When Motorola released the revamped Moto X a few months ago, there was plenty of discussion about whether it or the still-unannounced Nexus 6 would be a better purchase. It's completely reasonable to prefer the Nexus 6 because of the larger screen and improved camera, but the 2014 Moto X still stands out to me as one of the best Android phones ever made. Now that we've got a little distance, let's see how the 2014 Moto X is holding up.
In just a few months, it will be the one-year anniversary of Android Wear's announcement (March 18th). Since the first two official Android-powered watches were released at I/O 2014, we've seen half a dozen total watches running Android Wear, each with its own pros and cons. These devices run the gamut from kind of ugly to truly gorgeous. A new wave of watches will be upon us in the coming year, but the current ones are still a great way to get into wearables.
We've now seen the entire first generation of Android Wear watches, many of which have their own angle—a reason for being, if you will. The Sony SmartWatch 3 is great for outdoors, the Moto 360 is pretty and round, the G Watch R is rounder, and the original G Watch is cheap (sometimes). The Asus ZenWatch is the last device to hit the market, but just like the others, it now has the Android Wear 5.0.1 update.
The Moto 360 was supposed to be the one. The watch that would rule all other watches with their pitiful square screens and plastic housings. I was excited for the Moto 360, but I couldn't help thinking the hype was out of control. We were expecting too much, and indeed, when I reviewed the Moto 360, the verdict was okay, but not amazing. At the time it was the best Android Wear watch, but that was due largely to the aesthetics.
Are you curious to see how the versatile YotaPhone 2 performs in the real world? So are we. But with a launch in Russia and Europe scheduled for later this week and no US launch in sight, we'll have to admire it from afar. One Russian technology site is a little more lucky, however: Hi-Tech.mail.ru has managed to snag a review unit. If you're fluent in Russian you can head over there now - if not, you can check out this Google translation.
Update: It looks like a few English-speaking news outlets have been given early review units as well. Engadget has one, and so does Cnet, among a few less-reliable sites. Cnet was kind enough to post a video, embedded below.
Are you curious to see how the versatile YotaPhone 2 performs in the real world? So are we. But with a launch in Russia and Europe scheduled for later this week and no US launch in sight, we'll have to admire it from afar.
Sony was already an experienced veteran of the smartwatch market when Android Wear was announced. Of course, I don't mean that they were experienced selling them—oh, goodness no. Sony sure did make smartwatches, though. When asked if there would be an Android Wear device in Sony's portfolio, the company said it would continue to do its own thing. Well, that didn't last long. The SmartWatch 3 is essentially a beefed up version of Sony's past smartwatches running Android Wear, and that could make it a potent competitor in the burgeoning wearable wars.
The original Moto X was a very well-reviewed phone, but it just didn't sell as well as Motorola and Google had hoped. It deserved more attention than it got, but the smartphone consuming public can be a fickle beast. That's why this year's Moto X makes a few changes to appeal to a wider audience. It's a little bigger, a lot faster, and has a more premium design.
This approach is rife with benefits and a few drawbacks, but one thing is certain, this is one of the best smartphones ever created.
Samsung has seen incredible success with its Android devices over the years. The Korean OEM didn't have to change much from one year to the next, but still the smartphone-consuming public was practically begging to trade up to the latest and greatest Galaxy S. Then something changed with the Galaxy S5—despite being a competent phone in almost every way, sales were below projections. Samsung's profits declined when they should have been skyrocketing.
From the very first day Android Wear was in the news, the Moto 360 has been "the one to wait for." Every time we posted a story about the G Watch or the Gear Live, the comments were populated with no fewer than a million people declaring their intention to wait for Motorola's round smartwatch. Well, the wait was a bit longer than expected, but the Moto 360 has finally arrived.