Once the expected smartwatch saviour, the original Moto 360 brought circular screens and endless disappointment to the wearables space last year. Twelve months on, the second-gen device (also called the Moto 360) has touched down. But despite making a number of improvements, it’s still plagued by many of the same problems as its predecessor.
Like a petulant child that just won’t listen, the 2015 edition of Motorola’s round smartwatch still suffers from the same screen-impairing “flat tyre” base as the original. But sadly, an inability to fix visual problems isn’t the watch’s only issue – oh no. A less than impressive battery life and all too familiar UI do it no favours either.
True, despite its problems, this is Motorola’s best wearable to date. However, it’s anything but an out-and-out rival to the Apple Watch andSamsung Gear S2.
- Smaller size was needed
- Improved build quality
- Design improvements
- Flat tyre screen ruins the look
- Android Wear still restrictive
- Poor battery life
Moto 360 Design: Traditional styling makes this a visual hit
Overall, this is not a bad-looking device. The new Moto 360 – which comes in silver, black and gold bodies and countless metal and leather strap options – has enjoyed few subtle design improvements that have gone a long way to creating a good-looking bit of kit. Most notably, it now comes in two sizes – with a smaller 42mm model (£229) joining the giant 48mm (£269) offering. It’s this addition of a smaller size, and an improvement in build quality, that really makes a difference.
The wearable simply looks – and more importantly feels – better. It’s comfortable to wear, and the smaller 42mm model doesn’t dwarf the appendages of even fat-wristed men like its larger sibling. At 11.4mm thick, the cool-to-the-touch metal body feels sizeable, but not overly so. Importantly, unlike the Apple Watch, it looks and feels like a traditional watch.
There are small visual changes too. The physical button – shaped like a watch crown, just without Apple’s twisting interface – has moved from 3 to 2 o’clock on the watch face. This does little to improve performance or usability, but it does look just that little bit cooler. Customisation options are a breeze too, and not just because you can pop the strap off in favour of any standard 20mm replacement.