Motorola Launches the Moto 360: Hands On and First Impressionsby Joshua Ho on September 5, 2014 2:15 AM EST
The Moto 360 at this point is one of the most hyped products I've seen this year. However, in my time with the product it seems to be a mostly standard Android Wear watch, but with a few major differences.
At the most basic level, this watch has a TI OMAP 3 for the main application processor. From a performance perspective the OMAP 3 is a solid and simple choice, packing a Cortex-A8 CPU alongside a PowerVR SGX 530 GPU, reflecting the fact that wearables don't require anything near cutting edge performance. However this choice in SoC is oddly out of date on the manufacturing side as OMAP 3 was produced on a now dated 45nm process. Though the Moto 360 doesn't need the performance benefits from from newer 28nm or 20nm processes, these newer processes can deliver similar performance with lower power consumption, which would seem to be a boon for a space and power constrained device such as a watch.
Otherwise, the specs are mostly within expectation. The LCD display is a 1.56" size with 320x290 resolution, and is 46mm in diameter and 11.5mm thick. The leather strap model we've been sampled weighs 49 grams, and the battery has 320 mAh in capacity. Although the nominal voltage isn't given it's likely that it's 3.8V. There's 4 GB of internal storage and 512MB of RAM, a pedometer, heart rate monitor, two microphones, and the watch is rated for IP67 immersion protection, which means it is dust tight and submergable up to 1m of water for half an hour.
Motorola wanted to emphasize that this was a modern timepiece rather than a smartwatch, and they’ve implemented a great deal of new technologies in order to support the intended industrial/material design and user experience. The most obvious of these is the round display, which has no bezel except for the bottom of the watch. Unfortunately, it appears that this area at the bottom is necessary in order to fit the display driver and provide an area where ribbon cables can come out and meet the logic board.
In addition, we see custom antennas that are in the metal housing but don’t require any antenna lines. Unfortunately, there was no real disclosure on how this worked so it was hard to say how they pulled this off but there are noticeable patterns on the inside of the metal casing. New RF techniques were also used to make custom metal wristbands that don’t interfere with the antennas of the watch itself.
Motorola has also equipped the Moto 360 with dual microphones and custom noise cancellation profiles to handle different acoustics from being strapped to an arm, and it should be able to handle noisy environments better than most other Android Wear devices. The work done to enable this level of noise cancellation was done at Motorola's main office in Chicago.
There's also a recessed strap to improve comfort and better hug the wrist, and a custom heart rate sensor that should have better performance and reliability when compared to competing solutions.
The watch also only has wireless charging, and charging is as simple as placing the watch on the included dock. Putting the watch on the dock also automatically puts it into a custom charging mode that allows it to function as an alarm clock. It's currently too early to judge battery life or the actual utility of the watch, but the watch was comfortable, with solid aesthetics and design.
It will start at 249.99 USD and will be available on the Motorola site, Google Play, Best Buy stores and the Best Buy website. The two metal band options will be available later this fall for 299.99 USD and the metal band will be available separately for 79.99 USD. Leather bands will also be available for 29.99 USD.
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Jon Tseng - Friday, September 5, 2014 - linkReviews indicate battery life ain't great... only 12 hours
Any thoughts on whether this is down to the (bizarre) choice of a TI SoC? Curious why they went with this part (recycling the Glass platform?) can't be good for power draw...
Impulses - Friday, September 5, 2014 - linkWeren't they given out at yesterday's press event? Just curious how much time has any reviewer realistically had with it.
Jon Tseng - Friday, September 5, 2014 - linkThink WSJ and The Verge were seeded with early versions for review.
Man... spec sheet is up and its OMAP 3 (45nm part I think) <facepalm>
Impulses - Friday, September 5, 2014 - linkHeh, did Moto just face a truckload of these to unload or what? I thought TI was out of the game... Battery life isn't even my biggest worry, continued update support would be a concern too. Seems they tweaked it so it goes bright enough for decent sunlight visibility too, which is surely doing it no favors in battery life...
So tempted to get one still, battery life being the only big drawback, meh.
Guspaz - Friday, September 5, 2014 - linkTI *is* out of the game. The OMAP3 is ancient (like 6+ years old), and wasn't even the last OMAP (that was the OMAP5 IIRC) so maybe there was a big surplus stock somewhere that Moto got on the cheap.
SodaAnt - Friday, September 5, 2014 - linkEven that doesn't make all too much sense. SoCs aren't all that expensive, and I doubt the difference between the OMAP3 and whatever is much better is less than $10, and I think they could have found room for it in the BOM.
jakebruno - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - linkI do like it, but I really doubt that it will sell anywhere close to the top smartwatches that are already available. /Jake from http://www.consumertop.com/best-wearable-tech-guid...
aegisofrime - Friday, September 5, 2014 - linkIt totally doesn't make sense. A Mediatek MTK6572 (a dual core Cortex A7) will probably outperform the OMAP 3 while consuming lesser power at the same time. I can't help but think this biazzre choice of the OMAP 3 (and virtually all tech press is calling it biazzre) is going to kill the 360.
barleyguy - Friday, September 5, 2014 - linkDoesn't Motorola own TI? I thought I remember Motorola buying TI before Google bought Motorola.
Maybe they literally had these in a warehouse...
barleyguy - Friday, September 5, 2014 - linkNevermind. Can't find anything about it. Maybe it was a rumor that never came true...