Moto 360 (2014) review

Motorola's first smartwatch has looks, but lacks longevity

Moto 360 review

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Moto Maker is the tool that lets users in some regions and on certain carriers customize the Moto X, and now, you'll be able to use a new version of the program for your Moto 360.

Starting in March, the Moto Maker will let you design a 360 with the following options: silver, black and champagne gold casings, two sizes of leather or metal bands and 11 different default watch faces.

You'll be able to pick your favorite configuration, seeing the watch's look update in real time - and once your custom 360 arrives you'll be able to freely exchange it for a different design if you don't like it after seeing it in person.

Review continued below ...

There's more to the Moto 360 design than its disk-shaped display. Stainless steel surrounds the screen with very little bezel and this all-metal frame is smooth and undecorated. It's only interrupted by a microphone hole on the left and single button on the right. Stainless steel can also be found in the traditional watch clasp with an identical silver finish.

Matching that quality is a genuine leather strap made by the Chicago-based tanner Horween, the company known for being the exclusive provider of NFL footballs. The Moto 360 strap not only feels durable, the leather has been devoid of the typical stretch marks and wrinkles that, after a few fastens, so often mar other smartwatch bands including the Pebble Steel.

Moto 360 review

Its stainless steel frame is going to match the forthcoming metal bands nicely

This also contrasts with the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch even more because they use plastic casing and rubber straps out of the box. Motorola is making leather the default strap in the US and UK. The first colors introduced are black and gray, while an even lighter stone leather option is listed as "coming soon." Falling under the same here-but-not label are light and dark stainless steel bands that are going to cost extra $299 (likely north of £224, $299) when they launch with the watch.

You can always upgrade to the metal straps later, as they'll be sold separately too, or add a third-party 22mm band. But be warned: Motorola doesn't guarantee all 22mm off-the-shelf bands are compatible with Moto 360. Plus, its own custom-made leather slips out of the rear of the stainless steel housing without lug ends or visible spring bars. It looks elegant, but requires patient digging in order to successfully swap out what's already a great default strap.

Moto 360 review

Horween Leather Company's genuine leather strap neatly slips out the rear casing

Even with the premium materials on-board, Moto 360 weighs 1.7 oz (49g) with its genuine leather strap. That's actually lighter than both the Samsung Gear Live at 2.1oz (59g) and LG G Watch at 2.2oz (64g).

Motorola comes up a little light in the specs, as we look beneath the stainless steel facade.

Matt Swider