Leak Tips Sport Version of Moto 360

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Images of Motorola’s next-gen smartwatch leaked.

Reliable leaker Upleaks posted three images today of Motorola’s new Moto 360 Android Wear lineup, including the newest addition to the family: the Sport.

Even as the world was waiting in anticipation for the successor to the Moto 360, there were reports of clues on how the smartwatch might look and specification of the new and hopefully improved version of the Moto 360. The older generation could also keep track of heart rate, but now — clad in a more durable and hopefully sweat-resistant exterior — that function makes a little more sense. One of the tipsters on the internet, Evan Blass, aka @evleaks, has posted these differently sized Moto 360 smartwatches, according to an NDTV Gadgets report.

Overall, the watches look pretty similar to last year’s version, still featuring the “fat tire” display curse where the “6” position should be. The detail and resolution of that shot were so good that I actually spotted the tiny laser perforations through which the webcam indicator light shines. Upleaks also says that the second generation Moto 360’s will be coming out in September and that the Sport version will release sometime in November. Most phone cameras force you to choose between exposing your subjects correctly at the expense of a sunny day’s sky, or retaining the wispy cloud formations but making your foreground look dark. It’s reminiscent of the action of cocking a shotgun — a neat kinetic preamble to shooting things — and I actually prefer it over the standard camera shortcut on the lock screen.

The phone’s autofocus works before you’ve tapped the screen to capture an image, so Motorola is relying on it being accurate enough and simply captures what the camera sees at the moment of the tap. That can lead to frustration, but Moto has also added in the option to select your favored focus point, which comes with an exposure adjustment dial as well. The extraordinary detail and speed that characterize this phone’s camera under bright lights are both lacking when it gets into a more challenging environment.

This situation is not really improved by Motorola’s night mode, which appears to crank up the ISO in order to capture more light while reducing the resolution to a 3.7-megapixel image. The X Play’s two-tone flash is more helpful (and it’s recreated on the front by Moto illuminating the display so that it lights up your selfies), though it too has a downside, which is the introduction of the dreaded red-eye effect.

It comes with the same sensor, but also includes a better phase-detect autofocus system and a more powerful image signal processor that, among other things, allows for 4K video. It’s virtually untarnished by Motorola (though there’s no guarantee that your local carrier will be as restrained), with only the company’s signature additions like active display notifications, voice control, and the aforementioned camera twist layered on top.

What did surprise me, however, was the lack of smoothness I encountered on the Moto X Play: animations and transitions are not particularly smooth, and browsing and zooming through my photos included pauses to process the images before presenting them in their full fidelity. As weird as it is to say, given Moto’s history of close collaboration with Google and Qualcomm, it seems like Motorola hasn’t yet fully optimized its software with the X Play. The positive way to look at this is that smoother and faster operation is well within Moto’s reach with this handset, provided the company keeps working on it and updates the software regularly. The screen does look a little washed out at times, and it lacks the perfect pitch blacks of previous X models with AMOLED technology (which complemented Moto’s ambient notifications nicely), but it still gets the job done. Motorola has focused on marketing its new camera and the fun of customizing your own X Play via Moto Maker, but the thing that really makes this handset stand out is its big battery.

As things stand today, Motorola is setting up to have a very good, clearly delineated 2015 lineup: all of its smartphones aim to be cheaper (and better) than their most direct competition, but each has something a little bit unique to justify its price tier and existence. That makes buying advice pretty easy: if you like Motorola’s approach of rugged design and pristine Android software, just grab the Moto model that best fits your budget.

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