It came out of nowhere, took us all by surprise, and, while the inaugural devices built on the platform are unlikely to break cover very soon, Android Wear is expected to usher in a new era for wearables. But smooth, convenient, feature-packed software is useless without solid hardware, so let’s give a hand to LG’s G Watch and Motorola’s Moto 360, the first official Wear-based smartwatches.
Rumor has it the G Watch will precede the Moto 360 on store shelves, yet early “critical” reception pegs Moto’s intelligent wristwatch as the most anticipated of the two. That has to do primarily with design, since not much came to light so far in regards to the gizmo’s specifications.
Following a Google+ Hangout with the project’s head designer, Jim Wicks, we did manage to find out the 360 measures 46 mm (1.8 inches) in diameter, offering a so-called orientation-free frame. In plain English, it means you can naturally wear the thing on either your left or right hand, with the display accommodating the user’s preferred position and delivering the best viewing angles possible.
What else? Oh, yeah, apparently the watch is water-resistant (nice touch), and it bears no camera, so maybe, just maybe, it won’t be as costly as some forecast. The round body however is reportedly a lot more difficult to manufacture than standard square wearables, so Motorola might not be in a position to supply the no doubt huge global demand by the end of 2014.
As such, patchy availability is a near guarantee, with the Motorola Moto 360 either landing worldwide in limited stocks, or only rolling out in select markets like the US and certain Western European countries. Just when we were warming up to the idea of fiddling with a gadget slapped to our wrists…