Hands-on with the Moto 360, Moto Hint: in pictures

Hands-on with the Moto 360, Moto Hint: in pictures

Summary: The Moto 360 smartwatch was announced at Google I/O, but is finally ready for the public. ZDNet spent time with the new watch and Hint Bluetooth headset.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Android
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  • Moto 360 retail package

    CHICAGO, IL — Meet Motorola's latest gadget, the Moto 360.

    The smartphone and gadget maker has made some major company changes over the last year, including moving its main office to downtown Chicago, where everyone can work together in a facility optimized for innovation.

    Motorola is focused on providing optimal user experiences while giving consumers the power to choose. ZDNet were able to spend time going through various labs. I was impressed by the engineering efforts that go into creating its watch and headset lines. We have an evaluation Moto 360, and a full review will land shortly.

    In the meantime, let's take a closer look at the new gadgetry.

    Moto 360

    I doubt you will ever see Motorola refer to the Moto 360 as a smartwatch since the company views it as a reinvented modern timepiece. With a price of $249, it is actually much cheaper than some high-end watches and is reasonable for the functionality offered in such an attractive package.

    Motorola showed off the Moto 360 at Google I/O in June, and the crowd was audibly disappointed when they found out they wouldn't be able to buy them like they could the Samsung and LG's Android Wear smartwatches. A lot has changed in the last few months, and we now see others offering round Android Wear choices.

    The unique round form factor was one of the first things I wanted to find out more about and Motorola was quick to clarify its design versus traditional round watches by showing how it optimized the device for viewable display. If you look there is barely any bezel at all on the Moto 360 so the entire area is usable. I prefer having a small flat area at the bottom and seeing an edge-to-edge display.

    There were a few details that Motorola did not reveal back at Google I/O, including the wireless charging setup. The cradle is designed to sit on your desk or nightstand so you can just rest your Moto 360 on it and charge it while you sleep. There are no pins to line up, you simply rest it on the chin of the dock. (It's not clear whether the charging unit uses magnetic induction — we will find out and update the post when we know more.)

    The Moto 360 also has an integrated heart rate monitor and pedometer so you can use it in place of other pedometer devices. There are also daily and weekly goals to help you improve your activity. The heart rate monitor must be initiated by you and is not a continuous monitor like those used for fitness activities.

    The Moto 360 is much lighter than I anticipated. It seems to just "disappear" on my wrist. The leather bands from Horween, a Chicago tannery, are very comfortable. There are three leather band options: black, silver, and gray.

    The Moto 360 will go on sale on September 5 at 12pm midday ET, at various online and retail outlets.

    One word: impressed — after just an hour seeing the Moto 360 for the first time. I passed up the other Android Wear devices to hold out for the Moto 360, and I'm already convinced it is one of the best Android Wear designs available. 

    Moto Hint

    Bluetooth headsets may be stuck in the '90s, and lost their luster in the new decade. But that won't stop Motorola releasing a new Bluetooth headset later this year, dubbed the Moto Hint.

    The headset is small, akin to a simple earplug you might wear while swimming. Motorola took the effort to make it a compelling headset, though its price tag is hefty at $149.

    Like its phones and watch, Motorola improved the Bluetooth headset user experience in a number of ways. There are no buttons on the headset at all, by replacing physical buttons for capacitive touch technology. When you put it in your ear it turns on and when you take it out it turns off. This works via infrared sensors. 

    It works with the Moto Voice functionality so you can speak your custom launch phrase and then control your phone just like you can with the Moto 360. Directions are spoken over the headset, you can text via the headset, and perform anything else you might want to with the phone itself. If you take the headset out when something is playing over the headset, the audio switches automatically to the phone.

    The Moto Hint offers a fantastic user experience and almost convinces me to try a Bluetooth headset out again.

  • My Pebble next to the Moto 360

Topics: Mobility, Android

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  • Motorola is on fire these days

    both the 360 and the hint are highly anticipated products...perhaps they are attempting to carve out a niche as an early (and successful) entrant in the wearables world.
    Truffol