Moto 360: auto-orientation, water resistance, secret charging method, and more


Moto 360 Hangout

There’s no question there’s been lot of hype (and mystery) surrounding Motorola’s upcoming smartwatch, the Moto 360. The latest wearable from the company since the Moto ACTV, Motorola has been surprisingly mum on was the device’s hardware specs.  During yesterday’s announcement, Motorola mostly kept the focus on the device’s basic design (spoiler: it’s round) and brand new OS catered to wearables, dubbed Android Wear.

Because they know there’s still a lot of unanswered questions — many Motorola still isn’t ready to reveal — they took to Google Hangouts for a short Q&A session with Motorola consumer experience design group lead Jim Wicks and Barbara Liss, who handles social media for Motorola. Arriving fashionably late (ironic given the subject of the Hangout), they took some questions from the audience (and one from our own Rob Jackson).

Moto 360 hardware

First up, Motorola says the reason their smartwatch is round is 1-part “woah” factor, and the other part because they simply wanted the device to feel familiar to consumers. You know, like a traditional watch. There was also something in there about square watches being uncomfortable, something they apparently learned from the Moto ACTV. Wicks went on to say how the card interface fit perfectly with the 360’s round shape, but we can’t help but think square would have been better suited.

Talking a little bit more about the hardware, Motorola points out the 360 features a stainless steel casing and will be water resistant, although its specific IP rating wasn’t revealed. They also said that the watch would be camera free, a decision they made early on. As far as bands, they’ll be interchangeable by the user (or professional), meaning you should be able to slap the watch on a variety of watch straps.

Moto 360 software

Talking a little about the OS, Wicks mentions that the Android Wear SDK allows developers to create and test apps on both round or square devices, something we already told you guys about in yesterday’s post. The best part about the OS? It’s not orientation specific, meaning no matter which hand you wear it on, the UI will flip around so it’s always right-side up.

Another question on our minds is how well the device will display the time. Although Motorola didn’t mention if the display would always be powered on, Wicks did say that when lifting the device up to look at it, the 360 will always display the time (likely tied into the gyroscope sensors).

As far as compatibility, Motorola mentioned that the Moto 360 will be compatible with any Android 4.3+ device (this is due to the notification listener service that debuted in 4.3).

Still unknown

There were a few details Motorola was still not ready to reveal, those dealing with pricing or specifics about global availability. When it came to battery life, Motorola was also quiet on the amount of days (or hours) users can expect to get from the device, but did mention that battery management was serious “consumer pain point,” and one they gave high priority to. Probably the

The Motorola Moto 360’s biggest secret? How it charges. With no inputs or exposed connections, Motorola is calling this is their “secret sauce,” to be revealed at a later date. Our guess is some type of wireless charging like Qi, or maybe even newcomer Rezense.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. QI PROBABLY! :-)

    1. Prolly.

  2. Any idea what functionality will be attached to the plunger?

    1. Probably a HOME button of sorts or a wake up button.

    2. probably a home button and you also pull it out and that is where you plug in the watch for charging.

      1. Pretty sure they’re going with wireless charging, doesn’t make sense to have a removable piece that has to be set aside in order to charge. My cats would make off with that the first night I left my watch plugged in.

        1. put some Sracha on it, I bet they leave it alone :-)

          1. Sriracha, ftw!

    3. That made laugh for a bit. I thought you were derogatorially referring to the watch or part of it as a plunger.

  3. ugh i want a smart watch thats always on or at least gives me the option to be always on…id have no problem charging it every night if i had that as an option(but wouldn want to rather it run days without charge)

    1. Hoping at the very least it’s like the Pebble’s shake to light up. Wouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience.

      1. From the interview it sounded like it would wake up just by moving your hand.

    2. Sony SW2 is always on.

  4. This very well may be the one that goes on my wrist.

  5. Can we say….sunlight charging!!!

    1. A.k.a. solar? #pedantic

      1. #getyourshittogethermaybe

  6. I’m hoping for kinetic charging, rather than solar charging. As long as you’re moving, even if only a little, it’ll be charging. You wouldn’t have to worry about it being hidden away under a shirt or jacket.

    1. I’m hoping for a nuclear battery up in this thing.

  7. Square watches are uncomfortable. They be poking the mess out of me when I bend my wrist a certain way. I will pass on ANY square watch I come across. I’m sorry.

    1. There have always been round and square watches since the dawn of man. You won’t die. :-)

    2. Not all square watches are uncomfortable. I have 2 and a rectangular one that are not.

      1. Hmm… Then I’m guessing they’ve gotten better with designing them. So if it comes down to it, I’ll give them a try again. I was just scarred from that last MP4 watch I had. LoL!!

  8. I hope the auto orientation is good unlike my nexus 7.that pause when it orients itself can feel annoying. I like to see the face of the watch dynamically turn like a compass.

  9. Im still getting the gesr 2 unless the specs blow me away

    1. specs, in a watch?

  10. I’m very excited about this. I’m worried about gyroscope for turning the screen on. Will it turn on when I’m typing because the watch is facing me?

  11. May get one if the battery life is excellent and I’d tir device is very very light

  12. You guys really need to proofread before you publish. e.g. Rezence is spelt incorrectly. This has been an ongoing trend with Phandroid from years ago when I first started reading.
    “Probably the

    The Motorola Moto 360′s”

    1. “e.g. Rezence is spelt incorrectly” guess which word is misspelled? o_0

      1. Since this is the internet, not the americanet, either “spelt” or “spelled” is fine. http://grammarist.com/spelling/spelled-spelt/

  13. so how much the battery will last before you need to charge it again?

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