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Moto 360 Reviews Arrive 87

Posted by Soulskill
from the internet-of-wrists dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Reviews for the Moto 360 smartwatch have started to roll in. David Pierce at The Verge praises the design: the circular display is framed by an unadorned, stainless steel shell, and fastened to your wrist with a simple leather strap. At the same time, he criticized the battery life, saying the device averaged around 12 hours of use before it needed to be charged. Pierce adds, "The Moto 360's most impressive feature is that I stopped noticing it almost immediately. Whenever I wear the LG G Watch or the Samsung Gear Live, I'm constantly compelled to fidget with it; there's this unexplainable feeling of having something alien on my wrist that is there because I need to use it. The 360, on the other hand, just vanished into the spot left on my wrist by the Seiko watch that conveniently died this week." AnandTech takes a deeper dive into the device's hardware, noting that the TI OMAP 3 processor is built on a somewhat old 45nm process, which necessitates higher power consumption than newer, smaller processes. The Wall Street Journal says it's easy to get used to speaking into your watch for basic functions, but the software — and thus, the Moto 360 as a whole — still isn't quite ready for prime time. However, almost all the reviews agree that the smartwatch's time is coming.
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Moto 360 Reviews Arrive

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  • by turkeydance (1266624) on Friday September 05, 2014 @10:40AM (#47834883)
    i saw what you did there
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2014 @11:01AM (#47835037)

    You say the software isn't ready? I say the hardware isn't ready. How in the world is a watch with a battery life of 12 hours even close to usable?

    Ooh, nice watch you have there? What time is it?

    I don't know, the battery died around dinner time.

    That sounds annoying. Does it happen often?

    Yes, every frickin day!

    • by SternisheFan (2529412) on Friday September 05, 2014 @11:20AM (#47835189)
      Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

      -- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    • Besides: despite what "the reviewers" say, I don't think "the age of the smartwatch" is quite here yet.

      And it won't be, until it does something really useful on its own, rather than being a smartphone accessory.
    • The Moto Equinoxer 360: Revolutionary new ability to accurately time hours of daylight, OR night -- on BOTH equinoxes.

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Friday September 05, 2014 @11:02AM (#47835047)
    Let's see, we've had smart phones for a while. Now we seem to be entering the fad of smart watches. When the smart watch fad dies down, what will replace it?

    .
    Smart rings?

  • Is it just me or are these things redundant? Why would I want my wrist encumbered with anything, let alone a watch? Wherefore art thou oh smart ring?
    • Re:A watch? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <[ten.frow] [ta] [todhsals]> on Friday September 05, 2014 @11:17AM (#47835167)

      Is it just me or are these things redundant? Why would I want my wrist encumbered with anything, let alone a watch? Wherefore art thou oh smart ring?

      In the quest for choosing bigger numbers, Android manufacturers have been increasing average screen size to the point where the phones themselves are too big to hold in one hand or put in a pocket.

      This makes the phones great for watching movies and Netflix, and gaming, but positively lousy if you want to communicate with people. I mean, you can't put it in your pocket (at least the small tight formfitting ones), and it's too big and tiresome to keep digging it out every 30 seconds to see if you have a new text or email or Facebook post.

      So they invent a smartwatch that lets you keep the phone in your bag or purse (because you can't carrying it anywhere else due to size), but you can still get texts and remain "connected" without having to dig out the monstrosity.

      Of course, you may argue there are plenty of small screen phones, and yes, you're right, however, the flagships have been getting bigger and bigger. And people who have flagship phones generally are more interested in smart watches (more $$$), than someone who just gets whatever phone is free today.

      That's why smartwatches are around - phones have been getting bigger and bigger, and soon we'll be hauling around bricks like 80s style cellphones. (Ironically, the move to smaller and smaller phones in the late 90s and early 00s lead to more people using Bluetooth because they were too small to talk to comfortably).

      • to the point where the phones themselves are too big to hold in one hand or put in a pocket.

        You must have really small hands and pockets. The Galaxy S5 is a big phone and I don't have either problem.

    • >Why would I want my wrist encumbered with anything, let alone a watch? Wherefore art thou oh smart ring?

      Why would you want your fingers encumbered with anything, and why wold you want to switch to a device that needs to be charged every 5 minutes when a smart-watch can run for 12 hours.
    • According to the rumors (so you know it must be true!), Apple's watch is likely to have a built in step counter and pulse meter. That would instantly let it replace all the Fitbits, UP bands, Nike FuelBands, etc. that people are wearing with something attractive that has more functionality. I'd wear a watch if it did sufficiently interesting things that normal watches don't.

  • by wile_e8 (958263) on Friday September 05, 2014 @11:07AM (#47835073)
    I've seen a lot of people on this site bash smartwatches if they have less than a week of battery life, and that always seemed like overkill to me. I suspect a lot of people (most?) are like me and take off their watches at night anyways. As such, placing it on a wireless charger dock at night doesn't seem like a problem - as long as the watch has enough battery life to get through the day until I take it off at night. Which is doesn't, according to these reviews. I don't know if I like the look of one enough to buy one anyways, but that would keep me from buying one even if it was better looking.
    • by LodCrappo (705968)

      I've been messing around with an LG G watch for several weeks now (part time android dev, just getting to know the platform). It lasts over 24 hours on a charge, often approaching 48 hours if I don't fool with it a whole lot and turn off the "always on" display. To me, this is quite reasonable. Set it on the charger when you take it off each night, but if you do forget, it will still work for a good part of the next day. FWIW the battery life on the Moto X is similar, about 36 hours, and being able to u

    • >I've seen a lot of people on this site bash smartwatches if they have less than a week of battery life, and that always seemed like overkill to me.

      Yes, that would be an insane requirement. People with that kind of attitude are just a waste of time since they're in the market for a product that does not exist.


      >I suspect a lot of people (most?) are like me and take off their watches at night anyways

      That means you can't have any sleep-monitoring functionality in the watch, and health tracking
      • by wile_e8 (958263)

        That means you can't have any sleep-monitoring functionality in the watch, and health tracking is the only thing that will get many of us to strap something to our wrists, since watches have been made obsolete by our phones. A 24 hour charge, with a very fast charger or easily replaceable battery is the only way to make this work. Charging one battery while you're using the other, and making a quick swap is probably the best solution with current technology.

        I suspect the number of people wanting to strap a device to their wrists for sleep monitoring are a very small subset of the potential smartwatch market. The changes you suggest would hurt the already struggling battery life of this thing, and make it bigger to boot. Given the small number of people that would take advantage of those things for sleep monitoring and the number of sales that would be lost due to the battery and size changes, it wouldn't be worth it.

    • by alvinrod (889928)
      That's not a problem if you're at home every night but if you're on vacation or travel a lot, having to lug the charging station around with you is just one more damned thing to carry around. That creates enough inconvenience for some that they won't want to bother, because if you forget just once, you have a useless hunk of metal strapped to your wrist or have to leave it somewhere to charge when it should be with you.
      • by wile_e8 (958263)
        That's true, but that's a smartwatch problem, not a Moto 360 problem. And a smartphone problem. And a tablet problem. If you're already traveling with electronic devices (and the Moto 360 is useless without at least one), it's just one more charger to pack.
    • The people posting these reviews have had the watch for a few days, but I wonder how much education they got on it from Motorola, or if they were going in blind?

      The reason I ask is that it has been well advertised today that the battery life of the watch will be HEAVILY INFLUENCED by it's distance from your phone. If the watch is seperated by the phone often, then it will constantly be using more power to communicate with it and/or be probing for the phone. This will significantly impact it's battery life,

  • Circular LCDs (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by freeze128 (544774)
    Having a round LCD screen is stupid. There is just no reason for it. The image is displayed anyway as rows and columns, which is inherently rectangular. It's just a holdover from mechanical watches that rotate on a central axis. The circular LCD will never hold as much information as a same resolution rectangular LCD, plus the engineering to get it to work is a lot more complicated. I see round LCDs as a waste of perfectly good screen real estate, and technology. That engineering could be put to much better
    • Re:Circular LCDs (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Tukz (664339) on Friday September 05, 2014 @11:12AM (#47835113) Journal

      It's a new thing called "fashion".
      I'd much rather have a round watch than the current trend of recangular smartwatches.

      • It's a new thing called "fashion".
        I'd much rather have a round watch than the current trend of recangular smartwatches.

        Agreed... though using the word 'fashion' was perhaps a mistake...
        Also, when the primary use of the watch is to tell the time then a round display is justified. They're not for heavy data display anyway.

    • by Andrio (2580551)

      Android Wear supports both round and rectangular screens. The reason for this is fashion, and fashion will always beat out pure function.

    • The addressing of LCDs is inherently cartesian, but I don't see why it means the display itself must be as well. The space not on the display is not wasted, there are not physical pixels being hidden here. Instead, the device provides the user with more free physical space compared to one with square screen, not to mention nicer look.

    • the 360 is 270, if you look at where the LCD actually goes...

  • might as well just velcro your phone to your wrist.

  • by flux (5274) on Friday September 05, 2014 @11:26AM (#47835253) Homepage

    Everyone keeps saying how this doesn't have the latest most powersaving CPU but how much CPU does this device even need? Once a second to update the hand? Or could even be a few times a minute for a smooth minute hand.

    I would be surprised if the overwhelming majority of the amperage doesn't go to the display and the BLE radio (in that order), the CPU coming last.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      The display is off most of the time. The power goes to the Bluetooth radio and the accelerometer that notices when you raise the watch up to look at the time.

      • by flux (5274)

        Meh, I was hoping some kind of dim OLED MIP display that would display always, like in N9 (though I did notice it was not mentioned in the specs) - it would have explained why most of the clock displays had dark background.

        There are accelerometers that can queue many samples and then pass them to the CPU in one go (ie. 100 samples) and in addition they can have thresholds for interrupts. If your CPU is going to be woken once a second - assuming 100 Hz sampling rate, which is quite nice - then it doesn't rea

  • This is the first smart watch I've seen that doesn't look terrible. For me, a watch is primarily a piece of jewelry. I'll stick with my Ebel, thank you.

  • Taking bets on when Motorola discontinues this and therefore stops supporting it. I fell for their previous version of this, the Motoactv, which is meant to be a sports device. But oops I made the mistake of sweating on it, so they won't honor their warranty.
  • How difficult is it to take out phone and check time anyway. Other use cases like checking for the caller while driving can be handled by voice apps..or phone holders etc.. Unless however, they are completely eliminating the need to carry a cell phone. And that will require a lot more thought than just . May be pair the watch with Google Glass say. A fundamental shift is required. Something tells me I need another pot...
  • However, almost all the reviews agree that the smartwatch's time is coming.

  • Why encumber your wrists? What we really need is a device that you keep in your pocket and you can pull out when you need to check the time.

    It can be called the iPocket Watch.

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