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Review: The Moto360 is back and it’s quite good

Review: The Moto360 is back and it’s quite good

The Moto360 was a beloved addition to Android’s original smartwatch lineup. One of the first with a truly round dial, the 360 was a direct assault on Apple Watch hegemony.

After Motorola began its slow sell-off of much of its mobile technology it looked bleak on the Moto360 front. Now, however, a relatively unknown company call eBuyNow has licensed the name and the design and is bring the 360 back.

As the previous sentence suggests, this is not a Motorola product. That’s good and bad. On the whole I was quite impressed by everything associated with this watch, from the clever round box to the fit and finish. The model I tested, a black model with leather and rubber straps, was well made and rugged and it featured nearly everything I was looking for in a smart watch.

I wear smartwatches for exercise. I don’t wear them daily. What I was looking for was heart rate sensing and an always-on display. The Moto360 provided both.

As Gizmodo notes, the watch is basically a Fossil Gen 5 or Skagen Falster 3 clone with Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip. It includes 1GB of ram to power a accelerometer, barometer, continuous heart rate-monitoring, gyroscope, built-in GPS, and NFC payments. It also has quick charging and holds its charge for about 30 hours.

The watch costs $350 – about $50 less than an Apple Watch – and is worth the price of admission if you can ignore many of the device’s limitations. Because eBuyNow isn’t a fitness company many of the fitness features found on similar pieces from Suunto and Polar are missing. Further, the watch is bog standard, eschewing a lot of the added software and features many other watches have had for years. One pet peeve? The sports app – a Wear standard app – didn’t allow for locking during workouts which meant the watch paused itself constantly while I was lifting or moving.

That said, if you’re looking for a smartwatch and you’re not looking for many bells and whistles – or, more precisely, you’re looking for something that isn’t overly complicated – this is your watch. It’s only available online right now and it seems to be sold out, which makes it particularly unique in a world flooded by smartwatches. Whether this means it’s going to be completely unavailable in the next few weeks or it’s quite popular is anyone’s guess, but I definitely enjoyed my time with the watch but its peccadilloes kept me from truly loving it. Maybe your results may vary.

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