How Does the Moto 360 Smartwatch Stack Up to Competitors?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I really want to like the new Moto 360 smartwatch. I'm of the generation that grew up wearing wrist watches as functional jewelry. And, my life fully revolves around the need to access my smartphone at all times and in every way possible. But, as much as I like the way the $250 Motorola device looks and feels on my wrist, I'm still not sure. At least, until recently. 

I've since softened my views on the Moto 360, since posting this video review. But only slightly. 

The Moto 360 is more wrist computer than watch. Yes, it does tell you what time it is and, yes, it does provide you with notices about incoming emails, phone calls and messages, but those two ideas don't really come together in an orderly manner.

Read More: Review: The Moto 360 Is the Most Beautiful Smartwatch Yet, But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Perfect

For instance, say you want to check the time. You move your arm and, hopefully, the screen automatically lights-up to show you the watch face. Sometimes, however, I found I had to move my arm slightly to wake the device from its battery-saving nap. Sometimes, I had to wave my arm a few times to see the time. Real wrist watches perform that function flawlessly. Rarely, if ever, are you greeted by a blank watch face.

Additionally, the Moto 360 has other limitations

Most of the time, this smartwatch vibrates to tell me that a message has been received on my smartphone. I can see the message on its small watch screen but I need the smartphone to respond. I'm slowly getting used to all the buzzing on my wrist for all the messages I receive, but I'm not sure I like the sensation. The 360 also displays who is trying to reach you with a voice call. It allows you answer the call, but actually talking to the caller also requires using the smartphone.

Other smartwatches I've tried, like last year's Samsung models come to mind, had a microphone and speaker built inside that allow you to hold conversations without having to touch your phone. Cartoon character Dick Tracy's two-way wrist radio comes to mind. Of course, the microphone-speaker hardware adds complexity, cost and size of any wrist computer. And while the Moto 360 does very well listening for your voice commands and can carry them out, it does needs your Bluetooth-connected smartphone to do so. 

Read More: Google Just Announced Android Wear

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