Moto 360 2nd Gen (First Time Smartwatch Owner Perspective)

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When Motorola first announced the Moto 360 I wasn’t too excited about it. It wasn’t a Moto thing but in fact a wearables thing. I’m not crazy about wearables. I’ve avoided them, criticized them and although they’ve gotten progressively better, I’m still not sure I see the point of them and I’m hoping my first trip into the smartwatch world is a good one with the Moto 360.

Wherever you go nowadays you can’t help but notice how many people are walking around with smartwatches on their wrists. Whether it’s an Apple watch, Samsung Gear, LG Urbane, Pebble, Moto 360 and so on, people want to be up to date. My opinion was always that smartwatches don’t help you anymore than your smartphone does so why have it. It’s why I’ve always been tentative to buy one (Insert Motorola here).

When Motorola gave me the opportunity to try out their 2nd gen version of the Moto 360 I decided to cast aside my stubbornness and give it a try. I’ve had for a little over a week now and I can honestly say that my mind isn’t totally changed about wearables but I get it now. I totally get it. Let me explain…

Designing my Moto 360

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Motorola made the new Moto 360 customizable. They took the best elements of what they did with the Moto series smartphones and applied to the Moto 360 by including it in the Moto Maker on their website.

When I first got to designing my Moto 360 I was excited by how many options I had to make a watch that is MINE, just for me. There were two options for the men with either 42mm or 46mm. I’m a guy that tends to like a reasonably big face watch so I chose the 46mm.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 3.34.58 PMAs you go down the list of options you can choose different types of bezels, the case color (which is the overall color of the watch aside from the bezel), band type (either metal or leather) and finally the watch face (which you can change anyway regardless which one you choose). After all was said and done I got a pretty cool watch and surprisingly with all that customization my Moto 360 came up to about $379 in total. Not bad for a premium smartwatch, especially considering what the Apple Watch costs at a base level.

As for my watch, I went with a pretty standard issue. The minimalist in me kept it simple with the brown leather band, black bezel and a gold case to give it a little bit of flair but nothing too extravagant. If not for anything else this is the reason to buy a Moto 360.

Using my Moto 360

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Now I have my Moto 360 and I’m super excited about it. I must admit it is pretty. I take it out of the box and do a quick setup and update and we’re ready to go. The 46mm face is the perfect size really for anyone. I connect to my Galaxy Note 5 and instantly I’m seeing my notifications such as email, IG, FB and music all coming across my watch. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about this. It’s a bit annoying but I promised I wouldn’t be too critical.

20150922_104437I’m really liking the Moto 360 right now, it’s mostly because I like watches and this one is particularly pretty. Functionally though, I’m not sure I see the value but I’m going to make every attempt to get the most out of it.

Everyday use was pretty good on the 360. I never really noticed it was there (mainly because I keep the bluetooth off on my phone) just like any other watch. The settings in the 360 allow for you to either keep the screen on with a dimmed setting or keep the screen off but you can set it with wrist gestures so when you move your wrist to look at your watch the screen pops up. I didn’t use too many apps, but I did give it a try to see how it would last during a full routine day and it was pretty good. With some average and the occasional above average use I was still able to get thru a day and get home with between 50 and 75% battery left. I was shocked because I was worried that I would be close to the critical point of the battery by the time I got home. Nope. The battery held up. As I see it you would have to completely miss a day of charging to kill the battery completely. One good charge overnight and you can pick up your watch and go and get a whole day if you use the watch conservatively. Obviously if you crank up the screen to its highest and use a tons of apps you won’t have much battery left to get through the day similar to your phone so I didn’t include it as part of my assessment, it isn’t practical to me.

20151001_151333Lastly, getting apps for my Moto 360 was easy. The Android Wear app store had a lot of apps and watch faces for my Moto 360 readily available to me on either my Note 5 or my iPhone 6Plus. It’s pretty much the one stop shop for everything I needed for the 360. Most of the apps in the Android wear store I didn’t really see a need for but for everyone else I understand. Like I said I’m more of a watch guy so I don’t want to make my watch an alternative to my phone so unless something becomes available that I really want in the Android Wear store I don’t think I’ll use it too much. Even for my watch faces I found myself using apps like Watchmaker and Facer to get those watch faces that you won’t find in the app store. Overall I figured if I use both I could get the best of what I wanted out of my 360.

What do I think now?

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After using my Moto 360 a little over a week I can say honestly that my opinion has changed ever so slightly about smartwatches. I totally understand the fever behind it. People love it. I can recall a few times when I was on the train or just in the store and someone stopped and asked me “What kind of watch is that?” or “Is it better than the Apple watch?”. It’s an eye-catching device, after all it is pretty and let’s be real, who doesn’t like to get complimented for their watch and be able to answer questions about it?

Even with that being said I still think that smartwatches have yet to find its true niche. That goes for the Apple Watch as well. I still need to have the question answered “What’s the point?”. Functionally that is. As a premium wearable the Moto 360 is one the many great wearable devices out there. I’m slightly biased towards the 360 since it’s my first and I honestly do think it looks the best of them all but that’s just me.

For me however, for the apps and capabilities of the Moto 360 I’ll be using it as a watch. That’s it. Maybe if I see an app or a function worth using my 360 for then I’ll engage but for now a watch is what it will be for me 95% of the time. One should not base their opinion on the Moto 360 on me. This isn’t a review of the watch but in fact the perspective of someone who has never owned one and made the Moto 360 2nd gen his first. My first impression is very good so far and I’m enjoying it.

The Moto 360 2nd gen is available for purchase at Motorola.com starting at $299 and you can add on in the Moto Maker and customize it as you see fit. Trust me you’ll love it

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Mike Bitter is a born gadget head and true lover of technology. It all started with computer classes at age 10 and his first PC the Tandy 1000. From then on he found his love and he became a gamer and a PC builder and has not stopped since. He specializes in hardware, troubleshooting and custom PC building. He’s known as the “fixer” amongst his friends whenever there is a problem with a PC or a Mac. He’s also fully immersed in all things that pertain to the world of computers and gaming. He's an 80's baby and he grew up watching technology evolve from the NES to PS4 and from the Commodore 64 to the iMac. He has a unique and minimalist perspective on technology and is here to help the average person to understand technology today.