I was a huge fan of the first Moto 360 that was released in 2014. You can read the first review that I did here. (And if you are looking for tips and tricks which still apply to the newest version of the Moto 360 or want to learn more about Android Wear I suggest reading this article.) You can imagine my excitement when the 2nd generation of the Moto 360 was announced in September. Personally I prefer round face smartwatches and I still think that the Moto 360 is the smartwatch to beat – even more so now with its newest version on the market.
What’s New with the Moto 360 2nd Generation?
Different Models for Men and Women
There’s a new 42mm women’s model (which is the model that I received for review purposes). I do like big watches and the 2nd generation Moto 360 is slightly smaller than the previous one I was wearing but it does look more like a ‘real’ watch. It is lighter and less clunky on my wrist. The rose gold casing looks nice and the leather band is light and comfortable. I would not want to wear this band during a heavy work out though as I would not want sweat stains to ruin the strap but it is a beautiful looking watch. The new Moto 360 has an IP67 rating which means that the watch has good water resistance but this does not apply to the strap. I have received many compliments on it without people even realizing that it is a smartwatch.
The men’s version of the new Moto 360 is 46mm. The 46mm men’s watch has a 1.56 inch display, with a resolution of 360 x 330 and 233 pixels per inch (ppi), while the 42mm women’s watch has a 1.37-inch display with a resolution of 360 x 325 and 263ppi.
The original Moto 360 had a resolution of 320 x 290 and 205ppi, so the 2nd generation’s display is definitely sharper and brighter. Even though the women’s model that I am wearing is slightly smaller than the 2014 model which I am used to wearing, the notifications are easier to read. The glass face is Gorilla Glass 3 which seems to protect it from scratches adequately. Reflections that previously used to come off the display have been improved upon so that they are significantly reduced on the display of the new Moto 360. The touch sensitivity of the screen appears to be fine too.
The so called ‘flat-tire’ at the bottom of the screen is still there but I have gotten used to it. I do like that the crown button has been moved slightly up. This is an improvement over the first generation as there were times when I would bend my hand back and it would press on the crown and activate it by accident. This does not happen on the 2nd generation model.
Easily change the Watch Strap
Another improvement to the 2nd generation are the lugs that are located on either side of the body, that the watch straps attach to. The lugs make it much easier and faster to change watch straps and customize your Moto 360. It should also be easier to find third party bands for the new Moto 360.
Inside the new Moto 360
Some improvements to the new Moto 360 you won’t be able to see. It has a better processor (Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 with 1.2 GHz) which boosts its overall performance. It still has Wi-Fi capabilities which allow you to use the watch without your smartphone if you have access to Wi-Fi. The better processor means that notifications are pushed to the watch faster and syncing back with the smartphone when dismissing them has also improved.
The 42 mm version of the Moto 360 has a 300 mAh battery, and the 46 mm model has a 400 mAh battery. I definitely see a big improvement with battery life on the new Moto 360. I can easily go a day (using ambient mode) without having to worry about a low battery. On the older model if I tried to go an entire day there were times where the battery died before I was done. I still charge my Moto 360 at night but I have plenty if battery life left at the end of my day. The men’s version will last even longer because of the 400 mAH battery. The new Moto 360 still comes with the wireless dock and charging is quick and easy.
Compatible with Android and iPhone
The new Moto 360 is compatible with Android smartphones and Apple’s iOS. It is one of the first Android smartwatches to be compatible with iOS. So if you have the iPhone 6 you could use the Moto 360 with it (which is more affordable than the Apple Watch). Set-up is easy to do and essentially the same process as pairing it to an Android phone. For iOS users you will need to download the iOS Android Wear app to your phone and then pair over bluetooth. It does have limitations for iPhone users that you should be aware of. Some apps won’t work between iOS and the Moto 360 – you can perform voice searches, and receive notifications but you won’t be able to respond to them on the Moto 360 like you can with Android.
I found that voice recognition capabilities are the same as the previous model of the Moto 360. There is still room for improvement in voice recognition technology for all smartwatches in my opinion. But you can also swipe over a few screens to access a complete list of voice commands, and then tap the one that you want and have your watch listen to your request. I am hoping that voice recognition will continue to improve on future smartwatches.
Motorola’s OS and Moto Connect
The Moto 360 now offers new and more first party watch faces. With the Moto Connect App they are also more customizable than previously. You can play with the backgrounds, accents and live dials. Plus there are a lot more watch faces that you can download through Android Wear – many of which are designed for a round face too.
Android Wear also supports full applications which are accessed by pressing and holding down on the side bezel button. The Google Apps perform very well on the Moto 360. You can scroll through previous conversations on Hangouts and respond back with your voice, an emoji or chose from a variety pre-selected phrases. With Google Maps, you can zoom in and out from a map, tap for local recommendations and navigate to anywhere that you drop a pin. Google Now notifications are also easy to scroll through. Since I use Android / Chrome across all my devices – it syncs searches and other info that I provide – the Google Now notifications that I receive on my Moto 360 are rich and relevant to me. (The more information that you provide Google across its apps the more Google Now is tailored for you.)
The 2nd Generation Moto 360 still has the heart tracker on the back and you can still track your fitness with the Moto Body app (steps and distance, active calorie burn and ‘heart activity’ minutes).
Overall the new Moto 360 is a big improvement over the 2014 model (which I still love). Android Wear has also made a lot of improvements which enhance the smartwatch experience. The design and performance of the new Moto 360 is much better than its predecessor. If you have tech / gadget lovers in your house I would definitely recommend the new Moto 360 as a holiday gift this year. The Moto 360 remains one of the best Android Smartwatches on the market.
I received a Moto 360 from Motorola for review purposes. Good or bad, my reviews and opinions are honest with my readers best interest in mind.