The decrepit remains of Motorola’s brand are still floating around out there. Motorola was fragmented across the tech landscape after the sale to Google, with Google (and now Lenovo) picking up the smartphone business, “Motorola Solutions” being spun off to handle the radio business for first-responders, Arris buying the modem division, and VTech licensing the Motorola brand for landline phones. For smartwatches, the Motorola brand was licensed by a company called “eBuyNow,” a division of CE Brands, which licenses other dead tech brands like Kodak.
So meet the Moto Watch 100, the latest eBuyNow product trying to relive the glory days of the Moto 360. This watch is just $99.99, so presumably eBuyNow thinks a dirt-cheap smartwatch with whatever brand recognition Motorola still has left will be a good impulse buy.
While the original Moto 360 was an Android Wear (now Wear OS) smartwatch, with the Moto Watch 100, we’re seeing the feature-phonification of the Motorola smartwatch. It runs something called “Moto OS,” which the website describes as “a streamlined experience focused on health and routine that dramatically increases battery life.” There won’t be any third-party apps, or an app store, so you’ll be stuck with whatever the packed-in features are. As far as we can tell from the user manual, that seems to be fitness tracking with 26 activity modes, continuous heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and displaying the time and weather. When paired with an Android 5.0+ or iOS 10+ phone, you’ll get notification mirroring and remote media control. There’s also a companion smartphone app.
We don’t have a complete spec sheet, but the website lists a 360×360 LCD, a 355 mAh battery, Bluetooth 5, GPS, and an SPo2 monitor. There’s no speaker or microphone, so don’t expect any voice assistant features, phone calls, or notification chimes. We have no idea what SoC it uses, but the company has previously had a partnership with Qualcomm. The website promises “14 days of full-time use.”
The last smartwatch company to dump Wear OS for a more limited OS was OnePlus, when it released the widely panned $159 OnePlus Watch. Just like that watch, the Moto Watch feels less like a serious tech product and more like it’s destined for the bargain bin.
The Moto Watch 100 ships December 10.