmed mode instead for this charging face.)

And, yes, the Moto 360 does have an ambient light sensor. But as of the time of this writing, it's turned off by default. You'll have to dive into the settings to enable it. Not sure if that'll change at some point.

5. So what was under those stickers?

Moto 360 back

Remember how the underside of the Moto 360 was some big secret for so long? We got to see it just fine at Google I/O, but there was a sticker on the back. We didn't know if it was just a clear piece of plastic hiding a couple rings of something that aided in the charging, or what. Turns out it was just a sticker to conceal two things: The a printed list of features, and the optical heart-rate sensor.

Here's what the ring of listed features says:

  • Water resistant IP67
  • Moto 360
  • Stainless Steel 316L
  • Optical heart rate sensor
  • Wireless charging
  • Pedometer