Google first introduced the world to Android Wear, back in March 2014. At that same time, Google also announced teased some of the smartwatches that would be coming running their new software platform, one of those was the original Moto 360.
It was the first real smartwatch with a round display. It was significant because most standard watches are round and that what was Motorola was trying to go after.
The original Moto 360 came out in the fall of 2014 and most people liked it a part from the ‘flat tire’ which is where the ambient sensor lives.
Skip ahead a bit to fall of 2015, and Motorola releases the Moto 360 (2015) aka the second gen Moto 360 watch. It now comes in more sizes, more colour options and better internals.
I’ve been using the Moto 360 (2015) 42mm version for a few weeks now, and I have to say that the Moto 360 (2015) is one of my favourite smartwatches even with a few annoyances.
Since the Moto 360 (2015) clearly does not have a camera, that part of the review will be omitted for obvious reasons.
In this review, I will cover the following areas:
- Design & Hardware (hardware and specs)
- Software (all about that Android)
Design & Hardware
The display on the Moto 360 (2015) is the same round display that was on the original (meaning it still has the ‘flat tire’). The display itself does look good, it bright and crisp and colours shows up well on it.
A lot of people have complained, “why does it still have that flat tire display” or “that’s not a round display at all”. The infamous ‘flat tire’ that is at the bottom of the Moto 360 (2015) display is where the ambient light sensor is.
That is used to measure how much light is coming and to better adjust the screen when there are changes in light. For example, if you had auto-brightness on, the display would turn all the way up to full brightness so then you could see it better outside in daylight.
Once you actual use the Moto 360 (2015), the ‘flat tire’ won’t bother you as much if you see it online or on video.
The original Moto 360 only came in one size, which was 46mm and actual watch itself might have been big for some. With the Moto 360 (2015), there is now a smaller 42mm version with a smaller watch overall and battery too.
In total, there are about 3 version of the Moto 360 (2015), one is the 42mm Men’s, the second is the 46mm Men’s and the third is the 42mm Women’s version.
The Women’s version of the Moto 360 (2015), offers some styling options that women would like more (i.e rose gold and white). While the Men’s versions of the Moto 360 (2015) offer styling options that are much darker like black or silver.
The great thing about the Moto 360 (2015), is that you can easily swap the bands on it, as compared to the original Moto 360. All you have to do is press one of the latches and that’s it.
So in theory, you could easily buy the leather 46mm version and if you want to later on, just buy the metal bands later on to change. The bands are 20mm and easily come off.
The Moto 360 (2015) also has about 4GB of internal storage and is being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 512MB of RAM.
The overall build quality of the Moto 360 (2015) is really good and has some nice metal accents.
The Moto 360 (2015) is also IP67 dust and water resistant
For battery life, the 42mm only has a 300 mAh battery while the 46mm has a bigger 400mAh battery. The 42mm Moto 360 (2015) that I tested did last though the day, maybe a day and a half if I forgot to charge it. But mostly I got a day’s worth of use out of it.
Included in the box is a charging cradle but the Moto 360 (2015) also support Qi wireless charging, so you can drop it onto any wireless charger and it will charge.
In Canada, the Moto 360 (2015) starts at $379 for the 42mm Men’s version with the leather band or $429 for the 46mm Men’s version with the leather band. If you’d rather have a black metal band, that will be $499 for the 46mm Men’s version.
For the pricing of the 42mm Women’s Moto 360 (2015), it starts at $399 for the leather version with gold accents or $429 for the stainless steel version.
The Moto 360 (2015) is running Google’s Android Wear which was specifically made for wearable devices.
When I first got my Moto 360 (2015) review unit, it was running the Android Wear version that was based on Android Lollipop but a few days after, I received the Marshmallow update for the Moto 360 (2015).
So for the majority of my review period, I have been using the Moto 360 (2015) with Android Marshmallow.
With Android Wear, you can receive notifications, make voice searches, reply to messages using your voice and you can set timers and reminders and etc.
To help give your Moto 360 (2015) some of your own style, you can install watch faces and apps to do more. There are hundreds of different watchfaces that you could choose from and many more are coming out each and every day.
There’s also lots of apps that are compatible with Android Wear or have a Android Wear component to them, like Google Translate, Shazam Google Authenticator, Transit and many more.
But all of these Android Wear apps are tied to your phone, they will still need your phone as a data connection. Some newer Android Wear watches. including the Moto 360 (2015), now have Wi-Fi chips built-in so the can still do things when it isn’t connected to your phone.
That’s great and all but you still can’t do things on your Moto 360 (2015), on its own while you out and about. It still relies heavily on your phone do things.
The Moto 360 (2015) is a glorified notification device that can do a few more things that say a Pebble watch or even the Apple Watch (which also heavily relies on your iPhone).
Another thing to point is that the Moto 360 (2015) along with some other Android Wear watches now work with iPhone but in a limited capacity meaning you’ll only really be able to get notifications from your iPhone onto your Moto 360 (2015) and not much else.
If you are looking for a good Android Wear watch, then look no further than the Moto 360 (2015) but if you just getting into smartwatches, I would recommend looking at the Pebble watches which start at $100 which is way cheaper than the starting price of the Moto 360 (2015).
With the issues with Android Wear, it’s battery life and the expensive price tag, you are better off, looking at somewhere else for your smartwatch needs. Smartwatches haven’t really found their place in the world, they have only really hit mainstream consumers within the last year and people haven’t found the need for a smartwatch just yet.
+ Great design and feel
+ Easily changeable bands
+ Not just one size fits all anymore
+ Wide variety of first party watch faces
– Price may be too much for some
– Android Wear still needs some work
– Battery life isn’t up to par to the likes the Pebble Time (i.e 7 days or more)