Would a plastic Moto 360 defeat the purpose?

Ever since Google announced Android Wear in March, wearable fans around the web have been drooling over renders, pictures, and videos of Motorola’s upcoming smartwatch, the Moto 360. Unlike its Android Wear counterparts, the Moto 360 has a circular display, sleek and classic design, and actually looks premium.

The Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch, on the other hand, more closely resemble reference hardware with very little attention to style. Michael parallels the G Watch from LG to its barebones hardware for Google’s Nexus smartphones, calling it “a combination of glossy and matte plastics forged into a plain-Jane rounded square.” And the Gear Live, despite its metal build, is stark and boring.


But the Moto 360, from the very first time I laid eyes on it, piqued my interests more than any wearable device before it. Many felt exactly the same way because, let’s face it, the Moto 360 is different. The circular display makes it a rather unique smartwatch. Our own Joe Levi does a great job at dissecting why we’re so enamored with the circular display on the Moto 360 – yes, even if it’s isn’t a perfect circle.

Martian Notifier Review 2In short, squares are, well … square.

Sure, circular smartwatches like the Withings Activité and Martian Notifier exist, but they don’t have circular displays. Rather, they come with analog watchfaces and more crudely display information.

Motorola was also able to capture the essence of a standard timepiece. It straddles the line between futuristic and classic watch design, and it does so through its circular, polished metal build. Its beveled edges make it look like a liquid metal of sorts, and the metal band shown in the renders (though it looks like a serious scratch magnet), suits the body of the watch perfectly.

It looks like something I would never want to take off my wrist. Unlike the smartwatches before it, it looks sexy.

withingsThe only other smartwatches that look the part of a high-end watch sacrifice functionality. Take the Activité, for example. The level of engineering and precision shown in the watch is mind-boggling. It’s gorgeous, and like a true high-end watch, it will cost somewhere around $500 USD when it launches. Yet it’s actually nothing more than a beautiful, run-of-the-mill wristwatch with a simple, analog fitness tracker – no notifications, no buzzing, dinging, vibrating, or displaying of anything.

360-charger-1This is what has truly set the Moto 360 apart from the competition. It will play the part of a high-end wristwatch while providing all the bells and whistles of Android Wear.

Still, exactly one week ago today, a rumor claiming the Moto 360 would be made of plastic made the rounds. The claim was that its metal chassis would interfere with wireless charging. To a degree, it makes perfect sense. Metal can and will interfere with inductive (electromagnetic) charging.

But if you take a step back and consider the rumor, it’s silly at best. Why would Motorola sacrifice a beautiful, all-metal design – the one differentiating factor – of the Moto 360 for something like wireless charging?

Yes, wireless charging is a must on a watch that will likely need to be charged nearly every day. But I give Motorola enough credit to have considered this in the design. It has been shown off countless times, Motorola has confirmed the pre-production devices are using the final hardware, and simply put, it isn’t plastic.

The Moto 360 is metal. It’s been pictured, rendered, and videoed countless times. It’s metal. No need to freak out.


If that isn’t metal, I don’t know what is …

Still, let’s take a second to explore a really cool hypothetical: Moto Maker for the Moto 360. Word has been getting around that the Moto 360 would be hitting Moto Maker alongside the Moto X+1. Say you design your X+1 with black metal trim and blue or red accents. You could then make your Moto 360 match with a black chassis and a blue or red button.

And, hell, if you wanted the Moto 360 for cheaper, maybe Motorola could give you that option – slash $50 or $100 off the price and enjoy the circular display without breaking the bank. I’m sure someone wouldn’t mind a plastic Moto 360.

I’m just saying, as nonsensical as saying the Moto 360 being all-plastic due to Qi wireless charing is, maybe there is some truth to both sides of the story. Maybe the Moto 360 will be offered in metal or plastic and the ultimate decision will be left up to you and I, the consumers. I could get behind that.

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About The Author
Taylor Martin
Based out of Charlotte, NC, Taylor Martin started writing about technology in 2009 while working in wireless retail. He has used BlackBerry off and on for over seven years, Android for nearly four years, iOS for three years, and has experimented with both webOS and Windows Phone. Taylor has reviewed countless smartphones and tablets, and doesn't go anywhere without a couple gadgets in his pockets or "nerd bag." In his free time, Taylor enjoys playing disc golf with friends, rock climbing, and playing video games. He also enjoys the occasional hockey game, and would do unspeakable things for some salmon nigiri. For more on Taylor Martin, checkout his Pocketnow Insider edition. | Google+