Moto 360 – Enthusiast Photographer Diversion

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My day job is in the tech industry, and I’ve been watching the wearable tech pretty closely.  Apologies for the diversion, but I thought this might be of interest to some folks who follow the blog.

When I first saw the Moto 360, I wanted one.  The design looks great, and my hope was it was as simple and classic as it looked.  I happened to wander through a Best Buy when they had one (and only one) on the shelf, so I had to grab it.  Here’s a few thoughts after about two weeks of ownership:

  • I only got 12 hours the first day, but averaged 14 hours or so after that.  In the last few days of Sept. there was an update that has me up to 16-20 hours.  I’m not worried about battery any more.
  • I’m using Ambient Light (always on, but dims unless you tab it or roll your wrist over to look at it) and 4 for brightness.
  • It is keeping my phone in my pocket more
  • I really like being able to see e-mail and deleting it right then and there. Reading isn’t great, but at least lets me know if it is worth getting my phone out….
  • Seeing texts and being able to respond with my voice is great. I do not text and drive, and I’m not going to make a lot of use out of this feature, but being able to glance at it, tap the watch and respond has come in handy a couple of times. My Nexus 5 doesn’t integrate as well with my 2011 Mini Clubman as well as my Lumia 920 did, but the Moto360 fixes that to a large degree.
  • The heart rate and step counter were a little limited at first because they seemed inaccurate and I was babying the watch a bit for battery life.  The suede leather isn’t what I’m thinking of for exercise, either – I’ll probably pick up the metal band when it comes out.  I just got back from a business trip to Iceland (I’ll post the pix soon), and the update seemed to fix things nicely: the step counter generally agreed with my buddy’s FitBit while we were stomping around.
  • I really wish this thing tracked sleep, but even the improved battery life doesn’t allow it. This is the only thing I feel is strongly lacking for me.
  • There is virtually no setup. Settings are a little weird to get to (originally was press and hold the button, but that seems to have been updated to tap the face a couple times to get the Google Now screen and swipe up. The order of items in that settings menu doesn’t seem to be usage- or usefulness-based. Kind of annoying, but minor.
  • I wish I could configure how/which Google Now cards showed up (true of Android in general)
  • It recharges very quickly on the stand – an hour or so to a full charge.
  • I love how the thing looks. I like the dimmed face when I’m driving at night. Who needs tritium??
  • I have a million ideas on how this thing can be used. Fun to think like this again.

Overall – I’m really digging it. It isn’t overdone or intrusive, and it looks and works great. It doesn’t feel like 1st-gen tech, but there are a lot of possibilities.  It keeps my phone in my pocket, which is helping with battery life and makes for less things in my hands when I’m doing something like photography.  If you’re an Android person, this thing might be right for you.

(This also gave me the chance to try out the Canon S100 I picked up used to take the photo above – I really like this little guy!  Will make a nice lightweight travel companion.  It is an older camera, so I’m not sure I’ll put up a review, but another example of an “old” camera serving perfectly well and saving me a lot of money.)

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