Apple Watch vs. Moto 360
After nearly two years of rumors, Apple's smartwatch is here. And though the Apple Watch has plenty of company in the smartwatch space, the device does look like it carries some of those thoughtful little details that Apple is famous for. Let's compare (what we know about) the Apple Watch with one of its prime rivals, the round-faced Moto 360.
Before you do anything else, you'll need a smartphone to pair with either of these bad boys. The Apple Watch is (naturally) only compatible with iPhones. You'll need the iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6 or 6 Plus to use with the Apple Watch.
The Moto 360, meanwhile, will play nicely with any Android phone running software version 4.3 or higher. Most Android flagships from the last couple of years will fit into that category.
See what I mean by only knowing certain things about the Apple Watch? Apple hasn't listed the full dimensions for the smartwatch – only the heights of the two case sizes.
So what about those width measurements? Those are our rough estimates, based on the watch's height relative to the proportions from Apple's press images.
Build (main body)
Apple is releasing three different series of the Apple Watch: the classic Apple Watch line (with a stainless steel body), the activity-focused Apple Watch Sport (anodized aluminum) and the high-end Apple Watch Edition (18-karat gold).
It looks like leather, stainless steel and plastic will be the choices for Apple Watch bands. But this list of three almost undersells the incredible amount of variety that the company is offering in its styles.
The Moto 360 is only available with a leather band at launch. Stainless steel bands are set to ship later this year.
Again, at this point it's hard to put a finger on the sheer amount of variety in Apple Watch styles. Let's just say there are going to be lots of color combinations.
We don't yet know exactly what the Apple Watch weighs, but you can expect it to feel plenty light on the wrist. The Moto 360 is also very light for its size.
It isn't yet clear if Apple will sell replacement bands for the Apple Watch, but we do know that you won't be able to swap it out for a standard 22 mm band. You can do that with the Moto 360.
This is another estimate for the Apple Watch. Apple hasn't listed the two screen sizes, but these are the numbers we came up with when we measured the watch's heights and compared them to the screen diagonals. You'll want to take it with a few grains of salt, but we're confident that we're at least fairly warm.
If these estimates are sound, then the round-faced Moto 360 gives you about 62 percent more screen than the larger Apple Watch, and 116 percent more than the smaller Apple Watch.
We have no idea how many pixels are in the Apple Watch's displays. Apple only described it as a "Retina Display," which is basically Apple-speak for "sharp screen."
The standard and Edition lines of the Apple Watch will ship with sapphire screens. The Sport version will have Ion-X glass in its place.
The Moto 360 uses Corning's Gorilla Glass 3.
One of the most intriguing points of the Apple Watch reveal was its pressure sensitivity. Apparently it can discern between a light tap and a harder press – and respond accordingly.
It looks like the Moto 360 is going to come out ahead in this category, as the early word is that the Apple Watch only has light splash protection, similar to what we saw in the original Samsung Galaxy Gear.
The Moto 360 can sit in 1 m (3.3 ft) of water for 30 minutes, and keep on ticking.
Both watches can serve as all-day pedometers, as well as providing other fitness features. Apple appears to have a much more robust fitness tracking solution built-in, but Android Wear's can easily be beefed up with third-party apps.
Both watches also show navigation from your phone's GPS.
Okay, so it isn't really called "love tap," but that pretty much sums up this clever feature that Apple threw into the Watch. To create a sense of intimacy, you can send and receive little taps (as well as drawings and custom emojis) to people in your Apple Watch friends' lists. Tap your Watch screen, and your girlfriend (or whoever) will feel it on her wrist.
At least in theory, it's as if your loved one is giving your wrist a little love tap – even if he or she is on the other side of the world.
... no word yet on whether strangling the watch will let angry spouses cut off the circulation in the wrists of their significant others.
Both watches have touch screens and implement voice control. But Apple threw the rest of the industry for a curve with its Digital Crown.
The idea behind the Crown is that pinching and zooming isn't a great experience on a tiny watch screen. So Apple's version of the classic watch winder will twist around to let you do things like zoom in and out.
Only time will tell if it's truly the next big computing interface, as Apple is framing it, but it's most definitely a classic Apple-esque idea.
In addition to the Digital Crown (which also serves as a home button), there's another button on the side of the Apple Watch. It serves as a shortcut for your Friends list.
Siri makes the leap from phone to watch, as does Google Now on the Moto 360's Android Wear.
Heart rate sensor
Both watches have heart rate sensors on their backsides. Apple's has an extra twist though: you can "send" your heartbeat to a friend or loved one. The watch senses your ticker ticking, and sends that pattern, in real time, to the other person.
Like the love tap feature, I'd imagine this novelty will wear off quickly. But, if nothing else, it will make the Apple Watch the favorite wearable of love-stricken teens all the world over.
Apple is trying to revolutionize retail (and make your wallet obsolete) with Apple Pay, its new NFC-based payment system. The Apple Watch joins the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in being compatible with the new tap-and-pay service.
There have been murmurs that the Apple Watch might only last one day per charge. If you aren't careful, the Moto 360 might not even last that long. Stay tuned for our full review, but we can say now that battery life is, at the very least, a yellow flag on Motorola's watch.
The Apple Watch's charging system is similar to the MagSafe chargers you'll find on MacBooks. Just hover the little charger near the back of the watch and it will magnetically snap into place.
The Moto 360, meanwhile, uses wireless charging – and is compatible with the Qi standard. The watch ships with a charging dock, which turns the watch into a makeshift clock when it's juicing up.
Similar to Samsung's Gear watches, the Apple Watch lets you make calls on your watch. Also like the Gears, the call itself is actually taking place on your paired phone – but the effect is as if it's happening on your wrist, Dick Tracy style.
Standalone music player
The Apple Watch can serve as a standalone music player when your iPhone isn't around.
From what little we know now, there isn't much to say about the Apple Watch's S1 chip, but Apple describes it as "an entire computer architecture on a single chip."
The Moto 360 uses an old Texas Instruments processor (what's the last new device you saw that you could say that about?). It's quite possible that Motorola's choice of processor kept the watch's price (good) and battery life (bad) lower than they would have been with something like a Snapdragon 400.
Only Samsung has so far dared to put cameras in smartwatches. Neither Apple nor Motorola is going that route.
Of course we're looking at Android Wear on the Moto 360 – and this is easily the most fashionable watch (so far) running Google's wearable OS. The platform centers around Google Now cards and voice control.
The Apple Watch's software is based on iOS, and the company is calling it "Watch OS." There's a lot going on there – certainly more than we can cover in this short space – so stay tuned for much more on that front.
The Moto 360 is technically available now, but good luck finding one. It sold out of most online and physical outlets soon after it became available. You might need to wait a week or two before finding one first-hand.
The Apple Watch is scheduled to release sometime in early 2015.
I imagine the Apple Watch prices will shoot up pretty high (especially the 18-kt gold Edition line), but the least you'll have to pay for some model is US$350. That's $100 more than the Moto 360 retails for.
As we said at the top, we can only go so far with the Apple Watch right now. It's going to be months before it hits public wrists, so perhaps we'll revisit this comparison around that time.
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