The Moto 360 and the iWatch are not the first smartwatch options to arrive, but with a round face and deep iPhone connectivity they offer something new that consumers are clearly excited about.
Apple and Motorola are poised to join Android Wear and the Pebble smart watch along with a variety of fitness trackers that also act as a smart watch to some extent.
Eyes are on Motorola and Apple as we wait to see how much consumers want a smartwatch and what will convince them to buy a Moto 360 or an iWatch.
The Moto 360 is official, but we still don’t know the exact Moto 360 release while the iWatch is completely off the books from Apple, but reports show the company plans to announce the iWatch at a special iPhone 6 launch on September 9th.
Here’s a look at important details about these two devices, that may even influence which smartphone you buy this fall. If you can live with an iPhone or Android, but like one of these smartwatches better you’ll need to pick your phone after you pick your watch.
iWatch vs Moto 360 Release Date & Price
The Moto 360 release date is not known, but Motorola is hosting a special event on September 4th where the company will likely announce the Moto X+1 and the Moto 360. At this event we expect to learn the specific Moto 360 release date that could come as soon as the following week.
Despite listing a full-page of Moto 360 details, Motorola is quiet on the price. A recent leak on Best Buy showed the Moto 360 price as $250. This is more expensive than the other Android Wear devices by $20 to $50. This is the same price as the Pebble Steel and $100 more than the basic pebble.
The iWatch release date rumors are all across the board with holiday season to 2015 as possible options, but a new report suggests Apple plans to announce the iWatch on September 9th at a special event for the iPhone 6. Apple sent out invites confirming the iPhone 6 event on Thursday of last week.
If Apple does announce the iWatch on September 9th it is possible that the actual iWatch release may not arrive until October or November. When Apple announces a brand new product we often see a longer gap between an event and a release. The latest report suggests the iWatch release may come as late as 2015.
Although there are no firm details on the iWatch price, it makes sense to plan on paying over $200. Some analysts predict a normal and a premium model, but all of that remains unclear until Apple announces the iWatch.
We already know what the Moto 360 looks like, but we still don’t know exactly what materials Motorola plans to use. The Moto 360 features a round display and the circular part around it is made of metal. In the promo video below we see customization options that include new leather bands to change the look of the overall watch by swapping out bands and picking a black or aluminum face.
The round face is one thing that helps the Moto 360 stand out among early smartwatch options and it could help compete with the iWatch.
Apple is keeping the iWatch design a tightly held secret so far, which plays into the possibility of a large gap between the announcement and the iWatch release date.
We simply don’t know if the iWatch design will offer a square watch face or if Apple can deliver a stunning circle display like the Moto 360. Other options include a band that looks more like a traditional fitness band.
The video above shows one iWatch concept, but there are many other potential iWatch designs Apple could use, including something that more closely matches the iPhone 6 design.
Moto 360 vs iWatch Features
These new smartwatch options can do much more than tell you the time. When comparing the iWatch and the Moto 360 it is clear that Motorola positions this device as a watch not a fitness band. We don’t know how the iWatch features will place it in the marketplace, but with a new health app in iOS 8 it is very possible that the iWatch will include more health tracking sensors.
The video below offers a good look at the Moto 360 features. from the customizable watch faces to the card notifications that look a lot like Google Now and the ability to show the info on your phone. You can also use your voice to start a command or conversation. There is an ambient light sensor and a sensor to allow users to turn the display on with a gesture.
Once again we are short on details about the iWatch, until Apple makes an announcement next week. That is assuming rumors are true and Apple is ready to share the iWatch features with us. Reports do indicate that it will be able to show notifications, pair to your iPhone and handle health tracking like a pedometer and other items.
The Moto 360 display is the reason for much of its attention. The curved display is not a complete circle thanks to sensors and the display driver, but the watchface is a circle like a classic watch. According to the Best Buy Moto 3670 leak the display measures 1.5-inch in diameter with a 320 x 290 resolution.
Rumors suggest Apple plans an iWatch with multiple display sizes to fit large and small wrists, but like the design, iWatch display details are certainly lacking at this point.
Software & Compatibility
There is no chance that Apple will announce an iWatch that connects to Android smartphones and we already know that Android Wear only works with new Android phones.
With that in mind you will need to make sure you buy the watch that works with your phone, or be prepared to switch to a new iPhone or Android phone this fall.
Android Wear devices can run Android Wear Apps, specially designed versions for the smaller screen and limited power of a smart watch.
Although it is not clear what Apple plans to do early reports suggested the iWatch runs full iOS, which gives hope for iWatch apps. It would be a surprise to see Apple announce an iWatch without any third-party app support.