Motorola Moto 360 Review
Pros: Relatively inexpensive, distinct looks
Cons: Flat tire display, light on smart functions
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Moto 360 is a middle-of-the-road wearable device, but couples an attractive level of customization in terms of sizes and wristbands at a price that is substantially lower than the majority of its competitors. This was one of the only watches in our review that has two distinct styles, specifically tailored for men and women. If you are shopping on a budget, or put a higher value on style and customization over having every feature possible packed on your wrist, then this might be the watch for you!
For this review, we bought and tested the top 8 models available on the market today to see which ones filtered to the top. In total, we spent over 160 hours researching and testing these devices side-by-side to determine the scores. Overall, the Moto 360 earned a 53 out of 100, placing it solidly in the middle of the pack.
To test smartwatches we comprised five metrics: Ease of Use, Smart Functions, Fitness Impact, Battery Life, and Display. These weighted metrics each had multiple different tests and the following sections give more detail about where the Moto 360 performed well and where it faltered.
Ease of Use
The most important metric — making up 30% of the total score — was Ease of Use. We compared the charging method, the ease of navigating through the menus and apps on the device, the ease of swapping wristbands, its water resistance, and the ease of taking screenshots. The Motorola Moto 360 scored a 6 out of 10 for its above-average performance, doing particularly well in our charging method test.
The Moto 360 sits securely in a charging cradle, making it one of the most reliable charging methods of the entire group and almost never accidentally disconnected. This model is water resistant, complying with the IP67 standard. This means it can stand immersion in up to 1 meter of freshwater for 30 minutes, but it is not recommended for swimming or to be used while submerged. It is also recommended to keep the leather band dry.
This model lacks a crown or bezel scroll, limiting you to using the touchscreen as your only interface. This screen is reasonably responsive, about on par with the Fossil Q watch. There was a noticeable delay for this watch to wake up, taking a half-second for the screen to light up, on par with the LG Watch Sport. It is also reasonably easy to swap wristbands, similar to the Gear S3 and the Huawei. Finally, like all Android Wear watches, it was exceptionally finicky to capture a screenshot of content on the watch face.
The main set of features for a smartwatch are the smart functions they perform. This metric made up 20% of the total score. The Moto 360 delivered a slightly subpar performance, meriting a 4 out of 10 for its mediocre set of functions. The first and most important test we did in this metric was to test compatibility with popular apps, using a sample set of 10 to compare between models. The Moto 360 worked with Spotify, Strava, IFTTT, and Shazam, but failed to work with Uber, Facebook Messenger, Evernote, Whatsapp, Instagram, or Twitter. This may change when the update to Android Wear 2.0 released, but for now the Moto 360 doesn't have the widest range of app compatibility out there.
This watch lacks a speaker and therefore makes it impossible to take calls from your wrist, but it will notify you to answer your phone if you do receive a call. The Moto 360 is identical to the other Android models when it comes to music controls, they pop up automatically when applicable. The standard Moto 360 does lack a built-in GPS module in the standard version, but the Sport version does have one. It also lacks NFC technology, making it unusable as a payment method.
Our display metric made up 20% of the overall score, with the Motorola Moto 360 deserving a 5 out of 10 for its average display. We compared the quality of the display, its visibility, and the different adjustment modes available.
Our rating panel determined that the 360x325 LED screen on the Moto 360 wasn't quite up on the same level as the award-winning models. This 42mm screen with 263 ppi just wasn't quite as crisp or clear as the Gear S3 or Apple Watch, but it was sharper than the Fossil Q. We did like that you can set the screen to be always on and to automatically adjust brightness, but that was about it. This model doesn't have a completely circular screen, having a clipped bottom reminiscent of a flat tire.
It wasn't the easiest to read display in bright light, about on par with the Huawei and the Asus ZenWatch.
Delivering an essentially average performance, the Moto 360 earned a 5 out of 10 in this metric, which made up 15% of the total score. We evaluated the different workout profiles available on each watch, the accuracy of the heart rate monitor and step counter, as well as whether or not the device counted flights of stairs climbed.
This watch had the same set of workout profiles as the other Android Wear models, with all of these watches using the same Google Fit app to track your fitness. You can see duration, calories burned, average pace, and steps, as well as your track if you bring a GPS-equipped phone along with you for the different workout profiles, including walking, running, treadmill, cycling, and spinning, stair machine, or other, if your activity doesn't fall under any of those.
This model has a heart rate monitor that was usually within 5 bpm of the chest strap model we used as a control, though it did take a little while to settle in on the correct number. The step counter was alright, coming up about 33 steps shy of our manual count on a mile walk, or 3.1% off. This model does not track flights of stairs climbed throughout the day, neglecting that common fitness metric.
Last, we compared the battery life of each model for our final metric, which made up 15% of the score. The Moto 360 had an above average battery life, earning it a 6 out of 10. It earned this score primarily by lasting for 34 hours of normal use in our test, where we sent a set schedule of calls and notifications to each watch and measured how long they lasted. It charges decently fast, making it to 50% in 42 minutes and finishing totally after 80 minutes.
The Moto 360 is one of the more attractively priced models of the bunch and performed reasonably well, making it one of the better value options in the review.
This average smartwatch is a little on the barren side in terms of features but is a great choice for those that want a highly customizable smartwatch without breaking the bank.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer