Reviews
Pros

-Updated design allows for a premium look and feel
-Watch straps now easily replaceable
-Smaller version available for those who want it
-Fantastic wireless charging implementation returns

Cons

-Microphone issues with recognizing "OK Google" prompt
-Infamous "flat tire" returns
-Gets costly depending on preferred look

Rating
Our Rating
Battery
7.0
Display
7.0
Performance
7.5
Software
7.5
Design
8.5
Bottom Line

Motorola tries to inject much of their smartphone buying experience into the second iteration of their Android Wear device, and the right changes to the design language, coupled with the availability of Moto Maker, are what make the Moto 360 (2nd Gen) quite a compelling choice.

8.0
Our Rating
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With Motorola kicking off the round Android Wear smartwatch trend last year with the original Moto 360, there was a palpable anticipation as to what its follow-up would bring. Its successor, however, enters a smartwatch market that has seen rapid growth in the number of premium, round-faced, smartwatches, with various OEMs throwing their hats in the ring.

In the face of this increased competition, does the latest smartwatch iteration from Motorola manage to stand out? We find out, in this comprehensive Moto 360 (2nd Gen.) review!

Buy now from Motorola

Design

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As far as the design is concerned, Motorola tries to inject much of their smartphone buying experience into the second generation Moto 360, introducing the customization capabilities available with Moto Maker for their latest smartwatch. Granted, the level of customization on offer isn’t as robust as what is available with their flagship smartphones, but you do get to choose between different sizes, the design on the bezel, the color of the metallic case, and various watchstraps. This is a pretty important part of the Moto 360 experience now, with the user having a lot of control over how the watch looks.

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Apart from the availability of Moto Maker, the new Moto 360 has changed quite a bit from the design language of its predecessor, with positive effect. A metallic body can now be finished in a few different colors, and the aluminum bezel can also be given a patterned design, called Micro Knurl, although that will set you back an additional $20. The crown-like button has now moved to the 2 o’ clock position, and has a very solid click to it. Motorola certainly isn’t trying to hide the button either, with it being quite large and obvious, with a lining around it, and the Motorola logo on it.

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The main design additions are the nubs on the top and bottom, which are a much-appreciated departure from the watchstrap location found with the original Moto 360, and makes it very to easy to switch out the watch straps, especially with the inclusion of the quick release pins. There are also a couple of options available as far as the size is concerned. Seen in this review is the 46 mm version, which can be very big for those with smaller wrists, but a 42 mm iteration is available as well.

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The way the nubs are designed actually add to the overall aesthetic, with their rigid angles fitting in nicely with the large body, which is just over 11 mm thick. This thickness isn’t unsurprising when considering other smartwatches on the market, but Motorola does seem to acknowledge the rather large size, especially of this 46 mm iteration, better than others. Motorola knows that their smartwatch is bulky, and makes every design element reflect that. Industrial might be the best way to describe each and every part, with straight lines everywhere, instead of more curves that others have added for a perception of luxury.

Display

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Motorola was the first to bring the round watch face form factor to the Android Wear game, but the company did receive a lot of flak for the inclusion of the infamous “flat tire,” a small portion on the bottom that houses the ambient light sensor. In terms of utility, its presence isn’t as big of an offense as some believe, and now that it returns with the Moto 360 (2nd Gen.), seems to be more like a defining design trait. Motorola continues to justify its existence as the location for the sensor, which provides the benefit of smaller bezels.

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As far as the display itself is concerned, the IPS LCD screen features a 360 x 330 resolution, and is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 panel. The 46 mm iteration comes with a 1.56-inch display, while the smaller version features a 1.37-inch screen.

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The display performs as well as it should. Daylight viewing is pretty good at the highest brightness settings, and the ambient light sensor means that the user will not have to micromanage the screen. As is the case with any mobile device, the screen can still be a nuisance in dark situations, like in movie theaters, and some input will be required on the user’s part to enable Theater Mode. With it featuring just a slightly higher resolution and resulting pixel density when compared to its predecessor, the display experience isn’t all that different this time around, and for viewing and controlling Android Wear, it continues to get the job done.

Performance

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Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 512 MB of RAM, and given the fact that this is the de facto processing package for Android Wear, the new Moto 360 won’t let you down as far as performance is concerned. As such, swiping among all of the different notifications and cards were smooth and snappy, and extra input methods are available via companion applications and voice input.

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We did have a few issues with getting the watch to recognize our voices with the “OK Google” prompt, which is certainly odd, with the device coming from a company that has been famously good at sound and voice recognition. Granted, these issues are common with other smartwatches when using them in really loud environments, like when driving a car, but we felt that these issues were even more common with the Moto 360 (2nd Gen) than most of its competition. For fitness tracking, Google Fit and Moto Body do try and provide some insight on your step count and lost calories, but these numbers tend to be pretty arbitrary. Then again, with a metallic body and leather or metal strap, this smartwatch might not be an obvious fitness companion anyway.

Hardware

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In hardware, we start with the typical heart rate monitor that is available with almost every Android Wear smartwatch out there. In this case, it works well enough for the user that is curious about their current heart rate, and it can be used during workouts to get a little more fitness insight. The Moto 360 (2nd Gen) does come with IP67 certification for resistance against dust and water, but if you decide to go with a leather strap, having one makes this a watch that you will probably be removing before getting into any water-based situations anyway.

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As already mentioned, the performance of the microphone is a little uneven in its performance. It failed to register the voice prompt a noticeable number of times, even when not in a particularly loud environment. It felt like consciously speaking into the microphone hole in the bottom left corner was required, and that little bit of necessary awareness was something that should ideally not be needed.

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In battery, Motorola brings back their wireless charging dock, that makes the watch a kind of landscape bedside clock while charging, and remains one of the better smartwatch charging implementations out there. The battery gets a small bump to 400 mAh, and the battery life available with the Moto 360 (2nd Gen) is pretty standard. About a full day of use is possible, but it generally won’t go much beyond that. With charging times of around an hour and a half to get to 100 percent, placing the watch on the charger at opportune moments can keep it going easily throughout the day however.

Software

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Finally, on the software side of things is Android Wear, which hasn’t changed a whole lot since the original Moto 360. Aside from being a notification machine, with the cards and Google Now suggestions, functionality stays pretty standard across the board. You are essentially just swiping all over the place, and occasionally using your voice to trigger a few functions.

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Companion applications can be used when applicable, but as nice as some of them are, it is a small fraction of the overall Android Wear experience. The ability to respond to messages via voice input is always nice to have, but you do have to be wary of outside noise and that might make things difficult. Motorola adds in a number of functions through the companion smartphone app, and also includes customizable watchfaces, but going through the Google Play Store to find even better ways of customizing the experience is certainly the recommended way to go here.

Gallery

Pricing and final thoughts

The price of the base model of the Moto 360 (2nd Gen) is higher that it was with its predecessor, at $299, not including additions like the patterned bezel for $20, the gold body for $30, and metal bands for $50. While the hike in the price point is a bit of a bummer, changes in the overall design of the smartwatch, and the addition of the Moto Maker experience, keep the watch from feeling like a forced acceptance, because you are responsible for how it turns out.

best Android Wear watch facesLooking back: Moto 360 review - probably the best Android Wear smartwatch yet78

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So, there you have it, for this in-depth look at the Moto 360 (2nd Gen)! Overall, the latest smartwatch offering from Motorola is a worthy update to the original, that benefits from the company’s customization system. Its big size may be a concern for some, but a slightly smaller iteration is available for those who want it, and all said and done, this kind of size has become pretty commonplace with smartwatches. Android Wear continues to be as standard as ever, and even with Motorola trying to add some extras, the shell of the device itself feels more important than what it is ultimately presenting. Thankfully, you get more control over that than with most other devices out there, and we think that is the main selling point of the Moto 360 (2nd Gen).

Buy now from Motorola
  • picked up my 1st gen for $140 at BestBuy with the thick black metal band. Love it. I get over a day battery with peak on, but everything else off. 9 hours if I turn ambient on. This seems like a huge increase in specs for anyone who hates the battery on the 1st gen, but that price….oy vey, I dont wanna pay that much for a smart watch.

    • ricknicklas

      Got mine on a further discount after you. Turn off ambient and tap screen for time and I get 2 days. While it’s not as convenient I find that just fine and worth the trade off.

  • Kersten

    Had the same problem with the 1st gen not always recognizing the “ok google” prompt. -.-

    • ditto. I get the issue when i try to respond to a text, it just sits there and tells me to speak. This has been the case since the last update! craziness

  • Dusan

    There will be a day when most people are wearing these kind of watches/devices. And that day I will be very mischievous with “ok google” phrase.
    Make sure you block porn sites.

    • AbbyZFresh

      Haven’t seen a single smartwatch where I am.

      • Rex Xu

        Smart watches are pretty common in the SF bay area right now. The majority are Android wear and Apple Watches, but there are also a variety of other minor smartwatches and smart wearables in general.

  • Me

    I still prefer the Urbane. Looks smarter and OLED wins for me since I tend to wear watches out at night and would dislike the LCD background glow.

  • Deepak Gawande

    Average score of this watch isn’t correct, it should be 7.5 instead of 8.
    Huawei Watch got higher score than this, and average score is 7.7.

  • Rex Xu

    So the Moto 360 2 gets a 7.5 on software, while the Huawei Watch gets a 7? The two watches run the same software…

    • Anne

      Moto 360 watch, Apple watch and more is now on sale only on

    • Tony

      Now grab a discount on Smartwatches only at

  • sluflyer06

    Battery life on the 46mm seems very conservative on this article. I take my watch off the charger at 6am everyday, wear it all day and when I go to sleep I’m at ~73-75%, my estimated runtime each day is consistently over 2 days. I have screen set to always-on and used a variety of 3rd party faces.

  • Alex Mullis

    I really like the original Moto 360. The problem is to get a comparable configuration to what I have now it would cost $100 more. I have no problem spending $250 for a 360, but $350 is pushing it.

  • Ales

    Please learn math!!

    Moto: 7 + 7 + 7,5 +7,5 + 8,5 = 37,5 / 5 = 7,5
    Huawei: 8 + 8 + 7,5 + 7 + 8 = 38,5 / 5 = 7,7

  • Jamie O’Neill

    For those complaining about the score not being an average, it is quite possible the categories are weighted differently, this is fairly common practice. Anyway, I think it’s a great device, just ordered mine. :)

  • doc sunny

    Dont buy motorola watch .
    i had moto360 which got detached from strap in 1 month.
    submitted it to service centre.its been more than 3 months i havent received replacement. they dont have facility and expertise to repair these watches in india. motorola india is very rude.when ever i contact them on mail or phone they just extend the date 15 days saying parts are stuck in customs.
    service centre has 4 customers with same problem in jaipur.
    my advice never buy from motorola.

  • Brian Correll

    Its a shame that the advertise quick release bands and all the different bands that you can get but non available for purchase. they hipe these points . but you can not buy any of the bands .

  • Ronald Sims

    Should I get this or the Huawei watch to go with the MXPE? Will it matter if my phone goes with another smartwatch?

  • Lamont Collins

    Call me when I’m able to talk through it while I’m driving.

  • ricknicklas

    Both watches are good. I love them. And I found them much better than my friend’s Apple Watch which is so overpriced and the battery life is terrible.