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Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen) review: The best Android Wear smartwatch gets better

Motorola set the benchmark for Android Wear smartwatches last year with the Moto 360. It was the face of Android Wear by being among the first smartwatches with a round display, metal finish and overa

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Motorola set the benchmark for Android Wear smartwatches last year with the Moto 360. It was the face of Android Wear by being among the first smartwatches with a round display, metal finish and overall premium design. It was probably the only smartwatch that looked like a watch and something that didn’t make the ‘nerd alert’ alarms to go off when worn. The Moto 360 (2nd Gen) retains almost everything good about its predecessors and improves on its shortcomings. 

Taking cue from the Apple Watch, the Moto 360 (2nd Gen) comes in two different sizes – 46mm and 42mm – for men, which come with 22mm and 20mm bands respectively. There’s another 42mm version for women that comes with a thinner 16mm band. Then there are options for bezel colors and straps. Everything said, the Moto 360 (2nd Gen) is perhaps the most customizable Android Wear smartwatch.

In terms of design, Motorola has made some crucial changes. The crown has been shifted from the 3 ‘o clock position to slightly higher at 2 ‘o clock position which makes it more user friendly. They have also changed the band lugs, which makes it easy to change bands. Also you can now use standard bands as well.

The Moto 360 (2nd Gen) comes with IP67 rating for water resistance, though I won’t be jumping into a pool or shower with it, given the metal casing and leather band. This is essentially to ensure the watch doesn’t stop functioning when you get caught in a sudden downpour or from sweat.

motorola-moto-360-2nd-gen-review (1)A lot has also changed in terms of the internals. The display has become sharper – the 42mm variant comes with a 1.37-inch 263ppi (360×325 pixels), while the 46mm features a 1.56-inch 233ppi (360×330 pixels) display. The colors are punchy and visible even under sunlight. There’s even a setting where the display isn’t on at all times, which pushes the battery to nearly two days of usage. Finally, a premium smartwatch that doesn’t need to be charged daily.

The only shortcoming is that even the Moto 360 (2nd Gen) doesn’t have a full circular display. Just like the earlier version, the display is cut off at the bottom where the light sensor and display connectors are housed. You won’t notice it if you have a black watch face but gets annoying in the rest of the UI.

Motorola has also ditched the Texas Instruments processor and has opted for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 processor coupled with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Things are noticeably faster when you open apps or notifications.

In terms of UI, it is quite similar to any other Android Wear smartwatch. But Motorola has made some tweaks especially when it comes to watch faces. There are a couple of dials that offer customization options to add more widgets like world clock, weather, step count, calendar and others. The implementation is quite similar to what Apple calls ‘complications’.

Talking about Apple, the Moto 360 (2nd Gen) works with the iPhone as well but the functionality is limited. You will get notifications but you can’t act on them. For iPhone users, the Apple Watch still remains the only smartwatch worth considering.

The Moto 360 (2nd Gen) also comes with wrist gestures where you can flick your wrist to scroll between notifications. But I found them to be unintuitive. While Google had announced Android Wear support for circular displays, the implementation is not perfect. The UI elements in apps still feel out of place at times.

motorola-moto-360-2nd-gen-review (5)Motorola has priced the Moto 360 (2nd Gen) staring from Rs 19,999 for the 42mm men and women variants for the leather band and Rs 22,999 for the metal band. The 46mm men’s variant is priced at Rs 23,999.

If you are in the market for a premium Android Wear smartwatch that lasts for more than a day on a single charge, the Moto 360 is perhaps the only one that I would recommend. If style statement is not something important, then there are many cheaper Android Wear smartwatches out there.

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  • Published Date: December 1, 2015 5:13 PM IST
  • Updated Date: December 1, 2015 6:41 PM IST