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Android Wear - One To Watch?

How Often Do You Charge Your Timepiece?

Motorola have finally dipped their toe into the swamp that is the smartwatch market. And it’s about time.

Aptly named the Moto 360 (due its nature as a watch with – wait for it – a circular face!), the device is widely being touted as the best on the market so far. But does that make it a guaranteed billion unit shifter, or is Motorola’s flagship destined to be left red-faced?

Smart watch sales have just about ticked along over the last couple of years, with SonyLG and Samsung releasing underwhelming products and Apple… not yet bothering. But if Motorola have their way, or if Apple tell their fanboys that smart watches are actually really cool (and, like, totally their idea all along, guys), we could yet see them blow up.

Let's imagine a world where they’re as popular as tablets. Long gone will be the agony of painstakingly fishing our archaic mobile telecommunication devices out of our pockets, updating our Facebook statuses, then putting them back into our pockets again.

I mean, isn’t holding technology what the Neanderthals did with their spears?

But don’t go donating your iPhone to the poor just yet, as early reviews for the 360 are mixed at best.

While it’s been described as the most beautiful smart watch yet (who could disagree?), it’s still full of problems which will take generations – not just software updates – to iron out. While the thought of dictating your next Facebook status into a Bluetooth headset does sound pretty cool, it’s looking more and more likely that smart watches are this week’s fashion accessory, not our generation’s landmark technological advancement.

They’re the Beats by Dre of Android devices.

On the plus side, the watch is indeed beautiful. More so than its competition, anyway. You can choose from a variety of themes, and they’re all pretty. That is, unfortunately, until you look a little closer. At first glance, it’s exquisite. At second glance, you notice the black block at the bottom, rudely scarring the face of your 200 quid new toy. Instantly, something gorgeous is cheapened; instead seeming rushed and incomplete.

And this is on top of the battery issues which plague not only this device, but also every other smart watch to date.

Motorola have been very outspoken in their marketing for the device, purporting that “the first watches maybe gave the category a bad edge,” and that “[they] believe [their] product will be on the new wave of offerings.” But, if the reviews currently circulating the web are anything to go by, they haven’t been successful. At least not yet.

If I sound overly negative, it’s just because I’m disappointed. The thought of a mere downwards flick of a wrist to see if my friends want to talk to me (let’s be honest, they don’t) does intrigue me. Of course it does. It speaks directly to the technology-loving, easily pleased, shiny-thing-seeking child that's inside all of us. But sadly, on this occasion – and for this pricetag – I don't think that’s enough.

I want to want one; I’m just not sure the time is right.


Emile is a postgrad from the University of Saint Mark and Saint John. He’s hoping to break into journalism or publishing, and won’t stop blogging until he’s managed it! Follow him @EmileAtSMF.

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Android Wear - One To Watch? Reviewed by Douglas Clarke-Williams on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 Rating: 5
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