Oct 02 AT 2:33 PM Dustin Earley 0 Comments

Motorola Moto 360 second generation review

moto-360-features

While the Pebble may have ushered in the modern smartwatch, the Moto 360 set the precedent for just how gorgeous a smartwatch could be. Its round metal body made it look more like a classic timepiece than any smartwatch before it. And its bright colorful display, including the now charming flat tire, placed it ahead of anything to come before it.

As far as Android Wear watches go, the original Moto 360 was arguably the most popular. With the Moto 360 second generation, Motorola was tasked with keeping its round smartwatch at the top of the pack. For those who are rooting for Motorola, you’ll be happy to know they’ve pulled it off.

Specs and Performance

The specs of a smartwatch are always the most boring part of the device. With recent releases, we’ve yet to see a smartwatch blow any other out of the water. That includes speed, display, battery life, storage, etc. Some are better than others, but there’s nothing that immediately stands head and shoulders above the competition.

The best you can hope for is that new smartwatches are able to eclipse their predecessors and keep up with the rest of the pack. In this regard, Motorola kills it with the Moto 360. On paper, it’s better than the first generation in many ways. The true success of the Moto 360′s internals is that those changes do indeed translate into real world performance.

Swiping through apps and notifications is quick and painless, the touchscreen is always responsive, and ambient light sensing works without any fuss. Fitness tracking seemed to work well, at least well enough to compare against past data, which is all that really counts in tracking your progress.

The screen looks improved over the first gen Moto 360, and it’s definitely faster. Battery life is also improved in the second generation Moto 360. I took my 360 off the charger at 9 a.m., and by 6 p.m. the battery was at 72%. Getting through a day of work is no problem, and if you don’t wear a watch around the house, like myself, getting two days should be relatively easy.

Charging the Moto 360 didn’t take forever, but it could have been faster. Though the wireless charger feels nice enough and is convenient.

All in all, as far as specs and performance are concerned, the new Moto 360 well worth the money.

Official specs are as follows:
Display​

  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Backlit LCD
  • Mens 42mm and Womens: 1.37” (35mm), 263ppi (360 X 325)
  • Mens 46mm: 1.56” (40mm), 233ppi (360 X 330)

Watch case dimensions

  • Mens: 46mm diameter by 11.4mm high, 42mm diameter by 11.4mm high
  • Womens: 42mm diameter by 11.4mm high

Processor

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU (APQ 8026)
  • Adreno 305 with 450MHz GPU

Sensors

  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient
  • Light Sensor
  • Gyroscope
  • Vibration/Haptics engine

Battery

  • Mens 42mm and Womens: 300mAh – Up to 1.5 days of mixed use with Ambient off. Up to a full day of mixed use with Ambient on.
  • Mens 46mm: 400mAh – Up to 2 days of mixed use with Ambient off. Up to a full day of mixed use with Ambient on.

Memory

  • 4GB internal storage
  • 512MB RAM

Connectivity

  • Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g

Microphone

  • Dual digital mics

Hardware and Design

Smartwatches are incredibly personal devices. So while specs undoubtedly do matter, they don’t matter nearly as much as the physical design of the device. As such, you need to try on the new Moto 360 to really get a feel for it. And even then, unless you’ve ordered one, you can only get a partial feel for the Moto 360. Because it’s not your Moto 360.

Like the Moto X Pure Edition, the new Moto 360 is Moto Maker-compatible. That means you will get to choose the color of the body, the bezel style, the band and the size. After looking through textured bezels, gold, black and silver bodies, and leather and metal watch straps, I went with a slightly more subdued look.

My Moto 360 is 42mm, not 46mm, and has a brushed silver body, chromed silver bezel and black leather strap. It’s perfect for me. The 42mm is a fantastic size. It’s not too thick, not too large and sits comfortably on top of my arm. The leather is soft and the entire watch has a nice heft to it.

In terms of fit, feel and finish, the new Moto 360 is an improvement over the previous model, new lugs and all. Getting to customize it to your liking makes it even better. Other smartwatches may have more or less caught up with the Moto 360 by now in terms of quality and design, but it’s the little details that keep the new Moto 360 ahead of the competition.

Software

The second generation Moto 360 runs on Android Wear. So there’s no real surprises there, which is a good thing. Moto hasn’t done anything weird to mess it up. I won’t spend any time talking about Android Wear itself, but I will touch on Motorola’s included fitness app, Moto Body.

Moto Body is Motorola’s fitness tracking suite that comes built into the the Moto 360. It shows info on your heart rate, steps, active calories burned and provides an analysis of your fitness. It works well enough so that for general fitness tracking, you’re not likely to find anything much better. If you want something more specialized, like for running for example, look elsewhere.

Wrap up

Motorola has taken a pretty similar approach to the Moto 360 and Moto X Pure Edition this year: focus on where its strengths are. Google is really good at making software. So just use it! Don’t muck it up too much and only change it when it really, actually improves user experience. And Motorola is really good at making hardware. So focus on that!

The new Moto 360 will probably be the Android Wear device to beat again this year. Not because people don’t like change or because Moto’s name now has some clout behind it — though those are both good reasons — but because it’s genuinely one of the best smartwatches you can buy again.

To customize your Moto 360, head to Motorola.com now.

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Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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