Scores in depth
Moto 360 review
Moto 360 review
Moto 360 review
Moto 360 review
Moto 360 review

Update 15/12/2014: Motorola has stated that all Moto 360 devices should now have received the Android 5.0 Lollipop update, bringing all of the cool new features of Google's latest mobile operating system to its wearable.

Update 12/12/2014: Along with two new band colors - silver and the new champagne gold - Android Wear has been updated with Android 5.0 Lollipop meaning the Moto 360 should have some nifty new functions coming soon.

The update is focusing on watch faces which you can download from the Google Play store. Designs are centered around PAC-MAN, Despicable Me, Plants vs Zombies (which you can check out below) and much, much more thanks to a new Watch Face API now available to developers.

The Android Wear app has also been updated to make browsing, downloading and switching watch faces simpler - plus you can now view your apps' battery usage and storage. You can also quickly bring a card back if you've accidentally dismissed it, quickly access various settings by swiping down from the top of the screen, easily block notifications from any app directly from your watch and recently used actions now appear at the top of the list when you tap the watch face.

New modes include Theater Mode which lets you keep the screen off and mute vibrations when you're in a dark room, and Sunlight Mode which temporarily boosts the screen to maximum brightness.

With the update, users can add and swap out Android Wear watch faces using the companion phone app.

Moto 360

Moto 360

Moto 360

The update is rolling out now into next week.

Original review below ...

Moto 360 proves that smartwatches can be as fashionable as its Google Now-integrated software is functional, making it the first Android Wear watch worth strapping to your wrist.

Its circular watch face takes cues from stylish designer wristwatches with analog tickers, not square-shaped smartwatches. The very computerized-looking Pebble Steel, Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch are no match for what Motorola had up its sleeve.

There's a certain beauty to outer Moto 360 build quality too, not just its form. Its stainless steel housing and genuine leather default wristband make it appropriate for almost any occasion. It's enough to make it rank second in our best smartwatch list.

The specs on the inside, however, do leave the smartwatch feeling a little hollow. Poor battery life and an underperforming processor don't do Moto 360's good looks justice. The watch's charm is shortened by its lack of longevity, but Motorola clearly shaped a winner that's more ambitious looking than the overly boxy Apple Watch.

Moto 360 review
Moto 360 has style and substance, just not battery life or a reliable processor

Release date and price

Moto 360 launched in the US on September 5, and it's currently on sale (but sold out) at select UK stores while on pre-order at others. Expect it to ship again with a late October release date from O2, Clove, Amazon, John Lewis and Tesco. In Australia, it's still on track for the vague fourth quarter.

The Moto 360 price in the US and UK is on par with its all-metal construction and leather strap. It costs a reasonable $250 (£200, likely AU$275). That's $100 cheaper vs the entry-level Apple Watch.

That's only a little more expensive than the extremely limited Android Wear smartwatch pickings from Samsung and LG, none of which can compare to Motorola's stylish design. Moto 360 may be cheaper than rival round smartwatch competitor LG G Watch R too, so it's reasonably priced.

Display

There are few sharp-edged downsides to the Moto 360, and none of them can be found on its round, 1.56-inch LCD display. In fact, Motorola's enterprising circular screen is so attractive it instantly became the antithesis of the "smartwatches look like a miniaturized cell phone worn on your wrist" argument when Google first announced Android Wear in March.

Complimenting this traditional watch appearance is Moto 360's always-on screen. It tells the time even when its backlit LCD kicks into a power-saving dimmed display mode. It shares this feature with the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch along with Gorilla Glass 3 protection. All three watches remained scratch-free during our week-long testing periods.

Moto 360 review
Which would you rather wear? A battery-sipping Pebble Steel or stylish Moto 360?

Moto 360 further draws circles around its competition with an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the LCD brightness. It's especially convenient when you need a bright screen in sunny conditions or want to reduce battery life consumption in dark environments without having to manually adjust the setting. Walking and fiddling with a tiny touchscreen you can't even see outside is a wearables world problem that Moto 360 solves. Pebble has this bonus feature sans a color-rich screen, while the colorful Galaxy Gear and G Watch do not.

This does mean that the Moto 360 LCD isn't a full circle. Its ambient light sensor and display drivers are housed inside a blank horizon line that sits at the bottom of the watch face. While the black bar doesn't ruin the analog watch experience, the screen is cut off and it has allowed the LG G Watch R to tout itself as the first "full circle" Android Wear smartwatch. LG is hiding the components inside the outer bezel, masked with second-hand tick marks, while Motorola chose to extend the screen pixels to the edge. It's really a matter of preference.

Moto 360 review
We're more worried about the LCD's screen door effect than the blank horizon line

Filling that nearly perfect circle is 205 pixels per inch with a 320 x 290 resolution. That's roughly the same resolution as the smaller Gear Live but fewer pixels vs Samsung's 278ppi. Doing the math, this means Moto 360's bigger LCD has stretched pixels and there's a noticeable "screen door effect" in a side-by-side comparison. Moto 360 also forgoes a fancy OLED screen like Samsung's smartwatches and sapphire glass like the forthcoming Apple Watch. But it's a better trade-off given the on-point price.

Hands and wrists down, Moto 360 has the best-looking smartwatch design thanks to its circular display that other smartwatches are clearly looking to mimic.