Kikay Reviews: A Week with the Moto 360

    

I love gadgets that help track fitness and training, so when I got a chance to try the new Moto 360 smartwatch for a few weeks, I pounced at it. I mean, just look:

Moto 360
the new Moto 360

The Moto 360 comes in Black Leather, Rose Gold, and Sport styles. The Moto 360 Sport is available in Black, White, and Flame colors, so I chose white.

The Moto 360 is powered by Android Wear™, is Wi-Fi enabled and runs with a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 with 1.2 GHz quad-core processor. It also features Moto Body, is water resistant with IP67* rating and features scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass. It is compatible with both Android and iOS platforms, but because I’m already an Android phone user getting the Moto 360 to work with my phone was a breeze.

Moto 360
Sport Edition

The first thing we did out of the box was charge the phone up to 50%. No need to plug the watch in: it uses a wireless charging cradle so you can drop your watch into it and go. At 50% power, I took the watch and synced it with my phone by downloading the Android Wear app.

Moto 360
wireless charging

This started the sync process that allowed the watch to use the many Android Wear-enabled apps on my phone, which included Under Armour Record, Spotify, and Strava. Here’s a little Snapchat video of those early moments with the Moto 360.

It was really pretty, so I was excited to have it on my wrist. I decided to track steps and heart rate concurrently with my Fitbit, and then also see if the GPS function was as accurate as my Garmin. The next few days were a good opportunity to do so with runs on treadmills and outdoors as well as cycling. While the Moto 360 is water-resistant, it’s not waterproof so I couldn’t take it swimming.

Moto 360
pretty packaging

Moto 360
watch face comparison with a Garmin Forerunner 920XT

I don’t have a gram weighing scale, so I could only go by how the Moto 360 felt on my arm versus the Garmin Forerunner 920XT, a watch of similar size. The Moto feels heavier, which I can probably attribute to it being a mini-computer on my wrist that had a microphone, powerful processor, and full-color screen.

In many ways as I used it throughout the week it made me feel like comic book character Dick Tracy and his two-way radio watch. I could say “OK Google” to activate Google Now’s audio command function and order it to send text messages or tweets, make phone calls, set an alarm, or take notes. This was quite awesome to me because I don’t really make use of Google Now on my phone (much less Siri on my iPad Mini). My major qualm with the voice prompts was no confirmation dialog. I said, “Call Michael” and it started to call a different Michael than the one I intended! I also sent a few weird text messages because it misheard the words.

The Moto 360 needs to be connected to your phone via Bluetooth or a common WiFi network to do many of its functions. Tapping on Twitter and Facebook notifications on the smartwatch would open them on the phone, not on the watch, which defeated the purpose of having a smartwatch so you didn’t need to pull your phone out of your bag or pocket. I also wished I could save Spotify playlists on the watch and connect my Bluetooth earphones directly to the watch instead of my phone. These are things that its competitor can do.

Now, onto its fitness and activity tracking capabilities… Because I used the Under Armour Record clock face, it showed the number of steps I was logging with my Fitbit (which is synced to my UA account). However, the number of steps the Moto 360 displayed through its own step tracking was only a portion of what the Fitbit would log.

The heart rates tracked by the Fitbit and the Moto 360 were within two beats of each other. However, the Moto 360 and the Moto Body app that analyzes its heart rate data is unable to display trends in resting heart rate and won’t show you the day’s heart rate squiggle. It only shows number of active minutes, and the heart rate squiggle within your logged sessions. That could be sufficient for someone trying to get into a habit of fitness, but for someone with more advanced health geekiness (yours truly), it’s a wasted opportunity.

Indoor Run data log for Moto 360Outdoor Run data log for Moto 360
Indoor and Outdoor Run pace and heart rate data from Moto 360

Then I attempted to track my GPS runs using the built-in run tracker. BE WARNED: I installed Moto Body AFTER the runs, and the software would not sync those runs with Strava. That was actually my deal-breaker and ended with me putting the Moto 360 aside at the end of my test week; the info logged by the Moto 360 was not portable or downloadable so I could analyze it with other apps or software.

All that being said, if you’re interested in keeping only one device on your wrist to manage your smartphone as well as your fitness activities, the Moto 360 could be the one for you. But if you’re a little more serious about tracking and analyzing your training sessions, you may want to wait until they update the firmware and software to track and log all-day heart rate and export GPS data.

The Moto 360 Sport 45mm and the Moto 360 42mm in Black Leather are priced at Php16,999. The Moto 360 in Rose Gold 42mm retails at Php17,999 while the Moto 360 in Cognac Leather 46mm is priced at Php18,999. Check them out at Gadgets in Style (TriNoma and Shangri-la branches) and at Power Premium Gadgets (Mall of Asia and SM Megamall branches). For more information, follow Moto PH on Facebook.

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