Motorola and LG are battling it out for the wearable device market's top spot this year as the Apple Watch is expected to arrive early next year to possibly steal away the spotlight. But which of these Android Wear-based smartwatches is the right choice for you?
Dick Tracy would be proud of the advancements made with smartwatches these days, but wearable devices have their success owed more to fitness gurus than private investigators. Both the Moto 360 and the LG G watches feature several similar health trackers, like a heart rate monitor and a 9-axis pedometer, but the LG G adds in a compass, barometer, and accelerometer to boot.
For the sake of style preferences, we'll compare the round Moto 360 to the round LG G Watch R. The original LG G Watch is square, and for that reason, is often automatically dismissed by many tech reviewers.
"It's the screen though that's the real stunner," Gizmodo's Gerald Lynch says in the site's review. "Unlike the Moto 360 whose thin bezel necessitates a 'flat tyre' chunk of dead space at the bottom of its display to house the driver, the LG G Watch R sports a true 360-degree circular screen. That's why the chunky bezel is there, hiding all the driving gubbins and leaving you with just usable display area."
Because of the fact that Google isn't allowing Android Wear to be customized as deeply as it allows with its regular Android mobile operating system, both the Moto 360 and the LG G Watch R function almost exactly the same.
Hardware-wise, the LG watch has the edge over the Motorola watch with a faster processor (1.2 GHz vs. 1 GHz) and a larger battery (400 mAh vs. 320 mAh). But don't let those numbers fool you because the Moto 360 features wireless Qi charging, meaning it can recharge the battery in close proximity of a charger without the need to be plugged in.
"What we've found is that the amount of time we've spent outdoors, as well as the influx of notifications we receive, can greatly affect battery life," according to Android Central's review. "On a slow Sunday, the watch will likely last longer than an on-the-go Monday, when everyone's catching up on e-mail. A morning spent outside at a soccer game is going to affect things much more significantly than a morning spent in meetings under fluorescent lights. We've left the brightness set to auto, and the ambient screen setting turned off, which is the default.
"This much remains true, however: You're going to want to charge the watch overnight, every night," the review explains. "And you might well want (or need) to top it off at some point during the day. If that's a deal-breaker for you, it's understandable. But the Moto 360 starts with a smaller capacity than LG's watch, and it appears to be a bit more susceptible to hard use."
But with all of these extra features and larger battery comes extra weight. The LG watch comes in at 63 grams while the Moto 360 is only 49 grams.
The display screen, arguably one of the most important components of a device that you'll be staring at several times a day, varies on each watch. The Moto 360 has a 1.56-inch circular IPS LCD screen with 205 pixels per inch, while the LG watch's 1.3-inch plastic OLED display packs in 348 pixels per inch.
According to The Verge, the screen on the Moto 360 "looks great at a glance, but not under close scrutiny." The review takes a deeper look at the functionality of the screen in a day when we're getting used to ultra high definition. "Its 320 x 290 resolution is low enough that you'll see jagged edges on letters and can easily make out individual pixels, and the beveled edges of the Gorilla Glass give off a sort of shimmering moiré pattern."
"But here's the part that really might sway your decision," the folks at TechnoBuffalo write in their own review. "The Moto 360 is just $249, while the G Watch R begins at $299. The G Watch R might justify the higher price due to its sharper screen and bigger battery, though $50 can definitely go a long way, especially when you're going up against Motorola's Moto 360, which many consider to be one of the best designs we've seen all year, smart watch or not."