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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Apple Watch vs Moto 360 (2nd gen): Stay within Apple's garden

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The Apple Watch undoubtedly has been the most hyped technology product in the last 5 years since the launch of the first iPad. Months after it was launched this summer, the Watch has also propelled Apple to be the second biggest maker of wearables in the world as per the International Data Corporation. But Apple doesn't come second in any space. It enters and conquers. The Apple Watch hasn't and that's despite having no competition on its home turf of the iPhone.


Well, now there is competition. Smartwatches running Google's software now also have the ability to work with Apple's products and parse data on to the user's wrist. The new Moto 360, which has been launched in India, is a great example.
It promises most things the Apple Watch can do for much lesser and comes completely tied in with Google's ubiquitously used cloud services.
So which one makes sense for the average iPhone user, who is looking to get a taste of this smartwatch chatter? Does every iPhone user really need an expensive Apple Watch or can a good enough experience be obtained with something that runs on a Google-made engine and is made by the company that invented the mobile phone? Let's find out.
Design
In the looks department the battle between the Apple Watch and the Moto 360 is an interesting one. It is quite fascinating to be honest because the Apple Watch has a polarising square dial, which isn't a shape you'd normally associate with wristwatches, while the Motorola has a traditional radial dial.
But this isn't a clear cut argument because the Apple Watch is impeccably crafted more like a traditional wristwatch. Its design also pays homage to one of the most iconic wristwatches of all time - the Cartier Santos. 
The Motorola 360, even in its second generation, feels more like a toy. Yes, it is comfortable to wear, but so much so that it has no weight to it and feels like a knock-off from the grey market. Even for its price, it doesn't have the panache that you'd expect of a wristwatch.
The Apple Watch carries itself on the users wrist with gravitas. Especially the steel models that come with the plus milanese loop and the link bracelet. Even the cheaper aluminium models feel sporty and comfortable to wear. Everything from the strap to the dial feels very high quality. The same cannot be said about the Moto 360, though it has traditional looks.
Display
Both the Apple Watch and the Motorola 360 come in 42mm dials. Our test units were the 42mm models, but that's where the similarities end because the Apple Watch has a square display, while the Moto 360 is almost fully circular except for the the 'flat tyre' on the bottom, which is home to the ambient light sensor.
The 42mm Apple Watch has a sharp 390x312 pixels OLED display, which looks gorgeous and is a delight to use. The card based interface of the Apple Watch comes to life on it and it is easily one of the best displays we have seen on a smartwatch. The brilliance of the Apple Watch is the sapphire cover glass in the expensive standard models, which make it look and feel like a traditional swiss wristwatch.
The display of the Apple Watch also comes with Force Touch technology, which makes the navigation of the user interface easier.
The same cannot be said about the Moto 360, which doesn't offer as nicer experience as the Apple Watch. It has a resolution 360x325 pixels and seems somewhat less sharper and distinctly less vibrant than the display in the Watch.
What really sullies the experience on the Moto 360 is the flat tyre on the bottom of the display, which is home to an ambient light sensor. When you have a white or bright and colourful watch face on it's there like an eyesore. The screen also feels more reflective and overall, the experience is not as nice as what you get on the Watch.
Software
The biggest differentiator between the Moto 360 and the Apple Watch is the software that underpins both of them.
The Apple Watch runs on Watch OS 2.O, which Apple has developed specifically for it and it runs in lockstep with iOS on the iPhone. The Moto 360 runs on the latest version of Android Wear.
Watch OS 2.0 is by the more refined operating system and its synergy with the iPhone is unprecedented. It is an extension of the iPhone as there are multiple unique use cases that are possible only with the iPhone, something which Google's OS doesn't manage with the Moto 360.
Watch OS 2.0 can support native applications, and has highly customised watch face widgets that Apple calls Third Party complications. It also has some developer momentum, with over 10,000 apps already supporting the Watch OS platform.
On the iPhone, Android Wear seems limited. It will parse notifications, and you can attend to calls, but other than that it doesn't do much, because the restrictions iOS imposes.
In fact, it is laudable the amount Google has managed to achieve with Android Wear on iOS with its dedicated app. Even pairing a phone is pretty seamless. The watch-faces that Motorola has added are also nice, but there isn't much variety.
If you look at both the products like a fitness tracker, then the Apple Watch comes out ahead as its software and hardware manage to track the daily activities more accurately. On the Moto 360, we for some reason could not get our heart rate readings out consistently.
Performance
Like all Apple products, the Watch runs on custom hardware that has been specifically developed for it. In this case it is the S1 processor, which Apple has developed for the Apple Watch. It comes with a suite of sensors.
The Moto 360 on the other hand uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. A dual core one which works with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal space. The Apple Watch too has 4GB of storage, which can be used to store songs and photos.
Overall, the Apple Watch is miles ahead in terms of performance. It feels fast and fluid in operation especially after the update to Watch OS 2.0. Siri works almost instantaneously.
Google Now on the Moto 360 works painstakingly slow. At least that's the case with the iPhone, things are better on Android. Generally, there's a palpable delay in everything that happens on the Moto 360. The only exception is when messages or calls are incoming.
Android Wear on the iPhone isn't perfect and that's saying a lot because smartwatches themselves aren't fully developed. The Moto 360 feels on an iPhone feels incomplete, and it is limited further by the slow nature of its performance.


Battery Life
Apple claims that the Watch can last 18 hours on a single charge. The Apple Watch holds up to this claim more or less. In fact on most times it will outlast the 18 hour mark and cross 24 hours.
The Moto 360 falls short. It has a 300mAh battery. On the larger 46mm model, Motorola has added a larger 400mAh battery. But in our usage we found that the Moto 360 lasted between 15-20 hours on average depending on the usage, when the brightness level of the screen wasn't amped all the way up.
Both watches support wireless charging.
The one area where the Moto 360 does better is charging. It is not the faster charger, but with the charging cradle it doubles as a nice table watch and looks attractive while being secure.
The Apple Watch dangles in an ungainly way when attached with the wireless charger. Because it is attached in such in nonsecure way, it can fall down.
Which one is the best for the iPhone?
Despite the Rs.10,000 difference in favour of the Moto 360, on the iPhone it is a no contest. The Apple Watch works very well with the iPhone. It is faster, has more applications, it tracks better and it has the leg up in terms of build quality.
The Moto 360 feels like an alpha product when used with the iPhone, which certainly doesn't bode well for anyone who is looking to invest in a smartwatch. On Android it works better, much better. But if you're going to use the smartwatch with an iPhone, you should consider the Apple Watch.

1 comment :

  1. You might be qualified for a complimentary Apple iPhone 7.

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