Getting wearable critics cooing is difficult, but Motorola seems to have struck a nerve with the MOTO 360. The circular smartwatch may, at its heart, be simply another Android Wear device, yet its enthusiastic embracing of a new form-factor and the technologies to enable it have already cast a shadow over models from LG and Samsung. For once, buyers are planning to hold out and wait for the Motorola option, something increasingly rare in a market dominated by Apple and Samsung. In fact, you have to go a long way back in Motorola’s history to find anything similar: back to 2004, and the RAZR V3.
Apple is reportedly bulking up its iWatch launch team, having poached the sales director of TAG Heuer as it readies the wearable for what's widely believed to be an October 2014 release. The exec left last week "to take a contract with Apple" on the company's first wearable push, according to the LVMH brand chief.
Smartwatches are somewhat polarizing: some view them as interesting, but ultimately useless, toys. Others are more forward-thinking, anticipating uses for the type of wearable that are beneficial both now and potentially in the future. Steve Wozniak generally falls into the latter group, but that doesn't mean he has taken kindly to all smartwatches on the market.
LG is one of the first onboard with Android Wear, and the G Watch is its first gambit in Google's new smartwatch segment. Unlike the flashier Samsung Gear Live, and the eye-catching - but not yet available - MOTO 360, the G Watch has taken a more discrete route to the wrist. I've comprehensively reviewed Android Wear separately, so this review will focus on the G Watch's own particular strengths and foibles.
Samsung isn't short on smartwatches right now, but it couldn't resist adding another to the roster with Android Wear, Google's play for the wearable space. Launching alongside LG's G Watch, the Samsung Gear Live borrows heavily from the Tizen-powered Gear 2 Neo, though with some Google Now sparkle thrown in too. I've reviewed Android Wear in full separately, so this review will focus on the Gear Live's own particular abilities and issues.