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Motorola’s Moto 360 isn’t like the chunky smartwatches we have reviewed till now, and that is perhaps its biggest achievement. The unisex device is sleek, has a traditional round dial, and doesn’t look like you are wearing a mini-brick.

For all the talk about this being a watch with a cool quotient, it is the simplicity that stands out. The round, brushed, stainless-steel body is paired with a classy leather watch strap that runs through the main body. The strap is made by the Chicago- based Horween Leather Co., the city’s last surviving tannery. You don’t need to go to Motorola if you want to change the default strap.

The scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass layer on the display catches fingerprints easily. There is one physical button on the side, the traditional crown placement, and this can be used to turn the display on/off or to access system settings. Priced at 17,999, it weighs 49g and is 11mm thick. Motorola has not compromised on the build quality while keeping the weight in check. When looked at from the side, it becomes apparent that the glass above the screen sits slightly higher.

To tick the ruggedness boxes, the 360 has the IP67 water-resistance rating—it can be submerged in water up to a depth of 1m, for about 30 minutes. Basically, you can shower without taking it off.

Unlike Samsung’s smartwatches, which pair only with Samsung smartphones, the 360 works with almost all Android phones. The only prerequisites—your phone should be running at least Android 4.3, and the Android Wear App (available on the Google Play Store for free) must be installed. The on-screen guide takes you through the set-up. The Wear app runs as a background service to keep the phone and watch in sync.

The watch picks up Google Now card information from the phone, depending on configured cards. For example, the updates can include weather conditions for the day when you wear it in the morning, or when your favourite team’s match is about to start.

Second, the screen-extension capabilities mean that app notifications on your phone are also relayed to the watch—new SMS, mail or call notifications, BlackBerry Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc. These can also be turned on/off from the Wear app. For incoming calls, there is a swipe gesture to answer or disconnect, which is extremely convenient. For chats and messages, there are a bunch of preset response templates, or you can use the voice-recognition feature to type out your own response, create and send messages, set an alarm, make a calendar entry or simply set a reminder.

Unfortunately, voice-recognition continues to be inconsistent with Indian accents. But the ability to read a text message or an email on the watch is particularly helpful at times when you cannot take the phone out of your pocket.

The gentle vibration on the wrist is powerful enough to get your attention, but doesn’t disturb people around you.

What’s more, the 360 logs how much you’ve walked.

The 1.56-inch display is a basic LCD screen, but not a complete circle. The base has a thin black bar which houses the ambient light sensor. The text is crisp enough for comfortable reading. It is bright enough, allowing good visibility in sunlight. The black colour levels are quite deep, which makes the other colours look better.

We did notice one problem though. When we tested it, the “lift your hand to see the time" motion did not always turn on the display automatically. Google’s Android Wear software updates should iron out this niggle.

The watch is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 3 processor and paired with 512 MB of RAM.

The stainless-steel back has an optical sensor that detects the user’s heart rate. If you look closely, a green LED comes on when the sensor is active. Motorola provides a Qi charging dock with the watch. When docked, the watch face displays the time and charging status—quite useful on the bedside table.

It does mean, however, that you’ll have to carry one more charger while travelling.

Fully charged at 7am, the 320 mAh battery retains around 55% charge at 7pm after a day of constant notification pop-ups. However, you’ll still have to charge it every night since the battery may not necessarily get through the second day.

Till the Apple watch is available, the Moto 360 is definitely the best-looking smartwatch money can buy. It doesn’t overwhelm you with features, works with a wide range of Android phones, and the convenience of getting notifications on the wrist can be rather addictive.

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