The smart watch trend seems to be picking up, with a whole bunch of luxury watch manufacturers taking up the challenge and adding an aesthetic flair to the comparatively clinical concept of wearing the most digital watch ever. Do smartwatches serve an indispensable purpose? Certainly not. They’re a minor convenience in a era of minor conveniences. But if you’re in the market for one, what should you be looking at.

Aesthetics are the first thing the 2nd gen Moto 360 has focused on, since that’s not a strong point for Smartwatches by Apple or Sony. Instead of the generic, sporty look, Motorola has made the 360 customizable with a range of straps and colour schemes that can be used to go with various kinds of attire. The basic look consists of a steel case and a steel strap – the latter can swapped for a standard leather strap or a double strap (all of which cost extra).

DESIGN

Although Smartwatch design has a long way to go, the Motorola 360 is undoubtedly one of the best looking ones in the range. It’s simple shape, metallic frame and strap options make it far more fashionable than the other clinical designs on the market (women can opt for a slimmer band). The dial lens is quite sturdy and the watch feels fairly light and comfortable on one’s wrist.

It’s fairly resilient too, able to withstand limited exposure to water. If there is a visible flaw it’s that the digital display on the dial isn’t completely round, with a little sensor creating a flat bottom section. However, you wouldn’t hold that against the watch for too long, because unlike the competition, the Moto 360 comes with various ‘watch faces’ allowing you to customise the dial considerably. You can also download different watch faces, some of which do indeed look quite good. The selected face can then be further customised to add additional information like a World Clock, time and date and a pedometer. The useful functions don’t end there. You also get a flashlight, although I wouldn’t go spelunking with it.

A clean, elegant design, although the watch could be a little thinner
A clean, elegant design, although the watch could be a little thinner
All the basic Android apps such as Gmail, Maps Whatsapp, Daily Planner etc are accessible through a gentle swipe
All the basic Android apps such as Gmail, Maps Whatsapp, Daily Planner etc are accessible through a gentle swipe
Like most Smartwatches it's charged via induction
Like most Smartwatches it's charged via induction

FUNCTION

Running on Android, the watch is fairly easy to use. The advantage here is that you can have any phone, even an iPhone and be able to sync the 360 to it by downloading the Android Wear app onto your phone. From there it’s pretty much all about syncing it, and downloading a few supplementary apps by Motorola (Moto Body) which help monitor your daily/weekly calorie expenditure.

It’s remarkably easy to use and intuitive. One major ace up the 360’s sleeve is that it allows you to read and respond to your Whatsapp messages. This, surprisingly, isn’t the case with the Apple Watch which will hopefully fix the issue soon. While you can’t type out the response, the watch picks up on your speech remarkably well, although talking to your watch may be an oddity your peers aren’t used to. But your being able to read Whatsapp messages without reaching for your phone, makes a strong case for the Smartwatch. Android has a rich treasury of health and fitness apps, and while the watch may ocasionally miscalculate your heart rate or your steps, it’s largely on the mark and quite helpful if you are accustomed to a sedentary life.

Reading maps, and shuffling through music is much easier while driving
Reading maps, and shuffling through music is much easier while driving
The charging dock allows you to safely place the watch, and clearly view the charge level
The charging dock allows you to safely place the watch, and clearly view the charge level
The charging dock allows you to safely place the watch, and clearly view the charge level
The charging dock allows you to safely place the watch, and clearly view the charge level
Pedometer is helpful, but constant notifications can be a bit irksome
Pedometer is helpful, but constant notifications can be a bit irksome

BATTERY

Yes, your constant need to charge your watch will irk you, but the Motorola 360 can last for a little over day, perhaps a few hours over that if you turn off Wifi, and the ‘On screen’. However, it does charge fairly quickly and Motorola have been smart enough to throw in a very practical and stylish induction stand for the watch, which the likes of Apple couldn’t be bothered to provide for free.

VERDICT

With a price tag of Rs 20,000 (going upto Rs 23,999 for the black metal option) the watch is one of the most reasonably priced smartwatches around. Smartwatches could certainly benefit from becoming cheaper and slimmer but of the lot, the new 360 really does shine thanks to its value for money. You actually get more functions, a sturdy and practical stand and a hugely customizable design which can keep you entertained for years – and you get this at a cheaper rate than the competition.

Do Smartwatches really add utility to your life? Probably not – not as long as they do the same stuff your phone can do for you. But if you aren’t enamoured by complex and fashionable, analog timepieces and would rather have the additional convenience of a little smartphone on your wrist, the Moto 360 should be the watch you go for.