Moto 360 (2015) Review

Introduction


When Android Wear burst onto the scene last year, the designs that accompanied the first batch of smartwatches weren’t the most attractive. Thankfully, the folks over at Motorola impressed many with the Moto 360 and its round face style – arguably the best-looking smartwatch at the time. Fast forward to a year later, we’ve seen a handful of smartwatches that boast even better designs, trimming off more of the fat to make them a bit more proportional looking. Back for round two, the second generation Moto 360, also known as the 2015 model, has some tougher competition to contend with, so it’ll need a compelling package to rise above the pack.

The package contains:


Design

No other watch can touch the Moto 360’s diversified level of customization.

Motorola did it first, delivering a round face design to an Android Wear smartwatch with the original Moto 360, so it’s back again here with the 2nd generation model. What’s apparent right from the onset is the addition of lugs to its chassis – whereas before, the straps seamlessly blended in with the casing. While it technically increases the footprint, it’s still boasting one of the highest scree-to-case ratios around in a smartwatch, thanks in part to how skinny the bezel is around the display.

With the addition of the lugs, it means that replacing the watch strap is considerably easier this time around. In fact, it’s a snap because of the new quick-release bands that are now employed, whereby replacing the strap is done by just sliding the pin release lever that’s on the strap. And yes, there are quite a bunch of straps to choose from – whether they’re the simple leather bands from Horween, or something more sophisticated with the aircraft-grade 316L stainless steel ones.

What really sets apart this new Moto 360 from all other smartwatches out there is the incredible customization that’s offered through Moto Maker. Nearly every aspect of the Moto 360 can be customized to your liking, from the color choice of the chassis, to the strap that accompanies it, and even a micro knurl treatment to the bezel, it offers a higher degree of personalization that’s unmatched. And yes, there are even more styles and sizes to choose from! In addition to the 42mm and 46mm ones that are available from the men’s styles, Motorola also offers a 42mm case size for women – so its size isn’t as overpowering on the wrist.

Our particular review model is a 46mm men’s style watch, which features a gold micro knurl bezel, gold casing, and an accompanying gold metal band. Needless to say, it has a refined look that meshes well for formal occasions, but it can easily become something that’s fitting for casual wear if we’re to use the leather strap. Of course, going with the premium look means that it’s accompanied with a premium price as well – $450 with this particular configuration. However, the base 42mm men’s style watch with a leather strap fetches for $300.

This time around, the single button on its side has been repositioned to the 2 o’clock setting. However, it still features a heart rate sensor on its underside, as well as wireless charging using the included cradle. You also will have peace of mind knowing that it features an IP67 rating as well, which means that it can withstand immersion in up to 3 feet of fresh water for up to 30 minutes – albeit, they really dissuade you from submerging it.


Display

It’s sharper than before, but the ‘flat tire’ look has to go.

This year’s model continues the trend of offering a round style display, one that happens to have the same ‘flat tire’ look as before. After checking out several other round face smartwatches, we would’ve preferred to have a full circular display as opposed to this, even though the area below the display is used to hide its ambient light sensor – so it can automatically adjust the brightness accordingly.

Our 46mm review unit sports a 1.56-inch 360 x 330 backlit LCD display – while the 42mm options carry a 1.37-inch size with a resolution of 360 x 325 pixels. Either way, it’s sharper looking than its predecessor, which came with a 1.56-inch 320 x 290 panel. It’s less pixelized this time around, offering crispier looking details. While it’s bright enough to view under sunny conditions, there’s just a slightly subdued tone to its color reproduction, which becomes more profound under wider viewing angles. And we’re not a fan of how the Gorilla Glass 3 is raised higher than the Moto 360’s case, seeing that it’s more prone to coming into contact with surfaces.

It’s not that bad looking of a display, honestly, but we’ve seen more outstanding ones from LG, Samsung, and even Huawei. Adding to that, the flat tire look of the display is bothersome, especially when some of the tick marks with its watch faces don’t show the ones near and around the 6 o’clock mark.

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48 Comments

1. Totse2k15

Posts: 478; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Black bar on bottom killed it for me. S2 Classic for the win!

2. realhumanbeing

Posts: 53; Member since: Oct 18, 2014

Maybe they should have put the ambient light sensor around the whole display in a circular format, screen to body would have been lower, but would have caused for much better aesthetics

14. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

They should put it under the display, like in the Apple Watch

3. AlikMalix unregistered

Flat tire! Nuff said..

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

And overpriced compared to the competition.

31. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Really? You didn't seem to think twice about wanting the Apple watch http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-Watch-release-date-pegged-for-March-2015_id64469 Post 10, your body was ready... for a phone that would cost between $350 to $500... and that's not even including the $17,000 model. So how's Motorola over priced compared to what the competition is offering but Apple's more expensive offering acceptable?

33. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Oh look it's the other groupie girl. No one cares. You can't use the apple watch with Android so drop the ignorance. Now you're deflecting by bringing up phones. This is about the watch.

36. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

But you can use Android watches with iPhones.... why are you acting all butt hurt? Is it because I pointed out that you're a hypocrite yet again? And my last comment made no reference to any phone from any brand, I was specifically referring to watches, and how you think that one is over priced when another more expensive model is not...

37. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You're the one acting butthurt. You're the one on the attack just because I said the 360 was overpriced. Get over it. We're talking about the android watches. You're just deflecting as usual.

39. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

You said it was more expensive than the competition, If you want to say that the Apple Watch is a failure and discontinued shortly then that's one thing, but they're both smart watches, competing for market share, so my statement is valid. You're just upset because I keep proving you a hypocrite over and over and over again.

41. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Competition as in competition that's compatible with the available phones. Android Wear has a limited compatibility with iOS but the Apple Watch has no compatibility with Android. Pull your head out of your rear. You're too stuck in your own bs fantasy to see that I've looked at several Android Wear watches and the only ones that are worth owning is the G Watch R and the Urbane. Lol shut up and get back to the back of the line, kid.

38. murphslaws

Posts: 54; Member since: Apr 22, 2015

How about you get out of here troll? You have provided no valid points and havnt been constructive or critical of this article. Instead you are chanting biased claims of which you have no basis for. Base price is 299.99 USD. But there really isnt a lot of competition. The closest competing AW watches are the huawei watch which retails for 349.99 USD starting and the LG Urbane which is also 349.99 USD (MSRP prices). So ignoring the Apple watch which is the most expensive of the watches, your statement is false. It is most definitely not overpriced compared to the competition. Don't even mention lower class watches that can't compete in terms of battery life or performance.

42. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Hey, it's another groupie girl on my back. Not my fault I just put him in his place. The Apple Watch can't be used on Android. How dense are you to not see that? You're ignorant if you think the Moto 360 is on the same level as anything Apple puts out.

43. Ultimodrew

Posts: 59; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

So you're saying that the Apple watch is better because why? Because it only works on Apple? I am just confused at your logic at the moment. I get you love everything Apple, but what is your reasoning for why you feel the Moto 360 is over priced? Build Quality? Performance? Platform capability? I will gladly agree with you, if your reasoning makes any sense.

44. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I feel the 360 is lacking. As I said before the G Watch R is far better in that it looks better and it can use standard bands unlike the first generation Moto 360. Read my comment before responding so you can understand even if it means reading it slowly.

45. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

There nothing that suggest G Watch R is better, even LG has discontinue it after a short 6 months product cycle. Mxyzptik, you will always lose your cool everytime some article mention moto 360, its like the bane of Apple watch to you.

46. Ultimodrew

Posts: 59; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

Well it is interesting you are telling me that I need to read your posts more slowly, in order to understand what your opinion was. I took the time to re-read your comments to see if I missed that comment and you never mentioned anything about the use of standard bands. Maybe it was just me and I missed it again. Or maybe it was the fact that your grammar is so poor, that it takes an english speaking person several tries to understand you. Either way I finally understand who you are and what you are about. I have come to realize that I should just glaze over your comments since really they just don't matter at all. They sound like rant of a little child more than a opinion of anyone creditable. Granted since anyone can post responses here on this site, it is just expected that there will be a bunch of garbage comments. So to summarize what I said, since I know you can't read past a sentence or two. You never mentioned the reasoning about the lack of standard bands, prior to this comment. Maybe you should take the time to re-read what you post, before you try to tear someone down, making yourself feel better for your insecurities. Whatever your retort will be, you might want to save it. Whatever you have to say now will only make you feel better, and will no way shape or form alter my opinion of how I feel about your posts.

30. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Still looks better than the Apple watch, even if it had another flat tire on the top. Nuff said....

4. saenaedewe

Posts: 72; Member since: May 01, 2013

Why is it Motorola can't get rid of the flat tire/black bar on the bottom of the display? while LG, Samsung and Huawei can make a perfect circle.

10. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

Ambient light sensor?

11. maherk

Posts: 6770; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

One of the main reasons I went with the Huawei Watch. The Amoled screen was another reason.

34. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Because Motorola can't seem to get anything right.

40. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Because none of those watches include the Ambient Light Sensor, which allows for automatic brightness control just like they have on smartphones. As far as the reason for the black bar in one spot, that was so they could have and edge to edge display with as little bezel as possible to house the Ambient Light Sensor. If they wanted to keep it symmetrical, they would've had to put a bezel all the way around the display, which would've meant either a larger watch or a smaller display.

5. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The Black Bar(Flat Tire) Doesn't Look Bad At All In fact I Like It, Gives The 360 A Unique Look That Other Circular Smartwatches Don't Have. Everyone Complaining, Are Just A bunch Of Annoying Babies.

8. skips

Posts: 477; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

While I don't necessarily agree on calling everyone a bunch of babies - I do agree that the flat tire is a unique touch, and I think it may be probably functional too (more space to cram in some internals or stuff like that). If it would be all round display, then it would look boring and wouldn't stand out of some other smartwatches. It would look like a generic, regular watch. meh. I personally would grab this watch, it is truly a beautiful piece of tech.

12. maherk

Posts: 6770; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Unique? So ruining a perfectly rounded screen with a black bar is unique? The only annoying baby in here is you, calling out names at those who state the obvious, which is that that the black flat tire is hideous and it needs to go.

15. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Yes I Can Be A Baby At Times But Right Now It Is Not Me Whining About Something That's Not Even Bad. You Say The Black Flat Tire Is Hideous And Needs To Go, Well I Think You Have It Confused With Your Crowd Of Whining And Annoying Babies.

16. skips

Posts: 477; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

It is hideous for you and some other people who like to flood the comment section of every site that it's ugly. could you not. I would personally put the word hideous on those smartwatches which have those fat bezels around their tiny screens. ahem, apple watch, gear 2. I'm tired of you all. *goes to bed*

17. skips

Posts: 477; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

also: The Moto 360 can automatically adjust its display brightness depending on ambient light conditions, thanks to its ambient light sensor housed WITHIN THE "FLAT TIRE" Google "The Moto 360 "Flat Tire": An Honest Discussion : AndroidWear" and go to first link. (i can't post links yet, goddamnit) FLAT TIRE IS FOR A REASON.

19. maherk

Posts: 6770; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I had the original Moto 360 and I know what lays underneath it. I would rather use the Brightness Boost mode found on android wear when I need it, over having that black bar ruining my watchfaces. I find it hideous, Again, I DO, so it's my own opinion that I based upon my previous experience with the oroginal Moto 360 and now the Huwaei Watch.

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