As we approach Peak Smartwatch at the Apple event next week, manufacturers are racing to offer product to those who might not want to bow down to Cupertino in the coming months. The latest contender is the Moto 360, a steel and leather beauty that launched today alongside the new Motorola X.
Although I’ve been duly impressed by the Samsung Gear series, you will immediately notice that the design language of the 360 is far more chic. Made of a round piece of coated steel and featuring a nice leather band and Gorilla Glass crystal, the watch looks more like a Misfit Shine than a nerd accoutrement.
How does it work? Well, if you’re not familiar with the vagaries of Android Wear, not very well at first. The interface consists of notifications that appear over the various watch faces available as well as a voice activated screen that allows you to ask for various pieces of information. You can ask Google for directions (delivered indirectly by your phone). You can ask it to take a note or send a text. You can look things up. You can also tell the time just by lifting your wrist.
Unfortunately, the interface tends to dump back to the default time screen if something isn’t understood, which is quite frustrating. Voice recognition has been consistently good, but sometimes it will activate too soon, resulting in something like “OK Google Text OK Google” appearing on the screen.
I’ll have a full review of the new gear next week but we recorded a quick hands-on with the watch today in anticipation of many long hours spent talking to my wrist.