Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Generation) Review Facts
When it was released in 2014, the original Motorola Moto 360 made a big impression in the smartwatch market. Using the Android Wear operating system, the first generation of the Moto 360 was a serious competitor to the Apple Watch. But for those who prefer to wait for the second edition of any new tech to make sure the kinks have been worked out came the second generation of the Motorola Moto 360 just a year later.
Now running on the Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch operating system, the Moto 360 2nd Gen is also compatible with iPhones and has improved upon a number of features since the 1st gen. With a higher pixel density in its screen, which results in a sharper image, and a far smoother performance since its 1st gen, the second generation of the Moto 360 also comes in two sizes–labeled Men and Women, which refer to style but both come in both larger and (slightly) smaller designs–for those who like to have a choice over the size of their smartwatch.
With a number of updates to the hardware from the first generation, including a faster processor, 4GB of internal storage space, and with IP67 waterproof rating, which allows for this smartwatch to be submerged up to one meter submergence for to 30 minutes, the Moto 360 Gen 2 is a more powerful and stable smartwatch that’s greatly improved upon the (sometimes buggy) first generation.
Working in conjunction with a number of Android apps, including the Moto Body app, for tracking training and running stats, and with an intuitive touch screen menu system that brings the user to their desired screen in just a few swipes, the 2nd Gen Motorola Moto 360 is a solid update from an already strong smartwatch and fitness tracker.
Both a smartwatch and activity tracker, the Moto 360 2nd Gen has a number of features that regular smartwatches would have: forwarded texts and emails, apps
that sync with your smartphone, and built-in GPS. For the fitness-focused, however, the 2nd Gen also has a built-in Moto Body app that has a pedometer, tracks calories burned
, and has an optical heart rate monitor
that measures your BPM from your wrist built in. These built-in features are for beginner or casual runners, but more apps are available for more complex metrics to be recorded and analyzed.
With its built-in sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, vibration engine, optical heart rate monitor, and ambient light sensor, the Moto 360 2nd Gen has all the capabilities of a fitness tracker. Its heart rate monitor
also takes accurate on-the-spot readings of the user’s BPM in the Moto Body app, as well.
This smartwatch also records your vitals and activity statistics that provide daily and weekly metrics on your activity, providing averages across these periods of time. A daily dashboard that monitors, graphs, and keeps track of your goals is also included, along with weekly progress emails and motivation alerts. In addition, the Moto 360 2nd Gen has a built-in GPS.
The updated Android Wear 2.0 system allows for the Moto 360 2nd Gen to operate more smoothly and integrate more seamlessly with your smartphone. But the most advanced feature to get the most out of this smartwatch as a fitness tracker is the Moto Body app. This app charts your metrics and displays these stats in an easy-to-read format while also tracking
daily and weekly activity, including total steps taken and heart rate trends. Considering that the built-in heart rate monitor in the 360 2nd Gen is still a somewhat premium feature in Android Wear smartwatches, this gives the 2nd Gen a bit of an edge as an activity tracker
With an accurate heart rate monitor, pedometer, and with a built-in GPS
that measures pace, speed, and distance, the Moto 360 2nd Gen is a relatively accurate fitness tracker. However, it is not necessarily its primary function--after all, this is a smartwatch first.
Although it runs on Android Wear and is an Android
smartwatch, the Moto 360 2nd Gen can also sync with iPhone 5 and above phones running on iOS 8.2 and up. Of course it also syncs with Android phones. Besides its Bluetooth capability, this smartwatch is also WiFi compatible, which is useful when away from your smartphone.
Moto Body is the main app for the Moto 360 2nd Gen as a fitness tracker, while Google Fit is a sturdy backup app, as well. The Moto Body app also notifies the user of their fitness progress throughout the day, tracking and notifying you of where you are to your daily set goals. These goals
can also be adjusted either through the Moto Body app on your phone or directly on the watch itself.
The Moto 360 2nd Gen comes with a standard leather band that fits firmly onto the wrist. Some design improvements--including moving the crown (which serves as the home and back button) now sits slightly higher on the watch, which helps avoid having it dig into your skin--have greatly improved overall comfort. However, it’s still a relatively chunky watch, weighing in at 11.2 ounces/318 grams and with a round face. There are also slightly different designs available for both men and women, style-wise, and in slightly larger or smaller (46mm vs. 42mm) sizes for both, as well.
With its classic round design, thin bezel that allows the user to see more on its display, and an improved crown button that has been moved up to the 2 o’clock position, the Moto 360 2nd Gen has retained the style of the first edition only with slight tweaks and improvements in its minimalist
design. However, what the 2nd Gen has improved upon are watch body options: besides the standard silver finish, the 2nd gen also comes in black, gold, and rose gold finishes. Looking more like a high-end watch than a smartwatch, Motorola has opted to truly integrate the classic with the futuristic, as the default watch displays attest to.
The Moto 360 2nd Gen is 1P67 dust and water resistant (but not waterproof) and can stand immersion in freshwater (but not salt) for up to 30 minutes. However, it is not designed to work underwater and should not be used during swimming. Besides this, the leather band will also be damaged if exposed to water. The face is covered by scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3.
The face of the Moto 360 comes in slightly varying sizes, with larger designs having a 1.56-inch display (223 dpi, 360X330) and smaller designs featuring a 1.37-inch display (263 dpi, 360X325). Its classic circular dial watch face may trick some at first glance into thinking it’s a high-end digital watch, and the display is covered by Gorilla Glass 3 for extra protection.
While the Moto 360 2nd Gen comes with a standard leather band, there are numerous options available for the user to customize their wearing experience. In fact, you can go online and use the Moto Maker to customize a band to your taste and size. Unlike the first edition, removing and replacing the band is easy, so swapping out bands is a snap--and it may be a good idea to pick up an extra band since the standard leather band tends to wear quickly.
The Moto 360 2nd Gen comes in two sizes, the 42mm and the 46mm case. Both sizes come in both men and women’s designs, although the male design is relatively gender-neutral. However, the smaller size is also recommended for those with thinner wrists since this is a relatively chunky smartwatch.
Ease of Use
Like many touch screen smartwatches, the Moto 360 2nd Gen is about swiping your way through its different screens to get where you’re going. Flicking through cards by swiping up or down and swiping left to right will remove these from the menus. But with new gestures built into the 2nd gen, you can also navigate the watch’s menus by raising or dropping your wrist, as well. In short, its ease of use is similar to that of an Android phone.
Using a charging cradle, just as the first edition did, the Moto 360 2nd Gen can go from dead to fully charged in just 45 minutes and the charges lasts about a day with features on and a little longer than a day with just the display face on, which is an improvement over the last model. In addition, the power cradle also comes with two detachable USB cords so you can charge other devices from the cradle, as well.
With great capabilities as a smartwatch and some solid features as an activity tracker, complete with built-in heart monitor, the Moto 360 2nd Gen is an impressive piece of technology--and its price tag reflects that. Although not the most expensive smartwatch or fitness tracker on the market (it’s cheaper than the Apple Watch Series II
), it’s still perhaps more expensive than some looking for a fitness tracker would want to spend. But its cost is reflective of its capacity as a smartwatch.
There are numerous replacement bands available for the Moto 360 2nd Gen that come in a variety of materials--leather, metal, rubber--and colors. A screen protector, watch band display case(!), and separate charger are also available.
- An Android-powered smartwatch that also functions as a fitness tracker
- Built-in heart rate monitor that tracks BPM for daily and weekly stats
- Circular face with a touch screen interface that’s easy to navigate
- Moto Body app helps keep track of fitness regimen and provides daily and weekly metrics
- Improved performance from the 1st Gen has ironed out glitches and buggy software
The Moto 360 2nd Gen is a solid improvement from the first edition, that’s for sure: the Android Wear 2.0 software has largely fixed the at-times glitchy software problems the initial Moto 360 had, while an improved design allows for the user to switch out bands for extra comfort. Although one would label the Motorola Moto 360 2nd Gen as a smartwatch first and a fitness tracker second, its accurate recording of steps taken, calories burned, and bpm--in conjunction with the Moto Body app--also provides the user with a well-defined snapshot of their daily and weekly exercise performance. This may not be the first choice for runners, but for those looking for a smartwatch that will also work as a fitness tracker, the Moto 360 2nd Gen is a versatile choice.