Motorola brings the Moto 360 smartwatch back from the dead with some outside help
Motorola threw in the towel several years ago, LG last released a pair of unsuccessful Wear OS devices in early 2017, while Samsung switched its focus to its very own Tizen OS. But out of nowhere, a "new trio" of Moto 360 smartwatches has just been unveiled ahead of a mid-November pre-order start and December rollout in the US, Canada, and the UK.Of Big G's three original partners,
The aptly titled third-generation Moto 360 follows in the footsteps of 2014 and 2015 editions, but although it uses Motorola's name for advertising purposes, the surprising new gadget is reportedly manufactured by someone else. Specifically, a little-known company called eBuyNow. If that makes you reluctant about this whole thing, you might want to remember HMD Global was also a complete unknown when it started selling Nokia-branded handsets.
Of course, just because that particular licensing deal worked out rather nicely for the mobile industry, it doesn't mean this will also be successful, bringing the Moto brand back into the spotlight of a now-thriving smartwatch market. At first glance, the resurrected Moto 360 looks like it could appeal to both nostalgic users of its forerunners and people interested in buying a modern wearable device with a reasonably elegant design and robust list of features.
Said list of features includes everything from a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor to a sharp 1.2-inch AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection and always-on functionality, as well as 8GB storage, 1GB memory, a built-in heart rate monitor, Google Pay support, GPS, Google Assistant interaction, and an "all-day" 355mAh battery capable of charging from 0 to 100 percent capacity in around 60 minutes.
On the outside, the third-gen Moto 360 looks fairly similar to its 2015 predecessor, minus the infamous "flat tire", rocking a premium stainless steel build, a rotating crown, customizable "action button", and three color options (steel grey, rose gold, and phantom black), each of which will come with both a leather and silicone strap in the box.
Unfortunately, the $350 recommended price point pits this bad boy pretty much directly against the $399 and up Apple Watch Series 5, which is not a very comfortable position for a Wear OS device. Especially one built by an obscure tech outfit, and especially when the Fossil Gen 5 lineup starts at $295 with extremely similar features in tow.