The Moto 360 looks like the best smartwatch yet

moto360

Moto 360, with its colorful and round edge-to-edge display, looks like a prop from one of those near-future science fiction flicks. The trick seems to be that it's shamelessly big and heavy--with that downside accepted, technical leeway exists to get the rest right. It's getting good write-ups.

The Verge's David Pierce says that it's not that big, and felt natural on his write.

The 360 has a big, round screen that goes completely edge to edge except for one small cutout at the bottom – that's where the display drivers are, I'm told, and it was essentially an unavoidable design oddity. The screen feels big and bright, and is extremely responsive.

Gizmodo's Brent Rose says it immediately stands out compared to Samsung's competing gadget:

We weren't allowed to do much exploring (on the non-demo version they wouldn't let us look at the settings, for some reason), but from what we saw we were very impressed. It's nice to have confirmation that Android Wear looks good in both square and round styles, and it made us even more eager to spend some real time with the finished unit when it's released

Michael Gorman, at Engadget, is hedging his bets:

We thought it odd that the company chose to have the glass extend beyond the watch's metal housing, when the trend in mobile screens is for there to be zero gap between the surface of the glass and the pixels beneath them.

Notable Replies

  1. I refuse to accept that gap at the bottom was unavoidable.

    What they mean is they didn't try hard enough and wanted it out NOW rather than later.

  2. I hope it comes with a watch face setting that looks like this just to remind you that it has you under constant surveillance. And it should be animated too- the eye could dart around suspiciously and blink occasionally.

    Edit: didn't intend that as a reply to TimmoWarner

  3. Have you ever taken apart an LCD display? They have a narrow driver chip glued to the glass and a connection area beyond the chip, where a flex circuit cable is bonded to the glass.

    It really is unavoidable, without reinventing the way that LCD screens are built.

  4. Sooo... not unavoidable then.

    Something about releasing a round screen, but not really makes it unacceptable to me. I would look at it everyday and see that it's a fraud.

    I'll wait for the guys who figure it out or just never have one.

  5. It's called Chip-on-glass ... it's the driver chip seen as the skinny rectangle just below the display and above the cable:

    Engineering is all about tradeoffs. For example, this display has 128x64 pixels. The driver chip has 192 wires, some memory, drivers (duh), and a simple interface to a computer. Without the driver, you'd have to put all this logic onto the PC board instead of the glass part of the display - this would mean you'd have 128+64=192 wires to align and maintain contact. Reliability would be terrible with 192 wires instead of (probably) 8. If this display were color, it would be many more wires - 128x(64x3) = 320 wires - even more of a nightmare vs. just 8. And those wires would be around the periphery of the logic board - the wiring would be insane.

    Now, you could add a dedicated logic board ... probably a flex circuit to make it thinner ... that would do all this. But it would be thicker, probably less robust, and it would be new technology that is riskier. It's a tradeoff moto didn't make.

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