The Moto 360: 3 things no one’s talking about

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Motorola’s smartwatch, the Moto 360, is now listed on the Google Play Store and with various online resellers – though availability and stock is very limited due to the device’s insane popularity. Thanks to Motorola, we were lucky enough to get our hands on the watch early and spent a weekend with it. You won’t want to miss what we found out!

If you’re waiting to see if it’s for you, here are three things about the Moto 360 that no one else is talking about.

Battery expectations

You can’t judge a device’s battery life by only a couple days of use. Stop for a moment and let that sink in.

During the initial several days, the device has to be paired and apps installed. This takes more power than typical use – sometimes a lot more power. As a result, your watch may seem like it’s got “less than ideal” battery life, but be patient, you’re not going to be doing that all the time, and once it’s set up, your battery life will start to level out.

Also, just like any new thing, you’re going to want to use it – a lot! I’ve worn an LG G Watch for over a month now, and I still found myself messing with the Moto 360 much more than I do with my G Watch. It’s human nature to want to tinker until the novelty is worn off. Just keep in mind that your battery life during the initial “novelty” period is going to be much less than it will be once you settle into your typical use pattern.

qi-energizerThen there are the “lookie loos”. Trust me when I tell you that you’re going to have a lot of people coming up to you to ask you about your “cool watch”. Of course you’ll feel obligated to give them a quick walk-through (or a detailed one), and this will lessen your battery life, too.

Qi-Compatible

Just in case you find yourself with a low battery on your Moto 360 and are away from home and your sexy looking charging stand, no worries! The Moto 360 is Qi-compatible! Simply place your watch on the Qi charger, and with a little bit of positioning you should be charging in no time!

Charging with Qi is fairly quick, so just a little while on your charger can buy you quite a bit of time on your wrist. I tried this out with single-position Energizer IC1B Qi-Charger and it worked like a charm!

Ambient Screen is off

Android-Wear Moto 360 Jeez Stephen Name your filesA lot of people are passionate about how much they dislike the black bar on the bottom of the Moto 360’s screen. I’ve got to admit that I thought I was in that camp, too. After I wore it for a little while, it became much less noticeable – to the point that I didn’t mind it. Behind the blackness sits the Moto 360’s ambient light sensor.

When I drive my car I usually have one hand on the wheel and the other propped up in the window. In this position my G Watch thinks that I’m bringing it up to see what time it is – over and over again. That’s not a problem during the day (other than the obvious battery implications), but at night that little white screen in an otherwise dark car can be blinding! That’s obviously not a good thing for driving at night! That’s the primary reason that I was excited about the ambient light sensor in the Moto 360.

Unfortunately, out of the box, Ambient Screen is turned off, making that black bar entirely unnecessary! It’s easy enough to turn Ambient Screen on through the settings on the watch or through the app on your smartphone. I prefer it on. Doing so makes the Moto 360 function much more like the G Watch with it’s two-state watch face: on, and low-power on. You’ll be surprised how many times you glance down at your wrist to see the time without bringing your arm up and activating the display. In its default state, the Moto 360’s screen is off, with no time displayed until you bring the watch up to check the time. Turning on Ambient Screen solves that problem, but as you’d expect, it does reduce your runtime.

Although I wasn’t able to wear the Moto 360 for more than a few days, I never had a problem with battery life for the whole time that I wore it. Keep in mind, this was during the initial setup period, the “newness” period, and the “everyone’s asking about it” period – likely the most battery intensive time that you’ll ever have with your new smartwatch. The Moto 360 got me through my days without a problem, all I have to do was charge it on the nightstand each evening. To use Motorola’s marketing: it recharges when you do.

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We’ve got a lot more about the Moto 360 that we’ll be bringing to you over the next several days and weeks, so make sure you come back to Pocketnow often and follow us on your favorite social media network to get notified of new stories as soon as they’re released!

If you’ve got any questions or concerns that you’d like us to cover in our upcoming review, head down to the comments and sound off!

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy".By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.