When the Moto360 was released just under a weak ago, we were hugely impressed regarding its form and its functionality, and remarked that it will be the device which Apple would have to beat with its own forthcoming smartwatch. Now the Apple Watch has been revealed and we are being told to bask in its reflected glory. But is it really that good, when compared to the Moto360? Which device actually do we feel is the better of the two?
Let’s look at the four main areas which consumer electronics are usually judged on: design, hardware, software, and price.
While many had expected Apple to bring forth a revolutionary new design or form factor, the Apple Watch was rather disappointing. It features a somewhat boring rectangular face which kept much of the curves of the original iPhone, as well as non-interchangeable watch straps. The watch itself is also very bulky, protruding significantly from the wrist of the wearer, something which would be much more prominent on the smaller 38mm version of the device.
The Moto360 on the other hand was the first smartwatch to make use of a round form factor, which depending on how it is worn, can be seen as either classical or futuristic. In addition, at 8.9mm thick, is is somewhat thinner than the Apple Watch. Furthermore, though the use of interchangeable bands, the Moto360 can be a both a utilitarian or sport device at one point and then transform into an elegant piece of jewelry later in the day.
While we know too little about the processor and battery life of the Apple Watch for a direct comparison, in terms of features, it packs roughly the same sensors as the Moto360 (pedometer, heart rate, accelerometer, GPS). With regards to waterproofing, the Moto360 has an IP67 rating, making able to survive 30 minutes submerged to a depth of 3m, while the Apple Watch is reportedly only splash proof, and would need to be removed for showering. Finally the display of the Moto360 automatically dims when it is not in use through the use of an ambient light sensor, while a similar feature has not been announced for the Apple Watch.
In terms of software, Apple has put great effort into the UI of the Apple Watch. The new interface is clearly well optimised for the smaller screen size of the device and its use of the Digital Crown is at the very least original. This compares to the Android Wear operating system of the Moto360 which is focused on minimalism and voice activation. Both systems run native and 3rd party apps in ‘light’ versions intended for quick communication, and both allow for predictive responses in text messaging. Apple does include many more digital watch faces than the Moto360, however it is unlikely a user would ever use more than a few of these.
The most important thing which many people consider when buying a product is price. On this front there is an obvious win for the Moto360. While it is by no means the cheapest smartwatch on the market, at $250 dollars, it is a full $100 cheaper than the Apple Watch which will go on sale for $350 in the US. In addition, it is important to note that the Apple Watch will not be released for at least another 3 months, meaning that within this time, the price of the Moto360 could further drop, making it an even better deal in comparison to the Apple Watch.
When looking at all these details, it is a clear win for the Moto360. While Apple’s software and UI is marginally better (at least as presented in the keynote) than Android Wear, this alone does not justify the large price tag. When this is compounded with the bulky and uninnovative form factor and lackluster hardware, then the Moto360 emerges as the premiere wearable on the market, and a major coup for Motorola.
See the complete comparison: Motorola Moto360 vs Apple Watch
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