Smartwatches are all the rage right now in the tech nerd sphere, and as cool as it is to see so many people excited about new technology I remain unconvinced. It doesn't matter if we're talking about Pebble, Apple, or Google, at the end of the day these companies haven't figured out a way to make this technology convenient enough to justify the expense.
All that having been said, I think Google is the closest to a complete thought with Android Wear, and I think the best looking and most functional version of Android Wear currently is the Moto 360.
As great as it can be to get notifications on my wrist, to glance down instead of pulling out your phone to see a text or to pause a movie on the Chromecast without a remote, there's a big usability gap for most tasks. At its best, Android Wear straddles the line between being more or less convenient than pulling out the phone to complete a task. At its worse, Android Wear is another device to have battery anxiety over, with an unfortunate variety of power connectors that aren't even cross compatible within the same manufacturer.
It's entirely likely that a significant portion of my disillusion with Android Wear is through my year and a half with Google Glass. While my awkward little face computer had plenty of its own problems, not the least of which being an unfortunate relationship with water, Glass excelled at being more convenient than pulling out my phone. Driving with Glass as a navigation device was a revelatory experience, and never once did a Glass notification cause someone to stop a conversation to ask if I needed to be somewhere because it looked like I was checking the time.
Since Google is busy prepping Glass 2.0, and suggesting a $1,500 face computer you can't buy over a $200+ wrist computer you can buy is nuts, if you're absolutely in need of an Android Wear watch right this second I'd suggest the Moto 360. Even though I wish Motorola had put a little more into this watch at a higher price tag, the nearly bezel-less design of this watch and the ability to use any Qi charger to power the watch make this my favorite right now. The whole "flat tire" effect on the bottom of the watch doesn't bother me, in fact thanks to the Little Worlds watch face I've got some flexibility to make it look even nicer. It also makes a handsome pocketwatch, if you're into that sort of thing.
It's not the most expensive, not the most powerful, and there's some question as to how many software updates it can handle before that aging processor can't keep up, but like I said if there's a watch I think you should buy right now, it's this one. If the 360 isn't the watch for you, but you've still got the itch, the Asus ZenWatch is the only other device I'd spend money on right now. With any luck this will be a great year for Google figuring out what Android Wear needs to be truly convenient as an extension of the phone. Here's hoping.
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