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Motorola’s New Smartwatch Doesn’t Even Run Wear OS—Is That a Good Thing?

The Moto Watch 100 with different colored wrist straps.

We expected the Android smartwatch market to explode with compelling new devices after Google and Samsung launched Wear OS 3. But the opposite has come true, mainly because Wear OS 3 doesn’t work on non-Samsung wearables yet. Needless to say, it’s a weird time for Motorola to launch a new smartwatch, especially one that runs a proprietary “Moto OS.”

The new Moto Watch 100 is an entry-level device that costs just $100, runs on an unspecified chipset, and features the custom Moto OS. If these three factors sound like big red flags—well, maybe you’re right, but let’s not jump to conclusions here!

Motorola promises some impressive features with this smartwatch, like an outrageous 14-day battery life, which would be impossible with Wear OS. There’s also GPS, sleep tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen (SpO2) sensors, a swim-proof design (5ATM), and 26 exercise tracking modes.

What else could you ask for at $100? Oh yeah, you could ask for apps. Because Moto OS is new, proprietary software, it won’t ship with any third-party apps. That means no Google apps, no music streaming apps, and no Starbucks app. These apps could eventually arrive on Moto OS if it becomes popular enough, but we’re talking Fitbit levels of popularity.

Without good apps, the Moto Watch 100 will probably feel more like a big fitness tracker than a smartwatch. That’s not necessarily a bad thing—some people may prefer the Moto Watch 100’s 1.3-inch LCD display over the Fitbit Inspire 2’s puny little black and white screen. It’s just something to keep in mind.

Until we get a chance to test the Moto Watch 100, we can only speculate on its place in this world. Motorola is clearly aiming for the entry-level smartwatch market, and even without apps, the Moto Watch 100 may be a great budget smartwatch thanks to its 14-day battery life and wealth of health-tracking features.

You can pre-order the Moto Watch 100 now at Motorola’s website. Orders should ship by December 10th.

Moto Watch 100

The Moto Watch 100 costs just $100 but features a 14-day battery life, sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, a swim-proof design, GPS, and much more. It looks like a solid entry-level watch, though it lacks the kind of app support (and likely performance) you expect from more expensive wearables.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »