The ASUS ZenWatch and the Moto 360. Both devices run Android Wear and both devices have their own unique little tricks and features that appeal to different users so let’s take a look at these two devices here on PhoneDog and see which watch deserves a spot on your wrist.
The ASUS ZenWatch is one of the newer smartwatches currently on the market, although it’s not terribly new. It did come out last year. While the Moto 360 has been out for longer, I will still say it is probably one of the most praised smartwatch running Android Wear. If we take a look at the hardware of each watch, the ZenWatch, first of all, features a square curve with 1.63-inch AMOLED display while the Moto 360 features a circular 1.56-inch LCD IPS display with a 320 x 290 resolution. Both are very similar, in terms of their resolution and they both have a near 200ppi. The major difference is really their shape and the display technology AMOLED and LCD.
I found the Moto 360 display to look bigger even though it is technically smaller but that has to do with it being circular and how it’s measured. I also found it to be brighter, the display’s more accurate colors as the whites on the ZenWatch are very noticeably yellow especially when compared directly to the Moto 360.
The ZenWatch does have an always-on mode since it has an AMOLED display that doesn’t require as much or any power really to do color the black colors so you can always display the time on your wrist without using much power; something that the Moto 360 cannot do effectively.
To check the time on the Moto 360, you can either rotate your wrist, tap on the display or press on the power button located on the right hand side of the device. The ZenWatch does have a physical button but it’s mostly used for powering the smartwatch on and off as it’s located on the bottom of the device and is not very easy to press at all.
Now the overall hardware of the ZenWatch is constructed with metal while the Moto 360 is primarily constructed with plastic and it’s most noticeable on the bottom of the watch. The Moto 360’s plastic bottom is much more sticky than the smooth metal on the ZenWatch.
The ZenWatch does have a 5-pin connector to charge with the included dock while the Moto 360 uses wireless charging, which is certainly more convenient.
There’s a heart rate monitor on the bottom of the Moto 360 whereas the ZenWatch does not have a heart rate monitor but it does instead have a biosensor, which can read your heart rate by placing two fingers on the bezels of the watch. I found that it read my heart rate faster than the Moto 360 but it was all over the place. Definitely not very accurate as my heart rate would fluctuate quite a bit between each reading. This is compared to the Moto 360, which took a while to read my heart rate but it did seem more accurate on average than the ZenWatch.
So on the ZenWatch, there is a leather band, which comes standard, and there’s a metal band on the Moto 360; which was about $50 more than the standard leather band version of the Moto 360 which is what it usually comes with. The leather watch on the ZenWatch is very stiff though, to the point that it didn’t really sit well on my wrist at all when it first came out of the box. It really needed to be loosened up and it still does need to be loosened up before it really feels comfortable on my wrist. The good news is that it can be easily swapped out for pretty much whatever band you want. All you have to do is take the watch to a watch shop and select your band or you can do it yourself if you have the proper tools. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the Moto 360 as you have to buy special Motorola bands as the connector is proprietary. You can modify certain wristbands to work with the Moto 360 but it’s definitely not as easy or customizable as the ZenWatch; even though I still do prefer the metal band over the leather band as is.
Both watches do run Android Wear and they both run them very well. The dual microphones on the Moto 360 seem to pick up my voice commands better but the Snapdragon 400 processor does run slightly better while swiping through the cards compared to the Texas Instruments processor found in the Moto 360. However, I was able to actually receive search results much better and much faster on the Moto 360 than on the ZenWatch.
There is also an auto screen dimming feature, which is nice to see with the Moto 360 as it has an ambient light sensor whereas the ZenWatch does not. This does help conserve some battery but I did find the ZenWatch to last longer than the Moto 360 although you are still going to want to charge each smartwatch every single night in order to last the next full day.
I think this is actually a very tough comparison since in terms of design, the Moto 360 excels in areas that the ZenWatch falls behind in and vice versa. For example, the bezels on the Moto 360 are almost non-existent while the ZenWatch has some pretty darn thick bulk bezels that are pretty impossible to overlook. The Moto 360 is also very chunky while the ZenWatch is very thin and the subtle curve to the display sits closer to your wrist, which just looks and feels better. Add in the fact that you can easily swap out the wristbands on the ZenWatch, I think the $200 price tag is very justifiable. Whereas the Moto 360 has a $250 price tag, which is also justifiable, but it depends on what you personally want in a smartwatch.
Personally, I think if you’re in it for the tech aspect, functionality of the overall smartwatch, I think the Moto 360 is still the winner here. But if you’re going for design and you want the customizable features, I think the ZenWatch is going to be perfect for you even more so than the Moto 360.
Those are my thoughts. I’ve given you guys the facts now you guys have to give me the decision, which smartwatch do you guys like the best? Is it the ASUS ZenWatch or is it the Moto 360? Let me know by leaving a comment below.