I Bought the Moto 360: Here’s an Update on My Experience

In my last article I talked about the lack of SmartWatches available for women. As I wrote that piece, I was waiting for my Moto 360 to come in the mail. It came. It exceeded my expectations, and now I am addicted to wrist notifications.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Moto 360, here’s a quick recap:

  • The Moto 360 is Android Wear
  • It was initially released in October, 2014
  • And it has a circular face

How the Moto 360 Met My Expectations

How Big Is It?

armBefore deciding on a SmartWatch, my main concern was finding one that fit. From what I had been seeing online, many other women had trouble fining a SmartWatch that fit the way they desired.

Popular watches — like the LG and Pebble Steel — are monstrous. It became clear early on that I had extremely limited options.

In any case, the Moto 360 met my expectations: it is not massive.

Yes, it’s big. But not massive. HoweverI will say that my mother’s initial reaction to it was, “Oh my God! That thing is huge!”

Aside from that, no one else has made a comment about the watch being too big — at least not yet. That said, people have asked, “What is that?” after seeing the watch light up or vibrate.

What about the Battery Life?

A lot of the reviews I read online discusses the poor battery life of the Moto 360. I read that it couldn’t even last a full day.

To my surprise, the watch easily lasts me all day long. (Maybe the other reviewers used it much more than I do? Who knows.) Regardless, my Moto 360 can easily last a full day without dying. (As in, from 7am to 10pm at night when I get ready for bed and take it off.)

However, wearing this new watch has been a huge drain on my phone battery. In the past my phone, an HTC One, would always last throughout the day. Now, not so much. (Of course, contingent to how much 4G  data I decide to tap into.)

I’m fairly certain the active Bluetooth connection is that cause of the battery drain. Or perhaps because my phone is a bit older — I got it a year and a half ago. It’s running Android version 4.4.2.

Maybe with latest Android version it would not be so draining.

Not So Hot Things

Voice Recognition Feature Can Be Inaccurate

Sometimes, when I tell my watch to send a text or setup a reminder, it doesn’t catch everything I say. Or more annoyingly, it stops listening to me and sends a text/email halfway through.

Naturally, I never use the voice command to send an email to an important person — like a client or professional acquaintance. Instead, I only use the feature to send simple texts to my family or boyfriend.

Nonetheless, what can we expect from a piece of technology that’s so new? Android Wear has only been available since the beginning of this year (2014). I’m confident that the technology, such as voice recognition, will improve over time.

It Drains Your Phone Battery

As I mentioned above, the watch totally drains my phone. To counteract this, I have begun to charge it right when I get home in the evening, which is around 5pm. I have also become one of those people who carries their phone charges with them everywhere they go — just in case.

The Sensors Can Be Inaccurate steps taken

One the whole, I have found the sensors to be inaccurate. For instance, oftentimes the total number of steps taken in a given day is wrong.

Additionally, my heart-rate has been displayed incorrectly on a few occasions. (Or sometimes it “can’t read” and tells me to hold my wrist still.)

Even more, sometimes when on the elliptical it reports that I’m riding a bike. In reality, I haven’t been on a bike in months.

Your Phone Must Always Be Nearby

The watch only works if I am about thirty feet from my phone, give or take.

I’m certainly not an expert on every make and model out there, but I assume this is the case with most — if not all — SmartWatches. That is, you must keep your phone nearby in order to take advantage of the majority of the SmartWatch features.

This doesn’t bother me so much. I mean, my phone is typically only an arm’s length away from me anyways.

How the Moto 360 Has Improved My Life

Remote Call and Message Notifications

Getting phone calls on my wrist has been great. Sure, I can’t literally answer through the watch. But the watch alerts me by vibrating and I can quickly glance to see who is calling.

I’ve missed many important calls in the past. I hate loud ringers and notifications, so I always keep my phone on silent.

moto on my wristNow, I can leave my phone on silent and still get phone calls sent to my wrist.

It Offers Hands-Free Driving Support

Okay, maybe not literally. But I can send a text via voice while driving all while my hands remain on the steering wheel.

I simply call out to my watch with the words, “Okay Google“.

Since the watch is conveniently positioned on my wrist, it can easily spring into action. It goes without saying, this is much safer than texting and driving the traditional way (not to mention it’s illegal in most states). Besides, since both of my hands are on the wheel, I really don’t even consider it texting and driving.

The Moto 360 works just as well for multitasking. For instance, when I am busy getting ready in the AM, I can easily add a reminder or send out a quick text without stopping what I’m doing. I commonly find myself putting on makeup and adding events to my calendar at the same time …. Which is pretty awesome for those of us who hate wasting time.

Leave Personal Notes via Voice

You know when you have those awesome ideas pop into your head while doing something, like driving?

Well, now I can record my ideas as a Google Keep note at the drop of a hat. Of course, the app also syncs right to my phone and computer — meaning I can review all those ideas — aka notes — later on.

speak now, comparison

View Calendar Notifications On Your Wrist

I can look at my full day’s agenda with just a few swipes.

For instance, if I note a few things to pick up at the grocery store — it shows me right on my wrist.

It doesn’t get any better than that!

Helps Keep Me More Active, and Fit

Even if the steps are slightly inaccurate, the Moto 360 makes it easy to see whether or not I’ve been active during my day.

I don’t live in a city. So I rely heavily on my car. For me, it’s easy to avoid walking. Moreover, I also miss out on a lot of excess exercise I would be having otherwise. Luckily, the Moto 360 tracks my steps and lets me know when I’m slacking.

Sometimes I dislike exercising because I lose interest quickly. However, adding the Moto 360 into my regime has definitely made things more exciting.

Does it make life safer?

Maybe this sounds crazy, but I think owning a SmartWatch like the Moto 360 could make life safer.

First of all, the Moto 360 doesn’t even look like a “SmartWatch.” It looks like any other run of the mill time piece. Meaning, God forbid, if I was abducted or something — the assailant would have no idea the watch was in fact “smart.”

So, as long as my phone was within 20-30 feet of me and turned on, I could secretly send out an SOS text or email.

Come to think of it, there are plenty of safety apps out there already for smartphones. Surely, there are some available for SmartWatches. For instance, one that allows you to press an instant-action “911” button.

Overall, Having a SmartWatch Is Incredibly Convenient

Honestly, I have been using the Moto 360 much more than I thought I would. It’s been extremely convenient.

Before I made the purchase, I was a little skeptical. But, hey, the price tag is about the same as a normal watch, for instance a Michael Kors or Marc Jacobs one. So, why not make it a SmartWatch for the same price?

It’s not 100% smart, but what can we really expect from technology that is so new?

About The Author

Laurence Bradford

Laurence Bradford loves technology and writing about it. An avid exerciser, she is interested in the combination of gadgets and fitness optimization. Find her online at learntocodewith.me.

  • harish solanki

    How did you manage to install “Android Wear” on your phone that is running 4.2.2?

  • Cindi Kiser

    Wondered if I did something wrong. First 2 weeks 360 used 85% of my data. Is this wrong/right?