Five years ago, if you had mentioned the term “smart watch” to somebody they might think you were making a bad joke.
Fast forward to 2014, and we see a sudden boom in the wearable tech world, with the largest part being smart watches. However, smart watches have been around for a while now, what caused them to hit the main stream?
There are two main products which have made consumers decide that smart watches might actually have a purpose, the first being announced earlier this year and which has just been released; the Motorola Moto 360. The Moto 360 decides to take a step away from every other smart watches emphasis on trying to get the most impressive hardware into it and instead focuses on a sleek, cool design.
The fully circular design allows the Moto 360 to actually blend into your wrist like a regular watch, and makes checking it something that won’t draw attention, as it instead will come across as simply checking the time. This has a massive appeal, and is the reason that despite its lackluster tech and reasonably high price point ($249) the Moto 360 is one of the most, if not the single most popular smart watch available right now.
On the other side of the fence, we have the Apple Watch. This single event and announcement perhaps did more for smart watches than every other manufacturers attempts combined, by giving it the apple treatment. People who previously looked at the smart watch world with lack of interest are beginning to realize it might actually be a significant part of the future because of Apple’s history with new markets.
However, besides fancy announcements, and the typical Apple treatment, we have yet to see a really compelling reason for its premium $349 price point besides the ability to track and manage both your fitness and your home using the watch.
So, which should be tempting you more right now? That boils down more to your existing preference more than anything else. Both watches slightly streamline existing smart watch ideas into more watch-like designs. The general consensus is that Motorola does a better job than Apple in this regard but that apple definitely takes a second place for looks.
However this does mean the Moto 360 sacrifices a little bit with its hardware, using an old TI OMAP 3 processor, 512MB of RAM with 4GB of internal storage and a 320×290 display. Despite this fairly lower end hardware, the battery life also takes a serious hit, being unable to make it through an entire day without power saving options enabled, slightly defeating the point of a fairly expensive piece of tech.
On the other hand, if you are willing to sacrifice some amount of aesthetic for some more features, the actual internals of the Apple Watch have yet to be properly announced but are no doubt going to slightly trump the Moto 360 in many ways, hopefully being able to take note of where the Moto 360 failed.
On top of this, if you have a decent tendency to buy Apple products you likely already own one of the most recent iPhones (from the the 5 to the 6 and 6 plus) meaning compatibility will be much simpler to manage, and the extra $100 on the price tag is easy enough to justify at this point.
So to summarize; which should you buy, the Apple Watch or the Motorola Moto 360? If Apple products are your bread and butter, the choice is very simple. If android is an experience you’re more familiar with, and you like the idea of saving $100 and getting a cheaper smart watch, then you can’t go wrong with the Moto 360.