The Moto 360 & Android Wear: After a week

Reposted from my Google+ page.

So here’s my first weeks impression with the Moto 360, but also Android Wear in general:

Things that I loved:
Seeing all my notifications come to my watch, so I didn’t have to dig around for my phone in my pocket, unlock it with the passcode, etc.

Replying to messages! (when it works). Google Now’s voice recognition is absolutely great on the Moto 360. It’s at least just as good than as a phone or tablet, if not even better. Of course, nothing is perfect. Sometimes it can get words wrong in a noisy place, but that’s to be expected.

Customizing a watchface. I was referred to Facer for Android Wear ( and fell in love with its easy to use interface for making a totally unique watchface that works the way you want it to. You can very easily download and share watchfaces within the app and on the Reddit sub-section for Facer. The Developer is very receptive to suggestions and is always looking for ways to improve. Personally, I prefer a digital watchface and I wasn’t a fan of what the watch came with for those choices. I realize I’m probably in the minority for getting the circular watch and only using digital watchfaces though!

My personal watchface of choice. Great on battery consumption!
My personal watchface of choice. Great on battery consumption!

Battery. Yes, the battery is fine! I use the watch with Ambient turned OFF. This is key. The watch is basically sleeping with the screen off until you flick your wrist up to check the time, tap on the screen, or get a notification. Some folks may prefer Ambient with the screen always on, but I’d rather it last all day…and it has! I’ve not had it die on me in any of the days using it, and I’ve not given up anything other than Ambient. I’ve used it as a GPS companion, controlling music, replying to many messages, receiving them, and all with getting 10-30% by the end of the day. The 10% day was cutting it close, but from 8am to 1am I consider that pretty good!

Things I didn’t love as much:
Notifications get cut off sometimes by the not-so-360 screen of Moto 360. Traffic times and address locations especially. It almost seems like they designed Android Wear specifically for square displays and changed it at the last minute to work on circular ones. Which is probably the case.

The first day I had a major charging issue. It resolved itself by charging overnight, but stressed me out and made me think my new watch was defective. Thankfully, it wasn’t. Motorola was very quick to offer help in the case it didn’t get fixed by an overnight charge which was wonderful to hear. They don’t let ya down!


The battery charging issue had the watch going from dead to 8% to dead, repeating almost hourly.

For development, having USB access would have been wonderful. You can use ADB over Bluetooth, but without USB access you cannot get any files flashed with Fastboot mode, which means even if a root exploit came out for the Moto 360/Android Wear, you’d be S.O.L. if you screwed something up and couldn’t flash back the stock firmware.

It’s hard to find still! People can’t seem to find them in stock in their Best Buy’s as much as they try. This is technically a good thing for Motorola and Android Wear in general that they are so popular, but at least for now it makes it harder to get into the hands of other folks who want them.

The stock texting app for the Samsung Galaxy S 5 cannot use the Reply function on the Moto 360. I’m sure I could find another app that can, and this is probably just an issue on Samsung’s end, but its sad that it doesn’t work.

Android Wear devices are all lacking Speakers. Coming from a Galaxy Gear with one, it feels like Android Wear is running on mute all the time, and its sorely missed.

My last not-so-favorite thing is that the Trusted Device unlock method seems to only work for the Moto X (2nd Gen). This is something I grew to love with my Samsung Galaxy Gear + Samsung Galaxy S 5. Not having to enter a passcode and still be secure is incredibly useful and time-saving.

Would I recommend the Moto 360?
I’ve gotten this question a lot and to be honest there is no clear cut answer for this one. Do you want a companion to your Android smartphone for more easily accessible notifications? Do you want Google Now on your wrist? Are you OK with only a single day battery life? Are you OK with spending $249 on it? If yes is the answer to all those questions, go for it (if you can find one!). If not, hold off for a second generation product. The Moto 360 is a great product, but certainly not a Must-Buy for everyone out there.

I hope my experiences with the Moto 360 can help someone out there make a decision for themselves on the watch and other devices out there. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below on your thoughts and feelings about the Moto 360 and Android Wear!

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