The Moto 360 Smartwatch: Out Now and Putting Every Other Wearable to Shame
The Moto 360 smartwatch, which we were first introduced to at Google I/O this June, is available today online and in select stores for $250. The watch works with any device running Android 4.3 or later, so you won't have to run out to get a new phone, or even a Motorola phone for that matter, to use the watch.
At a Motorola event Thursday at the company's headquarters in Chicago, I had the opportunity to use the watch with my own Android phone. I realized quickly that what I loved most about the watch was how unobtrusive the 1.56-inch screen is, it definitely looks like a larger man's watch at first glance. Though for smaller wrists, sporting the menswear-chic look might take some adjustment.
Using the Moto 360 was surprisingly intuitive in my so-far limited time with the device. Turn the watch on by pressing its only button, purposefully placed on the side of the watch to mimic the knob of an analog watch, or raise your hand to waken the screen. Touch the button again or place your hand over the screen to put the watch back to sleep. Swipe to either the left or right to dismiss apps or go deeper into them for more information. For example, when I received a Hangout message on the Moto 360, a single swipe showed me the latest incoming message, another swipe displayed the entire conversation — all on my wrist. Don't be shy, though, voice commands are the best way to interact with the 360.
As first hinted at in FCC documents, the watch indeed uses wireless charging, so that owners won't have to fiddle with cables when placing the device in its dock each night. A full charge of the Moto 360 promises one full day of use.
Apps already compatible with the Android Wear marketplace include Lyft (which is the only car service currently that works with the voice prompt "OK Google, call a car."), RunKeeper, If This Then That, DuoLingo, Pinterest, Hangouts, American Airlines, and even Tinder to name a few of the thousands that are coming soon.
In addition to these apps, Motorola is making health a key aspect of the watch. Going beyond just the pedometer function of many fitness bands and other smartwatches, the backside of the Moto 360 doubles as a heart rate monitor when worn snugly against the skin. It tracks current heart rate as well as the average for the day, along with your heart's weekly activity, meaning it will know if you get your recommended half hour of moving and shaking five days a week, as recommended by doctors.
The Moto 360 is for sale today at 9 a.m. PDT on motorola.com, Google Play, BestBuy.com, and in some Best Buy stores for $250 with an accompanying leather band in black, light gray, or limited-edition gray with a suede finish. Later this Fall, stainless steel watches will be introduced for $300. Bands will also be available separately; $80 for the steel and $30 for the leather straps.
Read on for a closer look at the Moto 360 including its charging station and its capability with travel apps.
Photo: Kelly Schwarze