Motorola Moto 360 – Everything you need to know

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We’ve been lusting after the Moto 360 ever since we first caught wind of it earlier this year when it was revealed alongside the LG G watch.

It’s one of the devices that will spearhead Google’s Android Wear revolution, showcasing the the tech giant’s wearable-focused OS on a gorgeous circular screen.

While Motorola has remained secretive about it, there’s still enough info dripping out to keep us excited until release day, especially with the release of leaked pictures showing it off in more detail than ever before. Here’s what we know so far:

Watch this face

Motorola Moto 360Watches are constantly on show, which is why their design is such a crucial factor. There’s no point having a clever wearable strapped to your wrist if you hate the sight of it, is there?

Fortunately, the Moto 360’s killer feature – its circular display – looks amazing. Not only does it set it apart from rectangular smartwatches such as the LG G watch and Samsung Gear Live, but it makes it look like, well, a watch.

Although Motorola has yet to confirm the exact display technology used, we expect it’s a circular OLED affair. Not only will that help its battery life thanks to its largely black watch face (OLED displays turn off black pixels), but it also means it should have better visibility in sunlight compared to a more traditional LCD display.

Metal and leather makes us happy

Not in a kinky way, you understand. It’s just that we’re so used to plastic smartwatches and smartphones that stainless steel (marked on the 360’s rear), with removable leather-and-metal straps will make our wrists very happy indeed.

These premium materials should have gadgeteers proudly displaying the 360 on their wrists, as opposed to sheepishly hiding it beneath their sleeves.

The rear of the 360 also confirms that it’s IP67 water-resistant, matching the likes of existing gadgets including the Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G Watch.

Our only concern about the Moto 360’s build at this stage, however, is its size.

Judging by the various wrist-on pics we’ve seen, the 360 looks rather huge – in both diameter and thickness. Still, it does have to house a processor, battery and other components, and we expect future iterations to slim down once technology progresses.

Wireless charging

We don’t know how big the Moto 360’s battery will be, but we’re hoping to squeeze at least two days from it before it conks out.

Thankfully, the Moto 360 uses wireless Qi charging, which not only removes the need for unsightly microUSB ports but also ensures that you don’t have to fiddle around with wires every time you juice it up.

Pictures of the Moto 360’s wireless charging dock show off a rather pleasant charging screen, and we’ll be very surprised if the 360 doesn’t double up as a bedside clock when it’s docked at night.

We can’t see any reason why existing Qi stands and charging pads won’t work with the 360, so if you’d prefer to lay it down flat then that shouldn’t pose a problem.

It will tell you when you’re dead

Like the Samsung Gear Fit, and countless other health trackers, the Moto 360 features a heart-rate sensor on its rear, letting you check your pulse and supplement your fitness training without the need for a chest band.

Although Motorola hasn’t confirmed this feature itself yet, the leaked rear photo of the 360 shows off the sensor in the middle, and mentions it alongside its waterproof rating and stainless-steel-construction labels.

Android Wear

The Moto 360 will be one of the first watches to land running Android Wear – Google’s made-for-wearables OS. We won’t dive into the details, but essentially it’s a wrist-friendly version of Android, pushing notifications to your smartwatch and letting you carry out tasks without having to slip your phone out of your pocket.

The 360 will chat to your connected smartphone via Bluetooth LE (low energy), so you can read messages, check the weather, answer calls, control music and more straight from your wrist.

It also makes use of Google Now’s search powers, thanks to built-in voice search. Want to know the way to the nearest KFC? Just ask the Moto 360, and it’ll pull up the directions on its screen so you can check the route at the flick of a wrist.

Secretive specs

If you’re looking for GHz figures and RAM numbers, then you’re out of luck. Motorola hasn’t released the exact specifications of the Moto 360, but we’re hoping it will at least match the LG G Watch’s 1.2GHz quad-core innards, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage.

Price and release date

Motorola previously published an RRP of $250 for the 360, in the terms and conditions of a competition. While it hasn’t confirmed that this will be the final retail price, we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

A direct conversion puts the Moto 360 at around R2,700 – which puts it under Samsung’s range of available devices here at home.

While a direct conversion is unlikely, we’ll be happy if Motorola can match the G Watch’s price, which is set to be a fair bit cheaper, especially given its superior premium build and circular screen.

As for a release date, Motorola keeps repeating “late summer” – which could be anywhere from now until the end of September – silly Northern Hemisphere people, it’s technically spring now. We’re counting down the days one at a time, and will update this preview with any more information as and when we get it.

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