Moto 360 Review | A Year Later, How Does the Smartwatch Hold Up?

Motorola’s Moto 360 was one of the first Android smartwatches released, and almost a year later it’s still regarded as one of the best out there. Our Moto 360 review will not compare the sleek, round wrist candy to any other competitors but really focus on our use and experience with the device.

Moto 360 Review

Ain’t no shame in my game – I finally jumped on the smartwatch bandwagon a few weeks ago and snatched up the Moto 360 for the low price of $149. I’d browsed around at the offerings from ASUS, LG, Pebble, and the like but the design of the Moto 360 stood out to me the most.

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[section label=”Design & Build” anchor=”Design & Build”]

Right off the bat, the Moto 360 is a beautiful looking smartwatch. There are several bands and straps, watchfaces, and frames, but I chose a simple look for my Moto 360 review. I opted for the black leather strap and black frame (black on black baby!). In essence, the Moto 360 could be described in one word: elegant. From the aluminum frame to the genuine leather strap, the build quality of the device feels top-notch.

The Moto 360 fits comfortably on your wrist and is really lightweight, much lighter than my Invicta timepiece. The beveled edge around the outer circle gives the watch a unique, modern feel although at time you can see  the rainbow discoloration around the fringes (particularly on white screens).

Like most classic timepieces, the Moto 360 has a physical button on the right side, but instead of setting the time, it activates and deactivates the screen; much to my dismay, the button doesn’t do much more than that.

Moto 360 Review - 4

On the left side of the Moto 360 is the microphone, and beneath is a plastic cover that houses the heart rate monitor. I found both to be fairly accurate, almost surprisingly at times. The activity tracker and heart rate monitor made for the perfect companion throughout the day – from running errands to working out.

[section label=”Display” anchor=”Display”]

The watchface’s display has a resolution of 320×290 and 205 pixels per inch, and the built-in adaptive settings change the brightness along with the lighting conditions.

A major gripe I have with the Moto 360 is the cut-off bottom, which effectively kills the circular vibe that the watch has going on. To the Moto 360’s defense though, you do get used to it after a while. Still, a few more inches of real estate wouldn’t have hurt.

[section label=”Android Wear” anchor=”Android Wear”]

The Moto 360 runs on Android Wear, which has recently been updated with wrist-flick gestures, Wi-Fi support, supposed battery improvements. Surprisingly missing is some sort of keyboard…though with gesture, voice, and flicking controls you may not miss a keyboard as much.

Let’s get this out of the way: there are a lot of glitches in Android Wear, and most have to do with the fragmentation between square and rounded devices. Other glitches include tap delays and lags.

Unique to the Moto 360 is Motorola’s “Connect” app, which includes additional custom watch faces, color schemes, and settings. The Moto 360 also has a range of Motorola fitness apps – a step counter, calorie counter, step counter, and activity monitor. I utilized these alongside Google Fit without a hitch.

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[section label=”Performance” anchor=”Performance”]

Simply put, the performance of the Moto 360 is lacking (don’t let the 512MB of ram and 4GB of storage fool you) for a second generation device. It utilizes the same processor as the MOTOACTIV which was released in 2011.

You can connect your Moto 360 to your phone via Bluetooth and WiFi, and unlike a lot of postings online, I haven’t had much of an issue with pairing and keeping my devices paired – but I have a Nexus 6.

I often find myself wishing the Moto 360 performed better, but for the price, I can’t really complain much.

[section label=”Gaming” anchor=”Gaming”]

We’re a video game website, so of course I tried out a couple of games on the Moto 360 – namely Wear Shooter, Chrono Guardian, Guns n Glory Heroes, and my favorite – Repulsion. Most of the games I tried were simple, almost primitive, and for the sake of my battery life have long since been uninstalled. The Moto 360 is not even remotely a gaming device…but it’s not meant to be, so that’s not a big deal.

[section label=”Battery Life” anchor=”Battery Life”]

Let me also put this simply – the battery life of the Moto 360 is incredibly lacking. On day one of my using it, the Moto 360 didn’t last up to 6 hours, and upon looking online I realized that many others had the same issue – I was assured that after a few days, the device will settle down and the battery life will improve.

It did….to a whopping 12 hours. To get the battery life to this point, I had to disable a majority of my apps on the watch and turn off ambient mode. Even with Android 5.1, my Moto 360 has never lasted more than 13 hours.

Charging the Moto 360 is a breeze, with the included wireless Qi charging dock. Once you slip the watch onto the dock, it becomes a nice clock…perfect for bedside use. The dock is also fast-charging – something owners of newer Android devices will be used to.

Honestly, there’s a reason I waited for the price drop to pick up the Moto 360, and at $149, I do not regret it. Sure, the performance could use a boost and the battery life could be tweaked but it is one helluva stylish device. If you’re on the fence about picking it up…hop off and go grab one! Or you could, you know, wait for the rumored Moto 360 2.

[signoff icon=”emo-thumbsup”]What’d you think of the Moto 360 review? Leave your comments below![/signoff]

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