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Moto 360 (2015)

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Where to Buy

What's Hot: Very good looking, available in several colors, two sizes and there's a women's model. Much improved over first gen model.

What's Not: For those who want more than a second screen for their Android phone, Android Wear will still disappoint.


Reviewed October 6, 2015 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

moto 360 2nd gen

After a wave of first gen smartwatches that were largely ugly ducklings, it's suddenly a race to win the beauty pageant, at least for Motorola, Huawei and LG. We recently reviewed the Huawei Watch and called it at the time, possibly the best looking Android Wear watch yet. The first gen Moto 360 was one of the better looking Android Wear watches, but its huge size made it look ungainly on all but big fellas' wrists. The LG Watch Urbane looked great in LG's press images, but it looked less refined in person. The second generation Moto 360, or 2015 Moto 360 (what exactly to call it when Moto's using the same exact name again?) takes the design up a notch with two sizes and some pretty nice Moto Maker customizations. That's certainly important since watches, even the smart ones, are still jewelry and personal adornment is serious business and often means serious bucks. To that end, it's available in silver, gold, black, and rose gold for the ladies. You can order it with a contrasting bezel and a variety of leather and stainless link bands. Though there are 42mm men's and women's models, there's a difference: the lugs (strap mounts) are smaller on the women's model and the band is smaller too. The bands have a quick release pin to make swapping a breeze. The leather bands are Moto's usual premium Horween leather and the stainless steel link bands add $50 to the price.

Moto keeps the price of the 360 relatively reasonable, as smartwatch prices go, and they even manage to underprice Chinese maker Huawei, a company known for an aggressive price to feature ratio. The new Moto 360 starts at $299 for the 42mm and $349 for the 46mm, and a variety of upscale tweaks like a stainless band, bezel patterns and gold color can raise the price anywhere up to $399 for the 42mm and $449 for the 46mm. That's not bad compared to the Apple Watch, LG Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch. Asus will soon sell their second generation ZenWatch 2 for a class leading low price, but it's not a round-faced watch and the styling isn't as good.

Moto 360

The women's 42mm in rose gold with a leather band.

Looks aren't everything, and though Android Wear watches generally have the same specs these days, the first gen Moto 360 played it loose and wild with a slower than average CPU and a just OK display. For the second generation they're using the same capable quad core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU as the competition, so there's no egregious lag as on the first gen model. As with other smartwatches, it has 512 megs of RAM and 4 gigs of internal storage.

The 360 x 325 (360 x 330 for the 46mm) display is much improved in terms of brightness and color saturation. It's not the very vivid OLED used by some competitors, but it's a pleasing LCD. It's covered in Gorilla Glass 3 just like many phones. That's not as impressive as Huawei's sapphire crystal, but we'd expect it to hold up as well as Apple's Ion-X glass on the Apple Watch Sport. Like the last gen, and unlike most other smart watches, it has an ambient light sensor. That's a godsend--there's no need to keep the brightness cranked just so you can see it when you step outdoors. That ambient light sensor is hidden under the "flat tire" at the bottom of the display. Yes, just as with the first generation, the display's bottom portion is flattened and there's nothing but black there. It's easy not to notice at first glance with a black watch face but if you switch to one of the light colored watch faces you'll notice it. For the last gen Moto said that "display drivers" were hidden under the flat tire, a price paid for the thin bezel. I'm not so sure that's truly necessary in 2015 since the very similarly designed and sized Huawei Watch (42mm) has bezels and a body of a similar size with no flat tire.

Moto 360

It's available in 42mm and 46mm sizes, which makes little difference in display usability--it's more for styling and comfort. The first gen was 46mm, and it's better suited to big boned men. The 42mm is the more mainstream size. Either way you get a touch screen with Android Wear's usual dependence on an abundance of swipes left, right up and down. There's voice input too, using Google Now--the same good stuff that's on your Android phone. It works well, though I only use it when desperate or when in a private setting so I don't look like a Dick Tracy wannabe (also noisy public places aren't ideal for voice commands).

The watch is silent. It vibrates but it doesn't chirp, beep or boing. This is Google's decision for Android Wear, not Moto's. I really prefer the old Samsung Tizen smartwatches (pre Gear S2) and the Apple Watch because they do make sound: they can thus function as alarm clocks and do a better job of letting me know when something important needs my attention. The vibrate motor on smartwatches is pretty subtle and easy to miss, especially if you're on a bouncing, vibrating train or being jostled in a crowd. Sound is also a form of user interface, and a watch that plays a countdown sound for a timer function or to start your workout is a watch you don't have to look at to make sure it's doing what you expected.

Deals and Shopping:

2015 Moto 360 Video Review


Moto 360

The Moto 360 2015 edition runs the latest version of Android Wear based on Android 5 Lollipop with support for a few new and important features like syncing to the iPhone (syncing to Android phones was and is still a core feature) and WiFi sync to increase phone to watch communication range. WiFi means not having to keep the phone in your pocket at all times; that means no more disconnects when you walk to your colleague's desk. At home you can leave the phone on your desk and visit the kitchen for a snack without losing the connection.

As we noted with the Huawei watch that's also a member of the new gen Android Wear wearables that can sync with the iPhone, iOS syncing features are minimal--you'll get notifications on the watch but there are currently no watch faces or apps you can install using the iPhone. If you use an Android phone, you'll get all the features, from apps to watch faces to syncing with Google apps and a selection of third party apps. Note that though Google lists 4,000 apps in the Android Wear app store, most of them are simply notification counterparts for Android phone apps. There are a few games, calculators and other handy apps that you can interact with on the watch itself. As ever, Android Wear watches are basically a wireless second screen for your phone. You won't have to pull the phone out of your pocket or purse as often to check for messages, calls and news updates, but you likely will have to pull it out to read the full news story and in some cases to see the full message.

Moto 360

Battery life isn't a strong point for any smart watch except the Pebble that manages 5 days on a charge thanks to its low power e-paper black and white non-touch screen (yes, you're giving up color and touch for that battery life). The original Moto 360's battery life was all over the place--some folks managed to make it through the day while others had to charge it every 6 hours. Happily, the second generation has predictable and average battery life that's good for a full day on a charge. In fact, it will make it through to 10am or noon of the next day if you forget to charge it. The 42mm models have a 300 mAh battery while the 46mm has a 400 mAh battery (there's more room for that larger battery). We have the 42mm in for review, so we're quoting our results with that model. I'd expect the 46mm to last 1.5 to perhaps 2 days on a charge. Charging is easy thanks to Moto's wireless magnetic charger, just drop it on and it charges with no need to line up pins as with the Huawei Watch.

Moto 360


What a difference a year makes! Now the Moto 360 is available in two sizes and both men's and women's models. There are a variety of colors, bands and bezel treatments to choose from, and the price isn't higher than the competition. It's a close race in terms of looks when we pit the Moto 360 2nd gen against the Huawei Watch, with Moto winning for Moto Maker customizations and the women's option. Huawei fights back with a 316L stainless steel casing and a sapphire crystal over the display. In terms of functionality, Android Wear is slowly moving forward, but it remains a platform that's still basically a conveniently located second silent screen for your phone. If that sounds like just what you need, then by all means strongly consider the Moto 360 second gen smartwatch. It's in all ways a great improvement over the first gen model.

Price: $299 to $449


Related Reviews:

Moto 360 (First Gen) Review

Huawei Watch Review

Apple Watch Review

Apple Watch Series 2 Review

Asus ZenWatch Review

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Review

LG G Watch R Review

Samsung Gear 2 Review

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Display: 42mm and 46mm round LCD touch screen options, 360 x 325/ 360 x 330 pixels.

Battery: 300 mAh Lithium Ion in 42mm, 400 mAh in 46mm model.

CPU, RAM and Storage: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad core CPU, 512 megs RAM and 4 gigs storage.

Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi (2.4 GHz).

Sensors: gyro, accelerometer, ambient light sensor and heart rate.

Dimensions: 42mm diameter/46mm diameter, 11.4mm thick.

OS: Android Wear, based on Android 5.1.1.

In the box: watch, charging cradle and charger.

Compatibility: Android phones running 4.3 or newer. iOS: iPhones running iOS 8.2 or newer.



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