For the past few months, I’ve been wanting to get myself a new fitness tracker. After experiencing the Pivotal Living Tracker’s failures, I didn’t have high hopes for many of the ‘features’ that the lower cost trackers offered and I wasn’t really in the mood to drop $250-$400 on a tracker, which left me very few options in the realm of fitness devices. After making the switch earlier this year to the HTC One M9 and Android, the ability to join a watch that would track fitness to my device was looking pretty good, but again, the cost was very prohibitive. But thanks to Amazon, I managed to find what seems to be the perfect device for not much more than a lower end fitness tracker – the Moto 360.
The Moto 360 offered me the best of both worlds. It was a notification center for my phone and a fitness monitoring device to keep track of my workouts. With the sub $150 price tag that the Moto 360 began selling for recently, even the bugs and lacking features of a first generation build. That said, it might be time to look at what the Moto 360 can and can’t do.
First off, the Moto 360 is a watch. Yes, it tells time and can do a great job of that. With the Wi-Fi connectivity that the newer version of Android Wear offers, you almost don’t need an additional connection to keep the device linked to your phone. Of course, you will need to grab the latest version of Android Wear and Moto Connect to get the most of your new Moto 360, but those are quick downloads for any Android device. Once the Apps are installed, you can set up what Apps will show notifications on the face, what face you want to use on the device and most of all, what additional Apps you want on your Moto 360.
For me, it was much more about keeping the status quo and not having to pull my phone out of my pocket every 10 minutes to check a simple text or see who emailed. Unfortunately, my M9 didn’t seem to like to show SMS messages on the Moto 360, so I went to the default Hangouts App on both the Moto 360 and the M9. Problem was solved and now I have the option to reply to messages instead of just receiving them. So, my first recommendation is to enable Hangouts as your default SMS App on your device, or download a fully Android Wear compatible messaging App. You’ll be much happier.
Next up, you need to consider what you are wanting in your watch. Both the Moto fitness setup and the Google Fit setup have worked well on my Moto 360 so far. My choice would be Google Fit for now, due to compatibility, but the Moto software does just about everything that a normal user would want it to. The Moto Body App tells me how many calories I have burned, heart activity, heart rate and steps taken. Google Fit shows me steps taken and heart rate on the Moto 360. It also links up nicely with Apps like Noom and other fitness trackers. Again, for me, even though the Moto Body software is better and more functional, the fact that the Google Fit data is compatible with so many different packages on the market today.
If you are looking for more of an organizer than a tracker, the Moto 360 has you covered there as well. Just a quick tap of the screen will reveal just about anything that is scheduled in your phone. The Moto 360 not only displays calendar appointments from your stock calendar App, but there are also great preinstalled Apps for sharing information, timing and plenty more to choose from in the Play Store. Simply search for “Android Wear” in the store to see all the options.
Probably my favorite feature of the Moto 360 is the readability of the screen in sunlight. Checking the weather in the sun is nice, but too many crazy, long looks in those bright areas will lead to a bit of a battery drain. Speaking of battery drain, lets discuss that little issue before we celebrate your new Moto 360 purchase. In all honesty, the battery is usually plenty for me to get through a long day. That said, I tried streaming music from Google Play from my Moto 360 to my Bluetooth earphones, and it literally destroyed the battery life of the Moto 360. In just 40 minutes of streaming, the battery had fallen almost 45%. If I had kept it up for the full album, the battery wouldn’t have survived it. My advice to battery concerns, grab a spare Qi charger to throw on the desk at work or in the car. It will come in handy for days where you use it a bit more heavily.
Overall, the Moto 360 is an excellent device at a pretty amazing sub $150 price right now. The only danger you may have right now is if you buy it right this second, the price may continue to drop slightly as the next generation of Moto devices rolls out. They will undoubtedly be more powerful, with slightly better displays and better battery life, but I’m betting they will also cost double what you can snag a Moto 360 for right now. So if you are ready to take the plunge and enter the world of smart watches, the Moto 360 is waiting for you at the link below.
Link: Moto 360