Motorola was once at the top of the smartwatch game. They were the first brand to create a circular touchscreen watch face after all. But, due to lack of interest from consumers, they backed out of the market in 2016. Well, four years later, and a third-party tech company called eBuyNow who licence and redesign old forgotten tech for new markets, we’ve got a brand new Moto360 offering.
The packaging took me by surprise when it turned up in the office. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t this. The box is cylindrical, with a lid on top. Inside you can find the watch itself dead centre, with the two watch straps – one light brown leather for style and one black silicon for fitness sessions – around the outside. Underneath this plate was your instruction manuals and a bit of correspondance and the tiny charger. It was all presented very nicely.
I opted for the black leather strap, as I felt it looked the better of the two, and to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of leather watch straps myself, but your taste may vary of course. Hooking the straps to the side of the watch was a little fiddly due to the sheer tiny size of the metal spikes that needed to be fed into a couple of tiny holes, but it was nothing that couldn’t be done in seconds.
What was interesting, and I’ve not seen this before in a smart device, or even a mobile for that matter, is the fact that my phone recognised a new watch had been activated in the vercinity, before I even downloaded the Wear OS software, ot found it manually in the Bluetooth menu.
My phone received a notification asking me to set up the new watch and away I went. I downloaded Wear OS, and followed the on-screen instructions, which included connecting to the Moto 360 using Bluetooth. It was all a very simple process.
So, the watch face itself is primarity made from stainless steel, and our version of the Moto360 that we received for review looked extremely smart. It’s 1.2-inches in diameter and udes OLED technology, which made the screen easy to read. One thing I did have to do myself though, and that’s probably due to my not so great eyesight is turn the text size up to large, and turn automatic brightness off and set it to its brightest setting. This was a littly disappointing, as I felt the clarity of the Moto360 was a little lacking compared to what we’ve seen coming from Apple and Samsung of late. Of course, a brighter screen will also be more of a battery hog.
On the right hand side of the watch face are two buttons. The top enters the menu, and it also rotates to make it easier to scroll through lists. The bottom button can be customised to open an app of your choice. Each button is larger in diameter to the older Moto360 watches released way back, which is a nice touch, and both buttons are very responsive.
One thing I did find a little strange is the fact the screen has an invisible border, making it look smaller than it should be. I’m surprised the screen doesn’t go from edge to edge like we’ve seen on things like the Apple Watches or even the Samsung Galaxy Watches.
So, under the hood. What we looking at? Well, the Moto360 has a Snapdragon 3100 processor with 1GB RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The watch is also capable of GPS, and NFC for mobile payments which was easy to set up with Google Pay on your mobile and lastly, a heartrate monitor. Because where would we be without some form of fitness integration in a smart watch ay? It’s pretty much a given these days.
Being a Wear OS centricc watch as well also has its limitations, and when I dived into the Android app on my phone, features were a little lackluster again. Inside of the Wear OS app I can set watch faces to suit my style, set tiles which are reached by swiping the watch face. These range from fitness focussed, to a timer to time your workouts, a tile to measure your heartrate, amd Google Headlines for the top news stories and also a tile for the weather.
There is interestingly enough a Hand-wash timer clock which gives you 40 seconds to wash your hands properly. Annoyingly though, this didn’t seem to pick up automatically like the new Apple Watch OS, and you have to activate it, making it a little counter-intuitive if you need to touch your watch straight after using the toilet. It’ll also remind you to wash your hands every three hours.
The Moto360 also has access to your calendar, so you can keep a track of your day’s agenda by looking at your wrist. If you’ve got calendar alerts, the watch will let you know too. This counts for all Google accounts logged into your device, which I thought was nice. You can turn specific accounts off too if you didn’t want to receive notifications for them on your watch. Lastly, Google Assistant makes an appearance, so you’re able to ask basic functions like open the fitness app, or set a timer or add a calendar reminder.
One thing I am pretty impressed with, and that’s the battery life. I could easily stretch out two and a half days, before having to recharge the device. And that’s with the Always On display in action. There is a power saving mode which stretches out the battery life to three days, but if your battery gets too low, the watch turns into just a watch. You can only tell the time on it. The Moto360s charger is extremely small, and works by resting the Moto360 onto a magnetised plate. It’s held in place rather well, but the flat style cable that pertrudes from the most awkward place on the base of the charger is a little bit of a problem, as it doesn’t allow the charger to sit flat on my desk, and the cutout isn’t deep enough to really trail the cable through. You have the ability to charge this watch from flat to full in around 60 minutes, which is also a bonus if you’re looking for a quick top-up before leaving the house for work.
The Moto360 was at one point one of the best selling smartwatches. But, as you know, Motorola discontinued them back in 2016. And now that its surfaced again, it’s unfortunately lacking a lot of functionality that you can expect from Apple or Samsung. However saying that, it’s a simple smartwatch that looks pretty premium too. Sure, the screen needs some work to keep up with the big brands, but it’s still completely usable, even for someone like me with sub-par eyesight. But, if you’re someone that wants to keep track of your fitness, or has a busy schedule then the Moto360 is a decent looking timepiece to have on your wrist. At time of writing this review, the Moto360 can be found for around £269. For more information, head over to the Moto360 website.