The Moto 360 will be the first Android Wear smartwatch to come with an ambient light sensor


Moto 360 Bezel ambient light sensor

Android Wear offerings from LG and Samsung are now readily available for anyone looking to add a little more convenience to their life. When it comes to choosing, you’ll find these tiny devices don’t really feature much variation in terms of hardware (their size and requirements from the OS aren’t as demanding as smartphones). Sure, the Samsung Gear Live has slightly higher resolution, but I think just about all us early adopters were surprised to find that both LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live didn’t come equipped with an ambient light sensor.

A strange oversight, whenever a user sets their desire brightness, they’ll need to jump through a few hoops in order to change the brightness of the display to match their environment. While, it’s true apps like Wear Mini Launcher offer a quick brightness slider to help alleviate this issue, it doesn’t totally fix it. And that sucks.

For Motorola’s upcoming smartwatch — the Motorola Moto 360 — there’s still a bit of mystery surrounding wearable in terms of what Motorola is planning to do different (other than its circular design). If there was any question Motorola was aiming at a more premium smartwatch experience with its brushed aluminum frame and nearly bezeless watch face, we now have another idea of some hardware will be using in their device that simply put, the others forgot about: an ambient light sensor.

A hands-off video from TechCrunch is making the rounds around the net this afternoon. In the video (at the 1:39 mark), Motorola spokesperson Cathay Bi shows off the smartwatch just like she did in Motorola’s official hands-on video, only this time she revealed a small detail many looked over at the time. At about the 1:50 mark, Bi mentions the watch’s small bezel along the bottom — which she calls the “display driver” — houses an ambient light sensor, already putting the 360 ahead of the current rivals in terms of raw hardware.

So there you have it. If you weren’t already lusting over the Moto 360, the fact that the watch will offering even a little more convenience than the other guys should once again pique your interests. We’ll have to wait and see what else Motorola has up their sleeves for the watch when it’s made available for sale in the coming weeks.

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. Coming weeks? You sound like you have a release date up your sleeve.

    1. Or its just another way to say there is no release date yet. Only 8 more weeks of summer!

  2. I loved Gadget Watches in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s but not anymore. I would rather use my Phablet to do everything. Watch Screens are just to damn small.

    1. I have never consistently worn a watch in my life outside trying it a few times. I plan to get this as I’m an info/Google Now junkie and it will be more than convenient to get tidbits of info w/out having to grab phone.

  3. Dat mole.

    1. I’d hit it.

      1. Already did.

  4. This watch just keeps getting better and better.

  5. I prefer to keep the brightness on my Gear Live all the way up, all the time, so I’m cool with it not having an ambient light sensor.

    1. I recently turned it down and enabled screen-off and am getting crazy battery life. I wish they had a shake to wake instead of having to turn your arm all crazy towards you.

      1. Shake-to-wake sounds like a brilliant idea Chris!! That’d be awesome to have as an option. I wonder if it’s something that can be implemented by a developer through an app, or if this is something that has to be enabled at the OS level.

  6. And that black bar doesn’t even look out of place with a black background. But it seems as if you’d need a black background always to keep it looking like that.

    Oh well, still aiming to get that watch.

  7. Preparing myself for this to be $350 already. The more I see it and see its features, the more I think $399. I hope not though. Paying more than my Nexus 5 for a smartwatch will be a tough pill to swallow.

    1. I’ll actually put money on it being $399.99.

      1. I’ve been expecting $349 for awhile. I think that $249 is the sweet spot for this, but never underestimate Motorola’s ability to undermine their own product launch (see: Moto X).

        1. If people were willing to pay $230 for the G-Watch – they should have no problem getting people to pay $300 to $349 for the 360.

          1. it would be amusing if they released it at $360 USD

      2. I think it’ll be $250

      3. 400 is too much. I’d rather buy a tablet like the new nividia one.

        1. yea but you couldnt strap that to your wrist.

          1. Premium duct tape tablet strap.

  8. I wish they could make a circular Toq. I saw one and its screen looks great under the bright Californian sun.

  9. Uh…

    “A hands-off video from TechCrunch is making the rounds around the net this afternoon. ”

    FYI, it was uploaded June 26. I knew the video looked familiar. I watched it RIGHT after I/O this year :)

  10. Honest question — How long will it be until we get a watch that’s actually circular? No black bar at all?

    1. Check amazon there already have those

      1. Link? Or do you mean non smart watches?

        1. Non smart watches

  11. Im lusting after the HTC version. You Moto fans can keep this, no thanks. Still wonder if Google itself has a smartwatch in the works.

    1. Made by who else?

    2. Moto fans? I love htc and I couldn’t care any less for motorola but the moto360 is easily the best designed smartwatch there is. Everyone else has been focusing on function and not putting much thought into form. The moto360 will kill all other smartwatches in sales just based on looks alone.

    3. sometimes people arent OEM fanboys and can just appreciate a good product.

    4. You don’t have to be a fanboy to appreciate the Moto 360. You absolutely have to be a fanboy to favor an unreleased and unannounced product. You have it backwards. You’re the fanboy.

  12. So what is a “display driver” and why didn’t he ask?

    1. That’s the physical components that connect to the display to drive it. Tiny PCB and tiny ribbon-cable, I’m guessing.

  13. What will they do to hamper it just before it’s released?

  14. Omg, I just started inadvertantly tech drooling. This is my future buy.

  15. What time it? Hair past a freckle.
    Big Ben will be envious.

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