As you might already know, smartwatches have become some of the most fashionable gadgets from nowadays and gain more and more terrain among those who own a smartphone, but wish to have access to their notifications and other features in a more convenient way(which means easier and quicker).
These devices can also look very good and actually replace the usual stylish looking watch in terms of aesthetics, which means that not only you’ll be wearing technology on your wrist, but also an appealing accessory.
Some of the best looking smartwatches are, in my opinion, the round-shaped ones, because they can easily pass as a regular timepiece, and I’m going to compare two of my favorites in the following review: the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R.
About the Moto 360
Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch was announced a year ago, in March 2014, and was released in the same year, in September, being one of the most attractive devices of its kind and among the first ones to sport the Android Wear operating system.
As a performer, it’s a pretty capable fella and won’t let you down especially if this is the first smartwatch that you buy, but its major asset is, of course, the appearance that I’ve been telling you about. Which is customizable in a lot of ways and you’ll see what I’m talking about a little bit later.
About the LG G Watch R
The LG G Watch R was released in the same period as the Moto 360, in October 2014, and is its primary competitor. We’re also dealing with a round-faced smartwatch that could easily pass as a regular one and can be worn as a fashionable accessory due to its sleek design. Performance-wise, the G Watch R is a little more potent that its rival, which means that it will deliver a smoother experience, but not by far.
On the other hand, it fails to surpass it in terms of design (at least, that’s what I think), so it’s up to you to decide what’s more important (the brains or the looks or both) and which one you’d prefer, most according to your personal taste.
Let’s check out these two and see what they have to offer, including the accessories that join them in their retail boxes.
What Comes in the Box
The Moto 360 comes accompanied by a wall charger, a Qi wireless charging dock and an USB cable. The LG G Watch R comes with a power adapter, a charging dock and an USB cable. I must say that I consider Motorola’s retail pack to be more generous than LG’s.
In terms of design, both devices are made from metal and are IP-67 certified for being dust and water resistant, so you’ll be having no issues when washing your hands and stuff like that if you were wearing any one of them.
Both smartwatches come with leather bands, which can be changed, of course, and seem to be of a very good quality that will last over time. The difference between them is that the leather found on the Moto 360 is softer and more flexible than the one offered by the G Watch R. The Moto 360 can also come with a metallic wrist band, which is a big plus if leather bands aren’t your cup of tea.
When it comes to their weight, the Moto 360 is lighter than its competitor and tips the scale at only 49 grams, while the G Watch R weighs 62.
Regarding colors, the G Watch R features a dark grey coating and that’s the only color it comes in, unfortunately, while the Moto 360 comes in a natural stainless steel finish, champagne gold and black. Also worth mentioning is that Motorola’s gadget can be ordered with a thin 18mm metallic band for looking nice on a lady’s wrist too.
Let’s take a look at one of their most important features: the display. The Moto 360 holds on board a 1.56 inches IPS LCD screen which offers a resolution of 320 x 290, a pixel density of 205 ppi and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
Although physically round, the display doesn’t offer a circular image as it features a tiny black bar at its bottom (thus its resolution) that holds the ambient light sensor and LCD driver.
This isn’t a matter of great importance, if you ask me, as my guess is that you’ll quickly get used to it and ignore it. In terms of image quality, the screen offers some nice looking colors, fine contrast and good viewing angles. The sunlight legibility is decent, but could have been better.
The LG G Watch R offers a fully circular display, so if the black bar of the Moto 360 is inconvenient for you, I’m guessing that you’ll like LG’s device better. Its screen is a 1.3 inches P-OLED unit with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels and a pixel density of 246 ppi.
These specs are clearly superior, thus the LG offers better colors and superior contrast than its competitor, but tends to be reflective, so the sunlight legibility will to suffer because of this. Also, LG’s screen doesn’t feature Gorilla Glass protection.
In terms of appearance, the Moto 360 has tiny bezels and a minimalistic design which will appeal to you if you prefer a more simplistic design. The G Watch R, on the other hand, has large bezels that hold clock markings, having an appearance that gets closer to a real watch than the Moto 360’s.
In conclusion, both smartwatches have capable displays, but the G Watch R, which is smaller, offers a slightly better image quality.
Now it’s time to look at their tech specs, shall we?
The Moto 360 is based on a TI OMAP 3 chipset, having a 1 GHz Cortex-A8 processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal storage. The LG G Watch R is better equipped and houses a Snapdragon 400 chipset, having a 1.2 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal memory.
Performance-wise, both smartwatches will deliver a smooth user experience, but I must give more credit to the LG one, as it features a better list of specs than the outdated one found inside the Moto 360, thus will be slightly more snappier than its competitor.
Software Comparison – Which is Best?
In terms of software, both smartwatches have been upgraded to Android Wear 5.0.2 Lollipop, which brings some updated Google Play services and system optimizations for offering an improved performance, but nothing to write home about. The platform is the same on both devices, allowing you to pair them to your Android 4.3 or higher based smartphone or tablet.
Your smartwatch has access to Google’s services (such as Google Now) and is able to display messages, emails, notifications, weather info, reminders, suggestions or directions. You can also control it with your voice and ask it to perform searches, write messages or emails, set an alarm, reminder or timer and much more.
You also have control over the music player and can skip songs, adjust the volume, view track info and the like.
In terms of customizations, you have a plethora of watch faces to choose from for both the Moto 360 and the G Watch R, but Motorola also threw in the possibility of creating your own watch face or to customize the existing one through their Motorola Connect application.
Regarding their sensors, the Moto 360 holds on board a pedometer, ambient light sensor and optical heart rate monitor, measuring your pulse throughout the day. The LG G Watch R holds an accelerometer, gyro, compass, heart rate sensor and a barometer.
Battery Life Comparison
One of the most important things regarding these two gadgets is their battery life. The LG G Watch R is kept alive by a 410 mAh battery and will last for about two days under a single charge if used moderately and for a day if you use it intensively. The Moto 360 has a 320 mAh battery and will also last for a little over a day, but falls a little behind its competitor.
The major culprit that affects the battery life is the display. The G Watch R features an always-on clock face, while the Moto 360 also has its Ambient Screen, which shows a dimmed clock face, but only when you hold your wrist in certain angles. If you lift it and tilt it towards your face, the display will be “fully” turned on.
When the watch is turned away from you, the display will be dimmed down and turned off completely after a while. This mode is quite power hungry and will affect your battery life on the Moto 360. The G Watch R is clearly superior regarding this display feature, and that’s thanks to the OLED technology, as the display isn’t lit up completely in ambient mode, but only its active pixels.
Price Point Comparison
Last, but not least, the price. The Moto 360 comes at $250 if you stick to the leather band; if you purchase it with the metallic one, you’ll have to throw in $300. Additional bands cost $80 if they’re metallic or $30 if they’re made from leather. The LG G Watch R costs $300and only comes with a leather band.
|Moto 360||LG G Watch R|
|Size||46 x 46 x 11.5 mm||46.4 x 53.6 x 9.7 mm|
|Weight||49 grams||62 grams|
|Platform||Android Wear||Android Wear|
|Display||1.56”, Backlit LCD, 320 x 290, 205 ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3||1.3” P-OLED, 320 x 320, 246 ppi|
|Processor||TI OMAP 3||1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400|
|RAM||512 MB||512 MB|
|Storage||4 GB||4 GB|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.0 LE||Bluetooth 4.0 LE|
|Sensors||Gyro, Accelerometer, Compass, Pedometer, Optical heart rate monitor, Ambient light||Gyro, Accelerometer, Compass,Optical Heart rate monitor, Barometer|
|Special Features||IP-67 certified, water and dust resistantWireless chargingDual microphones||IP-67 certified, water and dust resistant|
|Colors||Black, Silver, Gold||Black|
|Battery||320 mAh||410 mAh|