Motorola Moto 360 Sport Review Facts
The Motorola Moto 360 Sport is a smart watch that entered the market to meet the needs of runners that wish to stay connected while on the move. With a uniquely innovative screen, it allows for readability of activity date and communication notifications from paired devices in all conditions. It sports an optical built-in heart rate monitor that has received less than stellar reviews and it also claims the status of being one of the few watches to have GPS and only the second Android Wear watch equipped with it. The GPS, which many feel syncs very quickly, is what lets runners use the watch independently and should be able to more accurately measure run data like pace and distance in real time for continued improvement. And while a smart phone would allow the 360 Sport more comprehensive access to all the features, pairing is not necessary. It is important to note that compatible devices include Android phones running 4.3 or higher, or iOS 8.2 or higher that supports Bluetooth. Despite allowing for iOS, most feel that full functionality is not realized with it and recommend finding another watch.
The Motorola Moto 360 Sport is the amped up younger sibling to the Moto 360. It runs on Android Wear, which is Google's operating system created just for smart watches. As a smart watch, the Moto 360 Sport can receive most notifications from compatible phones and also monitor daily activity such as step count
and calorie burn as well as track running activities. The metrics gathered from these activities can also be analyzed in depth on the paired device. Though with the Android Wear app installed directly on the watch, the 360 Sport can act independently of the paired phone. Some users are disappointed that the watch can not function as a multisport tracker though others feel that just selecting the RUN option and performing the desired activity (i.e., cycling) yields enough data for those less obsessed with the numbers game.
The Moto 360 Sport not only transmits data from your paired smart phone to your wrist in the form of communication notifications or traffic updates, it also measures and records data like step count
and calories burned. With its built in GPS, it offers the option to function independently of a smart phone and act as a run tracker and also give turn-by-turn directions on planned running routes too. Paired with pre-installed sensors, calculating pace, distance and elevation changes are also part of the package. It does not offer the ability to change modes to track other sports like cycling.
The Motorola Moto 360 Sport offers simple menu navigation and voice commands which are considered by some to be easier to use than the traditional touchscreen or button press navigation system. And with the Moto 360 Sport utilizing its dual mic system for them, this feature that allows for simple commands is well received. Users can personalize how connected they stay...As far as smart phone capabilities go, one can customize their notification modes just as many do on smartphones. For example, on the Moto 360 Sport, they can be switched off completely to allow for more seamless, focused workouts
. Having this option sits well with many. It is good also to note that, for security purposes, the option of a screen lock is also available.
As stated earlier, the Moto 360 Sport is one of the few watches to have GPS
and only the second Android Wear one to have it making it standout among its competitors. With built in sensors Barometric Altimeter, Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Vibration/Haptics engine working in conjunction with GPS and wi-fi, the Moto 360 Sport aims to offer comprehensive feedback on performed activities. Unfortunately, many have found one of the chinks in the armor of 360 Sport to be its accuracy claiming it not able to keep up and often provides misleading and incorrect measurements for step counts and run tracking information. In addition, the built in optical Heart Rate Monitor could measure resting heart rate or heart rate when one was standing still but has received negative feedback from a few reviewers that found it to be inaccurate as soon as one started moving rendering it largely ineffective for those training by heart rate
or looking for real-time data. Even tightening the band to fit snugly did not correct the issue.
The Moto 360 Sport is equipped with GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy and a handful of other sensors geared toward measuring data like altitude/elevation. Those wishing to listen to music must use bluetooth headphones
and unfortunately, some found the connectivity on this front poor; however, overall, 360 Sport seems to find and sync with satellites quickly.
Pre-installed on the Moto 360 Sport is the Moto Body app that helps measure and record valuable running data lilke pace and distance and also daily activities like step and calorie counts
And while, Motorola claims that the wqatch is compatible with Android and iOS phones, it also warns that features will vary across the different platforms. Some find the capabilities paired with iOS are enough but reviews indicate that Android users have access to useful third party apps, like RunKeeper or Strava
, that iOS users will not. In addition to activity apps, one that some found useful was the google music app... It requires a little setup but allows you to download your favorite tunes and pair your bluetooth headphones for easy access. BUT because of the limited space on the watch ( 4Gb with only 2.5 available for other purposes) users may feel a little pinched when it comes to gathering more than a few songs.
Many found the band to be made from less comfortable rubber feeling silicone. Despite offering ventilation for sweat, it pulled on skin and felt warm to some. The rear of the watch face is made of plastic as well and there were some reviewers that felt that Motorola skimped a bit in this area.
Most agree that the Moto 360 Sport is handsome and some consider it slightly sci-fi but overall it achieves an appropriately sporty look. Its beautiful glass screen surrounded by a circle bezel that looks like silver but is actually plastic, is eye catching. The colors the non-changeable silicone band is offered in are black, white, and flame (orange). It measures 11.5 mm thick and weighs a decent 54g.
Considered rugged by some, in design and function, the Moto 360 Sport carries an IP67 rating making it water and dust resistant. Its silicone band, while not totally comfortable, is said to be sturdy even if it still picks up things like lint and doghair easily. Not in keeping with many in the smart/sports watch niche that offer a 5atm water resistance rating (allowing up to 50m depth water), the 360 Sport should not be kept under a stream of water and is considered "splashproof." The screen is made from strong Corning Gorilla Glass 3 that most find to be durable and to further protect the watch, an optional wearable protective case is available.
The Moto 360 Sport boasts a customizable face with easy menu navigation. Using the Android Wear app, one can select the preferred customization including accent and background color. But the most impressive feature, many believe, is the remarkable screen display. Made from strong Corning Gorilla glass 3, it measures 1.37" or 35m and functions with a resolution of 263 ppi (360 X 325). The uniqueness comes in its use of AnyLight Hybrid Display which is described as a traditional backlit LCD screen (like those found on smartphones) with a front-lit reflective one. This transreflective screen helps the display remain visible even in direct sunlight. To top it off, the transition from light to dark seems to occur naturally and practically seamlessly. But while most love the display and this feature, there are some that claimed a little warping of text on the edges between display and casing affecting readability but overall, most are very pleased.
The predecessor Moto 360 came equipped with leather straps and Motorola stepped up its ruggedness by having the Moto 360 Sport sport thicker silicone bands. The silicone band has a rubbery feel that some consider wearable but less comfortable, lending itself to sticking and sweating between it and the skin, despite the built in ventilation holes. The bands come standard in three colors but are non-removable so there are not options post purchase.
The watch band is adjustable but comes only in one size. The bands are not changeable so no options for larger or smaller sizes is available.
Ease of Use
Most felt that the Moto 360 Sport was intuitive and easy to use. Simple, touchscreen with voice control from built-in dual mics, and one button navigation acting as a power toggle lend themselves to a frustration free experience when navigating menus. In addition to touchscreen capability, the 360 Sport also offers the ability to use hand gestures to control functions. For example, power down by completely covering the phone with your hand until the watch vibrates or try a simple flick of the wrist allows for quick scrolling.
The Motorola Moto 360 Sport replenishes via a wireless charging pod. A simple USB cable connects to the dock and into a wall outlet and the face displays a visual charge level indicator so you can see when you'll be ready to head back out to track your next running adventure
. The included battery is a 300mAh power pack that is non-replaceable. With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor that Motorola claims will assist with battery life, many are still surprised to find the 360 Sport seriously lacking in this area. As mentioned earlier, reviews point out that there are chinks in the armor of the 360 Sport...and this battery life is another one. Most are disappointed with the paltry amount of time they can use the watch without recharging. Some say they struggle to get one days' use with GPS
on (likely not able to track an entire marathon). And even with it off, users have cited only being left with a small percentage of life left with just standard clock use.
Split over cost, some think the Moto 360 Sport is costly, others affordable. It debuted at a slightly higher than comparable price to competitors in the market but some felt the on board GPS really made this worthwhile. However, others still feel that while it may be a good price for a decent run-tracker, the fact that it is not intended for multisport use is a downer. Availability is limited now as it is no longer on the Google play store so if you're looking to purchase a Moto 360 Sport, you'll need to visit a third-party seller.
As the bands on the watch are permanent and cannot be changed, color customizing with a band is not an option. Though one can readily purchase accessories aimed to promote the durability of the watch with an all-over protective case or choose from a variety of screen covers.
The Motorola Moto 360 Sport is designed to track daily activity as well as running metrics and communicate notifications from your smartphone.
Marketed as compatible with both Android and iOS platforms, most found functionality limited or lacking when paired with Apple devices.
The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 transreflective screen is strong and impressively adapts to changing light conditions, remaining visible even in full sun
The onboard GPS puts the Moto 360 Sport into a niche with only a few other smartwatches with this feature.
The built-in heart rate monitor works fine as long as the user is static but once movement occurs, many feel it is no longer accurate, making it not conducive to assisting with the heart rate training method to which some runners adhere .
The battery life leaves much to be desired as many have reported it can last a full day with GPS active. One review claimed it could not last tracking a full marathon.
With almost equal positive and negative feedback, it seems clear that the Moto 360 Sport has some good points but that they get weighed down and washed out by what is lacking or ineffective. The impressive transreflective display and onboard GPS are two great features that it seems many users would love to utilize. The disappointing battery life is a clear deciding factor for some against. Accepting this watch to act like a fitbit
yields more satisfaction but at the higher price point, users expect more for their money. With a good basis, if Motorola could take its solid tech and ideas and work out the kinks in battery life and accuracy of the GPS and heart rate monitor, it seems there would be a market for that. If you have an Apple
phone, it's probably best to select another watch. Android users should save their money this time around and hopefully be on the lookout for a new improved version in the future.