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Review: Android Wear 1.3

Android Wear has been living on our wrists for a little more than a year now, and it's grown and changed quite a bit in that time. The overall goal has always been to give you parts of your smartphone experience at a glance, and decrease the total number of times you have to open your phone and push buttons every day, and now Google thinks it's doing this even better than before. Outside of a huge outpouring of support from app developers and watch face designers, Google has learned from its users and made some changes to the overall experience.

Despite these changes, a lot of the same questions from the launch of Android Wear remain. Is this wrist computer actually more convenient than reaching for my phone? Does that convenience justify the average cost of an Android Wear watch? With the improved software and new wave of hardware options out there, can Android Wear replace actual watches for folks who enjoy nice watches?

Here's our review of Android Wear 1.3, in which we answer those questions.

Android Wear Amazon

About this review

We're writing this review after two weeks of using Android Wear 1.3 (Build LCA44B) on the Moto 360 (2014) paired to the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge. At the time of this writing, Android Wear 1.3 is available on 10 different watches from multiple manufacturers, with plans for more by the end of this year. While this review has been written mostly from the perspective of a round watch, several square watches with Android Wear 1.3 have been used as well.

Read More: These are the best Android Wear smartwatches

Android Wear Pairing

Getting started

Android Wear initial setup

As a platform, Android Wear relies heavily on being connected to and receiving instructions from your smartphone. It's not a requirement that an Android Wear watch be connected 100 percent of the time, especially if your plans involve jogging or you just need something to tell you the time. But the bulk of the value in this setup comes from a connection to your phone. This connection is typically over Bluetooth, but if you're in a place where you frequently connect to Wifi you can set things up through your local network as well.

For the out-of-the-box experience, Bluetooth is where you start.

Android Wear Intro

Android Wear does a great job eliminating a lot of the obnoxious steps in pairing a Bluetooth accessory. There's no navigating your Settings panel or setting your Bluetooth device to discoverable, you just install and run the Android Wear app on your phone. The app will ensure Bluetooth is enabled, and it searches for the nearest thing running Android Wear for your to connect to. (Though it will list other Bluetooth devices in range.) You select your watch by matching the unique identifier chosen by the watch and shown on your watch display to the code listed in the app, tap the name on your phone, and accept the pairing request.

Google has done well to educate the user throughout the setup process.

From here, the Android Wear app will ensure your watch is running the most recent version of the software and offer to walk you through a brief tutorial. While this is happening, your watch is syncing all of the relevant information from your phone and preparing for initial use. If you have apps on your phone with Android Wear functionality baked them, those apps will be installed on your watch during this sync process, along with your contacts and any additional watch faces you may have installed. (This is an all-or-nothing thing. You don't get to choose which apps sync.) Depending on how many apps, contacts, and watchfaces you have ready to be synced when the watch is paired, this process can take anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes.

Once the sync is complete, the watch has its own tutorial to show you how to navigate the interface. This includes swiping away notifications, changing your watchface, accessing the Always On display, and navigating the core interface. When this tutorial ends, you are given access to all of the apps and services that have now been added to your watch from your phone.

Android Wear Sync

Overall, this process is fairly straightforward. The Android wear app now does a much better job keeping the user informed instead of having everyone stare as a sync screen with next to no additional information. And as long as you actually read the tutorials and participate in the guided areas of the experience, it's hard to imagine anyone getting lost or wondering how to access anything.

Compared to the original setup system for Android Wear, Google has done well to educate the user — and that's a much bigger deal than it may seem to those who have been using Android Wear from the beginning.

android wear

Lists and lists and lists

Android Wear interface navigation

Android Wear is broken out into five basic parts — watch face, app drawer, contact list, voice commands and watch settings. The default starting location for everything is the watch face. From here you receive information from your phone and can interact with that information as it arrives. This includes Google Now cards, incoming calls, battery information, and of course notifications.

Any Android notification that supports Wear interactions will give you the ability to address that notification right on the watch. These interactions can be as simple as marking an email as read or as complex as replying to a message with your voice. Mostly, it's the same kind of interaction you'd get from a rich notification on your Android phone, making it so you don't have to unlock your phone and engage with the app directly. The rest of the notifications you get are meant to be glance notifications, allowing you to either swipe the notification away and dismiss it or unlock your phone and head directly to the information from that notification, rather than try to load the entire app on your watch.

Android Wear Workflow

Your app list is always a single swipe to the left, giving you access to an alphabetical list of everything synced to your watch. For those of us with a lot of apps installed, this list can get somewhat extreme. If you've been flipping back and forth between multiple apps, the last three you've used will appear at the top of the list, followed by the proper list. Some of these apps are included by your manufacturer — Motorola has its own fitness and heart rate tracking apps, for example — but everything else tries to be a wrist-friendly extension of the app you have on your phone. For example, the Amazon Shopping app lets you voice search for products and make one-click purchases using your default payment information. Google Keep gives you a glance at your notes with the ability to create new notes with your voice, and Ingress lets you jump in quickly and interact with the closest portal.

It's a clean, simple list that you'll either use all the time or forget it exists.

Settings is treated like an app in your list, instead of having a separate mechanism for access. From here you can change the font, see your remaining battery, reboot if something has gone horribly wrong, or glance at your system information. After you've set everything up for the first time you probably won't find yourself here often, but it's a good idea to take a look at what is available should you ever need it.

Contacts is exactly what it looks like. All of your phone contacts are in an alphabetical list, with the ability to text or call those contacts from within the list. There's not much happening here, but it's available in two swipes if voice commands aren't an option. It's a clean, simple list that you'll either use all the time or forget it exists.

The final swipe in this list is more a reference list than anything else. Voice commands and access to the Google Now service can be accessed from anywhere on the watch by saying "OK Google" but if you don't know what options are available to you, the list can be a good refresher. If you don't want to give the full voice command, you can scroll through and tap on the option you want to activate. But after that you still need to use your voice since there's no keyboard. It's important to be aware we're not complaining about the lack of a keyboard here, just making it clear your only option is voice commands. Please, Google, don't ever put a keyboard on these watches.

Moto 360 Android Wear 1.3

Flick a little

Android Wear wrist gestures

One of the more frustrating things about the original interface for Android Wear was the realization that your watch was technically a two-handed device. Both hands — rather, one hand and the other wrist — are needed to flick away notifications and see what you've missed. This meant a lot of the interactions weren't actually more convenient than pulling out your phone, which is obviously not what Google wanted. The solution, in many cases, was wrist gestures.

Instead of flipping through your notifications with your other hand, wrist gestures let you perform subtle wrist flicks to cycle through the information you want. Flick your watch away from yourself quickly to jump from one notification to the next, and reverse this gesture to go back in your list of notifications. This gives you a quick way to look at multiple notifications without using your other hand, or to dismiss notifications entirely and reveal only the watch face to others.

Having tested this gesture control system on multiple Android Wear watches now, the feature takes a minute or two to get used to, but it quickly becomes and invaluable way of accessing information without using both hands.

Android Wear App

Fully loaded

Android Wear app

There's quite a bit you can accomplish from the watch itself, but if you want to fine-tune your Android Wear experience you're going to want to do so from the app. In most cases, these granular changes are a whole lot faster on your phone, and the Android Wear app does much better job than it used to making those interactions mostly effortless. From the Android Wear app you can make a lot of watchface changes, but you can also set specific apps for voice commands and control how notifications come to your watch.

Android Wear Watchfaces

Watchface customization happens when the developer gives you that ability, which you see when there's a gear over the icon in your watchface list. Depending on the watchface, you can control basic colors and fonts before the watchface appears on your watch. If you're using an interactive watchface, you can control where the watch gets information from and what kind of animations your watch should have from the phone.

The variety of options is incredible, and really encourages users to install a bunch of watchfaces and try them individually to see what is available when a little imagination is applied.

Android Wear Actions

Command controls are a little less interesting, but no less important if you're the type to rely heavily on voice commands in Android Wear. This part of the app lets you choose which apps the voice command activates when you call for it. This means you can choose which app launches when you want to call a car, start a timer, or listen to music.

The only limitation here is that the app support Android Wear, which you'll see by selecting that command and asking for a list of supported apps. If you don't have an app on your phone that works with a voice command, you'll be taken to the Google Play Store for options.

Tucked away in the menus you'll find basic settings control for Android Wear, including debug options if you're developing for Android Wear and screenshot controls if you want to show the world what your watchface looks like without snapping a photo of your wrist. Most important of all, you find notifications controls here.

Android Wear Notifications

Endless buzzing

Android Wear notifications

If you use your phone for everything, and you get a bunch of notifications from all of your apps all day long, it's not going to take long for that firehose to become annoying. Android Wear still lacks a quick way to dismiss a notification from the watch with some sort of "never show me things from this app ever again" button — the block option is far right — but you do have a lot of control over the notifications that hit your watch from the Android Wear app.

The Blocked Notifications section in Settings is an on/off switch for every app and service on your phone. This means you can disable every notification that comes from Facebook if that's what you want, but you can't only disable specific kinds of notifications from Facebook. It also means the list generated by the Android Wear app is incredibly long, and full of a lot of unnecessary junk that already can't generate a notification for your watch. Android Wear will auto-disable some obvious things, like if you have a calendar app that syncs to Google Calendar you don't want notifications from two different notification apps with the same information, but everything else needs to be picked through this list.

Once you've selected the app you want to disable, the notifications stop immediately. If you decide later this was a mistake, you'll need to come back here and remove that app from the list.

Google Fit Android Wear

Stumbling at the start

Android Wear fitness tracking

Despite a wealth of changes to Android Wear over the last year and change, there's still only one watch that does fitness tracking particularly well and that's the Sony Smartwatch 3. Several of the first generation smartwatches, including the Moto 360 used int his review, stop at offering a passable heart rate monitor and a mostly inaccurate step counter. Things have gotten a little better with the second generation of watches, but the lack of GPS and the absence of reasonable waterproofing in most cases makes the overall experience somewhat lacking.

What Android Wear lacks in hardware, it tries to make up for in software. Google Fit integration is a key part of Android Wear, which tucks in nicely to a bunch of watchfaces, but third party apps are where the action is. Swapping out Fit for Strava, Runtastic, and Endomondo adds a little focus and makes it easier to fit your existing fitness setup. It would still be nice to see a complete fitness solution in Android Wear at some point, especially when compared to some of the competition.

Android Wear 1.3

A little better all the time

Android Wear the bottom line

Android Wear has improved in a lot of critical ways over the last year, taking this platform from a neat concept that would be fun to play with to a smartwatch platform worth recommending to people who aren't as technically inclined as most of the folks who read Android Central. In a world where Fitbit is the golden standard of step counting, often asking for well over $100 for the privilege, there are plenty of folks out there who would appreciate how much more you can get from Android Wear, especially with the variety of hardware options that are now available.

It's all about the complete picture, and if you're a heavily connected mobile user that picture is significant.

When folks ask what one thing makes a smartwatch "worth it", it's an easy question to answer. There is no one thing, no single killer feature, that makes a smartwatch worth it. The overall experience is what justifies its existence. The reality that, at the end of the day, you've used your phone less and interacted with the world more. The understanding that you have on your wrist a tool for giving you a glance at how healthy you've been today, or the ability to get turn by turn directions on your steering wheel instead of glancing down at your cupholder or mounting your phone to your windshield. It's all about the complete picture, and if you're a heavily connected mobile user that picture is significant.

All of that having been said, Android Wear still has some clunkiness to it. Sorting through notifications to filter out the stuff you don't want shouldn't be as complicated as it is, and there should be a simple button during sync that lets you choose to not sync an Android Wear app to your watch just because you have the app on your phone. Fortunately, we know from experience that Google is not only listening but improving Android Wear based on the way we are all using these watches, so the experience will only improve from here.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

89 Comments
  • Good review. I'm still on the fence about whether I would actually use one. Guess I need to pick one up and see how it works for me. Posted via the Nexus 6 on the Death Star network
  • Find one cheap, like a 2014 360 to try it out. I wouldn't spend $200+ to try, but $150 or less was acceptable for me.
  • That sounds about right. The newer watches don't seem to be that much of am upgrade so I think I would be just fine with last year's model. Posted via the Nexus 6 on the Death Star network
  • That's exactly what I did I found a Moto 360 on criagslist for 75 and the guy took 65. I've been loving this thing my battery life sucked until I turned off GPS.
  • But the 2014 Moto 360 doesn't have GPS...I think you meant WiFi? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Worth the $65?
  • DAMN!... That was a major come up. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I was fortunate enough to pick up a refurbished LG G Watch (the original) on eBay for $50 back in June. I will say that for for me, $50 was worth it for what i use it for, but it's hard for me to say these are worth more than $100 to $150 for what they are capable of right now. I basically use it to tell time (obviously) and to see my notifications - I wanted to know if I needed to bother taking my phone out of my pocket or not, and for $50 I think I got exactly what I needed. I don't use it to play games or control anything else or use any other apps except weather alerts. If you can find a watch you like for less than $100 I say try it out if you can afford that.
  • I felt the same way at first, but with all the notifications that I get on my phone it's nice to know if the message is urgent. It's most useful when driving or at work. Maps show up and vibrate on your wrist notifying you that your turn is coming up, which is incredibly useful if your spouse isn't sitting next to you holding the phone. When at work it's nice to know if the message is urgent and you need to address something right away, or if it can wait. At first I was hesitant, but having all relevant information at a glance is really a convenience that I wouldn't want to be without now that I've had it.
  • I have noticed on this build of Android Wear that the battery life has really taken a hit. Prior to this install I could wear my watch until I went to bed, but now it is close to dead by the end of the work day. Not sure what is causing this problem, but it is a noticeable difference.
  • Interesting. Which watch do you have? My GWAR still lasts me 2 complete days. My Moto 360 gives me 1 full day. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yup, maybe it's an app or bug. A factory reset is worth a try and it's painless on AW. I pull my 360 off of the charger around 6am and it's usually around 50% when I set back on the charger at 11 or 12pm (days not using navigation for any extended period).
  • I agree. I took my OG 360 off the charger at 8:15am. Its been almost 4 hours and I have 79% battery. The battery chart says it should be dead around 4am (and i'm using a third party watchface, which in theory could be more agressive with battery life).
    At least in my eperience battery life seems to improve a bit with every update. Been using it for at least 6 months now. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I do like android wear, but much like lollipop on the phone it's a buggy mess. Looking forward to replacing my g watch r with a gear s2 Posted via the Android Central App
  • I wouldn't expect any miracles. I've been using both Wear and Tizen for almost a year. The loss of Google on Tizen is especially noticeable. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agreed. My Gear S is just collecting dust as I find my GWAR more useful. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's probably my main worry about tizen, s voice has never been a great experience for me. I might just end up switching back to a good old mechanical watch until the whole category matures a bit Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well written, Russell. I think this fall I will finally take the plunge and try out one of the V2 devices. I waited a bit since I got burned on being an early adopter for Google TV, which had terrible support after the first year. Hoping that Android Wear is a bit better refined, and that newer hardware will be better supported in the long haul. Though I have to admit, too, I am tempted to see how the Gear S2 works with non-Samsung phones, since I find the design so intriguing, though ultimately I may still stick with Android Wear.
  • Yeah I still have my Logitech Revue connected to my downstairs TV and it just collects dust. It was a pretty good device but almost no support. Posted via the Nexus 6 on the Death Star network
  • Well, I pre ordered a 360 gen 2. Got the 46mm face in silver with a black leather band. We'll see how this goes when it arrives (listed as back ordered now). Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nice balanced review. I agree that it's the overall experience that justifies an Android Wear device. Does it justify it to the tune of $300+ for some watches? Not for me, but that's a personal choice. For me $150 is the sweet spot and that's why I grabbed a Moto 360 v1 when they were clearing out inventory, and I am thrilled that I did. I believe I'm less distracted now, and thereby more productive. The ability to leave my phone in my pocket or bag, and customize which notifications are really important to me has been incredible. And apps like Coffee that let me assign custom vibration patterns to my most important contacts help me quickly discern if something truly needs my attention without stopping what I'm doing. Plus it allows me to create predetermined responses that I can send with just a couple of touches, even if I'm busy. Apps are still in their infancy and many of them feel like high school kids playing with the development kit, but others like the aforementioned Coffee, Tick Tick for tasks, Evernote, Google Maps, and 1Weather, are very slick and ready for prime time. My biggest issue with Android Wear, which you mentioned, is the lack of control over what get's installed on the watch. I work around that by using Wear Mini Launcher to at least hide the clutter, but the underlying problem needs to be addressed by Google very soon. Thanks for the review. ...Joe K.
  • AW is way behind Apple Watch in terms of AAA developers making apps and it still needs the capability to run full video like Apple Watch. Posted via the Android Central App
  • But AW is far ahead of Tizen, so pick your battles I guess. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why on earth would a smartwatch need to "run full video"?
  • Exactly. I don't understand the benefit of a watch that does everything.
    Apple is the new Samsung when it comes to features. They through everything at their products now. Seriously, every tech journalist would have ripped Samsung apart if they invented the "send your heartbeat" feature. It's super lame. If it need more than 5 seconds of my attention, it should be viewed on my beautiful, large phone screen.
  • It's the Apple and Samsung mindset that a smartwatch should be a phone on your wrist. I guess some people love to show off pictures, and watch videos on a 1" screen...never mind the battery drain on the watch. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Great review, BTW! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I agree with you about watching a full video, but what about things like security cameras where you might just want to have a quick look to make sure everything is OK? Posted via the Android Central App
  • But how could you tell on such a tiny screen? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I can't think of one reason to watch a video on my 1.3" watch screen when I can watch the same video on my 6" phone.
  • Surely, you can't be serious?! LOL.
  • He is, and don't call him Shirley!
  • Awesome.
  • I've had to go to the iPhone for work, so I also switched to the Apple Watch. I'm pretty impressed with how functional it is when compared to what I had on the G-Watch R, and the size feels much better, too. I know we love to crap on Apple, but they do things well when they decide to copy and improve on something. And Apple Pay from the watch is like magic... double press the button and hold up to the scanner. That's it.
  • Android Wear is far ahead of Apple Watch in terms of having a watch that looks unique.
  • The only Android Wear watch that I'd consider buying over a non-smart watch is the Sony Smartwatch 3.
    I know, I know... it's not the best looking. However, I already have normal watches that are nice looking. The SW3 has something that puts all the others to shame: GPS. How is this the only one with GPS?? This matters as an active person. The idea of going for a run with just my watch and bluetooth headphones while still tracking my run and listening to music... Boom, game over. It's also a great "everyday" watch. Sure, it's not something I'd wear to a formal event, but to be honest, I won't want to be the guy that spends his time at someone's wedding staring at his watch. I have nice, NORMAL watches for those events. Just my 2 cents.
  • You may find the Moto 360 Sport is to your liking when it is released later this year, but yeah the Smartwatch 3 is a nice watch.
  • I thought the rumours said next gen 360s didn't have GPS, but I suppose a "sport" edition would change that. Thanks for the tip!
  • Samsungs Great S2 doesn't have gps either which I find strange. Battery I guess. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes, it will have GPS and it looks great! I'll probably pick one up myself. https://www.wareable.com/android-wear/new-moto-360-sport-2-price-release...
  • Nice!
    I suppose the biggest downside FOR ME about the Moto 360 Sport, compared to the SW3, is the price. Of course I know it's not fair to compare a new model with a 1yo model, but from my perspective, I'm buying for the functionality. I can get that functionality at a lower price with the SW3 due to price drops and big sales that regularly occur.
  • I just picked up my first AW watch, a used SW3(came with rubber and metal band for 160 including shipping, used). for $160, its a fun toy to knock around with and workout with. Not sure if i need to spend double the price like you mention above
  • Awesome! I should actually look for a used one, I have a feeling that many people will be selling with plans to get the newest and greatest.
  • I own an sony SW3 and I did not regret it. Especially the reflective property of the display making it readable in normal light without activating the backlight saves a lot of juice. I usually get 1.5 days out of it sometimes even 2. The GPS takes its time to get a signal but when it has found a signal it works quite well. I find the design of the SW3 very good since it does not look like a smart watch at the first or maybe second glance. So far nobody noticed before I pointed it out.
  • I thought the Sony SW3 had issues with the GPS cutting out when sweaty? I almost bought one when it was on sale, but all the reviews complaining about this one issue made me change course.
    I use the Samsung Gear S for running, but would have added the Sony as an addition at that price.
  • I've had about 20 5k runs with my SW3. No GPS issues to speak of and I work up a pretty good sweat. Paired with Jay birds to listen to tunes while running...it's great. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Interesting, thanks.
  • It does have sweaty issues and that's why I sold mine. Go for a run longer than a few miles (I average 6-8) and the GPS will cut out. You'll get back from a run and notice it stopped tracking some time ago. Very annoying as it was the only thing I really wanted the watch for. I've got my eye on the moto 360 sport. Hopefully that gets an active wear watch right. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I read that it affects a lot of the units, but not all. The solution that I read (if yours has this issue with sweat) is to wear it on top of a wristband (sweatband) when running, seems to solve the problem.
  • I am keeping an eye on the 360 sport as well, and also on the new Microsoft band. Would have tried out the Gear S2, but the embedded SIM is too restrictive, rather not have a SIM at all and just GPS... My Gear S may last me for a while longer, but it only supports Nike+ and sHealth in stand-alone mode, and sHealth takes forever to get a GPS signal.
  • I wear my steel band Moto 360 to formal events to include weddings. Glancing at it quickly when it vibrates to see if it is an important notification is better than being "that guy" who sneaks their phone out of their pocket and glances at it discreetly like a hidden porn mag. I find that much more annoying. I have never been in a situation where I've stared at my watch. I can't think of when someone would ever do that. You can only read a notification for so long.
  • ÷1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Admittedly, I exaggerated my point. My apologies. Realistically, what I was saying is that there's a vacancy in my watch lineup for something to use when being active. I already have the fancy-looking department covered. It was simply about MY personal needs, not about everyone's needs.
  • For active stuff, I have found nothing beats the Fitbit Surge. Screen stays on during workout, has GPS, heart rate tracking, can control music, and can be swapped for a smaller Fitbit when wearing a nice watch and just want the Fitbit hidden away.
  • The problem is that you can only "control" music with Fitbit, but you still need your phone. The SW3 let's you load music onto the watch, so no need for phone on run.
  • I have a moto 360 for everything. The only time I don't use it is the gym, because I'm not going to drop weights on the thing. Personally, I use a vivofit and a miolink hrm for really active stuff. Can't wait to ditch both for an AmpStrip though Posted via the Android Central App
  • I agree with your 2 cents. I bought mine for the same reasons.
    I needed a good reason to justify owning a smart watch. For me is was mainly because I was tired of hauling my note 4 around during my runs. I wanted an all-in-one lightweight solution with GPS and music. There's not many choices out there. Posted via the Android Central App
  • A few other points in the Sony SmartWatch 3's (SW3) favor:
    1. The reflective mode of its transflective display makes it clearly visible in bright sunlight.
    2. The reflective mode is also used in its ambient (always-on) state and so the info on its watch face can be read any time (provided there is enough light) without turning on its interactive mode.
    3. This saves on battery so that in normal usage it gets around 2 1/2 days battery life. Its competition's battery life is usually measured in hours. Even with the battery drain bug (which Google still has not officially acknowledged or fixed), the SW3 gets better battery life than its competition.
    4. While its square, transflective display is not quite as good for displaying emulations of analogue watch faces as its competition, it is better for almost everything else that a smart watch does (i.e., showing messages, weather reports, text, etc.).
    5. It is the only AW watch that is IP68. (But note that this does not apply to salt-water and also note that Consumer Reports found serious Quality Control issues with this claim when they tested it.)
    6. In its stainless steel band (see eGlobal-central and expansys-usa) it's actually a very good looking watch IMHO.
    7. It also has Wi-Fi connectivity built in.
    8. Now that Android Pay is here, there is some hope that the SW3's NFC chip could be used if Android Pay ever utilizes AW. This seems very likely since the Apple Watch already works with Apple Pay. However there is no guarantee that AW would work with the SW3's NFC even if they do eventually support Android Pay. We'll have to wait and see.
    9. It can be charged with any micro-USB cable.
  • Good argument. I honestly never considered the fitness aspect of my 360. I have fitness specific trackers for that. I guess the GPS is more due to cost and the fact that most people are going to be next to their watch anyway Posted via the Android Central App
  • Having my grocery list on my list in a busy supermarket is worth is weight in gold
  • This is something I didn't even know I wanted!
    It's so annoying to keep pulling my phone out of my pocket. It's even worse now without lockscreen widgets (like Google Keep, which I use for lists). WANT.
  • What app do you use for your grocery list on your AW device? I have a Moto 360 (2014) arriving on Monday. I use Buy Me A Pie app as it can sync with my wife using the same app on her iPhone 6. Not sure if BMAP has an AW app
  • Does anyone know how many apps are available at the moment for Android Wear?
    I've been trying to find this out online without any luck...
  • A lot. There is an app, Wear Store, that shows you. And the best app I have found for the grocery store is Bring! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've had weird issues since I updated my Moto 360. Dragging down the shade to set priority to notifications is often blank, and a weird icon flashes beside the battery life. Rebooting only helps for a little while before it happens again. My battery has been draining crazy fast the last few days as well, not sure if that's related.
  • >"a weird icon flashes beside the battery life" I see that too on my Moto360. Any other AW v1.3 users notice this? Everything else for me has been fine, with no battery issues.
  • They need to add speaker support!
    And apple is rumored to add a front camera to the next apple watch.
    Though video chatting on a small screen really doesn't make sense along with playing some games Posted via Android Central App on 1+1
  • The Apple Watch can only make it through the day with the screen being "off" most of the time. No way FaceTime is at all feasible. Posted via the Android Central App
  • "Only" 4,000 according to this site. About 3,950 more than I could see myself ever needing on a watch. I'd be willing to bet Apple and Sammy consider every watch face an app. In that case between Facer and Watch Maker Pro I have tens of thousands available. http://www.digitaltrends.com/wearables/apple-watch-apps-comparison/
  • Actually there are 4000 unique apps available for Apple watch...not just watch faces... Having said that, the reason there are so many apps is because everyone wants to get noticed somehow due to the huge size of the app store. So one of the key differentiators was to build an apple watch app since it was a brand new store... However you will find that most of these apps apparel useless in the sense that they are "me too" apps. Very few apps take advantage of the new firm factor and keep in mind how the watch is actually used as opposed to the phone.... Most of my friends who own an apple watch don't use any of the apps at all. Posted via the Android Central App
  • ePic ..it's on ...
  • I just got a LG G watch from ebay for 56.00 and its awesome. i really don't think I will ever not have a smart watch now. Makes things a lot easier when you are on the go. Watch out though. The G watch that I bought had a version of Android Wear that would not update on it's own. Took me quite a few hours on XDA to finally figure out how to get it to update properly. But when it did, what a difference my day has been! I definitely recommend Android Wear for anyone.
  • I have an original Samsung Gear Live gathering dust in my drawer. I find the health aspects and continuous heart rate monitoring of my fitbit charge hr to be more what I need at the moment. If an android wear watch came out with continuous hrm and calorie/activity tracking to rival my fitbit if buy it in a heartbeat
  • I have an LG Urbane and I love it. I installed the auto wear app and created some tasks in tasker. Now I have a watch face that acts as a TV remote. It uses the IR blaster in my s6 edge to send commands to the TV. I also create a notification using auto wear that pops up on my watch when I am on a phone call.... the notification has two buttons to mute and unmute the phone so I don't have to dig it out of my pocket. I have ever found tasker to be and little buggy and the aforementioned features don't always work 100% but when they do work mat for the times, it's like.magic!!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Very impressive! I may have to give Tasker a try if I get an AW watch.
  • Amazing article.. thank you for a VERY detailed write up.
  • Kudos to Russell Holly for a great review.
  • Thanks, Russell, for your continuing focus on smart watches. I had not had time to read up on the new version of Android Wear, so this review brings me up to date. As a woman who carries my phone in my purse, I find that my Moto 360 is definitely worth it to give me my notifications without pulling my phone out of my purse. I am also a weather junkie, so the multiple watch faces from the InstaWeather app give me all the weather information I need.
  • Am I the only one who still doesn't understand how they couldn't have made a way to rid of the black bar? They've had time.. Let's see how next year looks. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They say it's for the display drivers and ambient light sensor, but I think it's more the latter. You have to put that sensor somewhere, and on an edge-to-edge face with almost no frame around it.... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agree on that point. It's why I pre-ordered the new Moto 360 over the Huawei Watch. The Huawei Watch has lots of bulk in the top and bottom of the body (by top and bottom I mean the area outside of the bezel of the watch face itself). Moto 360 just has the small metal on each side that holds the band. Much sleeker and I'll gladly take the trade-off of the flat tire. Even the smaller Gear S2 has two chunks of the metal on top and bottom outside of the actual watch face bezel. That's the only way to have it without the flat tire.
  • I own the moto 360 and it's been an awesome experience and just enjoy wearing it. My concern is the battery life,my moto 360 has to be charged everyday and sometimes that's a pain. How will the new generation of watches and the battery life will last?
  • Though I enjoyed some innovations in the latest update, I gotta say there's one thing that's really bothering me and I hope they make it like before: always-on ambient screen mode on the Moto 360. I was so happy about having it on because it was very handy, and it didn't even destroy the watch's battery. With this new always-on mode, the watch lasts like half a day and it's not great, it's just a shame.
  • Nice review Russell. It only makes me more excited to start hoping on the Android Wear bandwagon with the new Moto 360. It also gives me a nice overview, so I can use this as an outline for what to expect and where to find many of the features/settings when I get the watch.
  • It's ok. I'm not a fan of the new way to get to the menu. So far there are no good watch faces to use the new input system with. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The Flick picture. Which watch face is that? Posted via the Android Central App
  • And where is Skype for your watches ?
  • Even though I'm a aTizen based, Gear S owner, I thought this review was incredibly detailed and very very well done. A great read. I'll definitely go back to this article if I dont get a Gear S II and am looking for an AW wearable....
  • huawatch ...