Motorola's first 360 watch was one of the most talked about wearable devices when it first came out this time last year, and for good reason. It was one of the better looking smartwatches to hit the market. And in that same fashion, it's managed to do that once more with their 2nd Generation version. This time around, instead of going for a fully functional powerhouse watch, Motorola has balanced out a semi-powerful device in a very customizable and attractive package. This is my second wearable device so far, my first being the LG G Watch, and after a week of using it, this is how it held up.
The Moto 360 Design
One thing is for sure, this is a very nice looking watch, and it looks like a watch and not just a screen on your wrist, kind of like my LG G Watch did. I've been stopped more than once from random strangers curious about it. The screen itself once again displays the flat tire look that people either hate or have learned to ignore. Personally, while it does cut out a portion of content on the screen, I don't mind it all that much because it kind of makes sense. The Google Now cards that appear in Android Wear start from the bottom of the screen and scroll their way upwards, so it's kind of natural to have a starting point already in place. And Motorola stated that is the only way they could achieve such a thin bezel on the watch, and when to compared to the full circle models out there today, you can definitely see the difference. This is one of the main reasons why I picked up the Moto 360 over the competitors. With such a thin bezel, most of the attention when looking at it goes right to the screen and it has this very minimal look to it.
Quick release bands
This years Moto 360 features quick release bands that make changing out bands a snap. The only concern I would have with that, is that you can't use traditional watch bands anymore. So you'll have to do some extra work in order to find replacements later on. Other than that the leather bands look and feel great. Because the 360 uses a more traditional band hinge now, the watch sits more comfortably on your wrist and doesn't move around as much. And once the leather molds to your hand, you won't notice that it's there.
New "M" button
The sole watch button now sits in the 2 o'clock position, which was done to prevent accidentally pressing the button when bending the wrist. Personally, I don't really use the button that much, as I've gotten use to just placing my hand over the screen to turn it off, but it definitely gives it a more watch like feel.
Motorola did a great with the customization options in their second generation version. Just as with their phones you can now also choose various options in how you want your watch to look using MotoMaker. Starting off you have your choice of 2 sizes, the 42mm or the 46mm. The 46mm comes at a higher price point, and is really meant for someone with larger wrists and hands. You can now also choose a design specifically crafted for women that has the unique feature of coming in Rose Pink. After selecting your size, you have your option of bezel styles and colors. You can select from either a chamfered look or a knurl pattern. I went for the knurl pattern in black, and I definitely think it looks fantastic. You can select your choice of color for the body as well and the type of bands, some with varying prices. In total Motorola states that there are over 300 combinations that you can choose from definitely making it the most customizable wearable to date.
The Moto 360 2 packs an adequate amount of power in its tiny form-factor. It has 4GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM, which are the same as last years model, and a new Snapdragon 400 1.2 GHz quad core processor. The display uses Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and has a 360 x 325 display with a pixel density of 263ppi. Not the highest specs when it comes to display, as the Huawei Watch is listed as having a 400x400 screen resolution with a 286 ppi, but that of course also comes at a much heftier price point and lack of customization. So Motorola definitely hit a sweet spot here I think.
The Moto 360 comes with many of the same sensors that the original came with such as Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Vibration/Haptics engine and heart rate monitor.
The battery has a charge of 300mAh for the 42mm, which lasts about 1.5 days with the ambient setting off. I've gotten about 2 full days with Ambient On however, so it definitely depends on how you're using. If you're going for daily runs and tracking it on your watch, then your battery of course will reflect that. The 46mm model however comes with a 400mAh battery, which is stated as lasting 2 full days with mixed use and ambient off. Overall, a very decent battery life.
The wireless charging dock is back and overall, the watch has a very quick charge time. So far I've charged about 50% of the battery in about 30-40 minutes, which is more than enough battery for a full day.
No matter how much you update the hardware and look of the watch though, we can't quite get away from Android Wear just yet. The Moto 360 2nd Gen runs the latest version of Android Wear, which means it will also work with an iPhone, although in a more limited manner. Android Wear has been greatly improved in the past year though and it has become more and more useful. There are many more apps now designed for it, and many of the current popular apps began supporting Android Wear. For example, Eat24 will now work on your watch as will Amazon and Zillow. Overall, Android Wear gives a very clean and fast mobile experience.
I'm a huge fan of the Moto 360 2nd Gen. It's a great blend of functionality and design which was sorely missing from the current possible options. And the price point is pretty much what you'll find from any of the latest devices in the wearable market. And while Android Wear still has some ways to go before it can become more than just an extended arm of your phone, it is definitely convenient to have. In the end though everyone will find their own uses for the watch. Some may use it for business purposes, such as meetings and note taking, while others may use it for it's fitness tracking capabilities. Personally, I use it for my music playing and email checking purposes and everything else is just icing on the cake.
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Walter G. is a software engineer, startup co-founder, former CTO of several tech companies and currently teaches programming for a coding bootcamp. He has been blogging for the past 5 years and is an avid BMX rider, bio-hacker
and performance enthusiast.