Moto 360 (2015) vs Moto 360 (2014): is it worth the upgrade?

New Moto 360 vs Moto 360: Specs

The Moto 360 2nd Gen specs is brains meets beauty, where the first edition lacked the power needed to keep up with its fancy circular display. It was slower and underpowered.

The biggest change comes with the processor. It's now a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chip with 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and a Adreno 305 450MHz GPU.

What's that mean? Motorola essentially catches up to the guts of rival Android Wear watches, and ditches the old Texas Instruments OMAP 3 it used a year ago. I've heard that MOTOACTV used the same outdated TI processor, so maybe Motorola just had an overstock it was trying to get rid of?

The new Moto 360 is faster and more responsive, like it should be, and now includes the same 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and is waterproof with an IP67 rating, or up to one meter submerged for 30 minutes.

It comes with Android Wear 5.1.1 out of the box, which means WiFi connectivity is here from the get-go and it supports iPhone compatibility. The older Moto 360 also unofficially makes some of the iOS to Android watch features work, too.

New Moto 360 vs Moto 360: Battery life

Moto 360 battery life has been much improved, lasting more hours per charge despite the fact that the ambient light mode finally allows the screen to stay minimally lit all of the time.

That's a feature that was in rival Android Wear watches I missed last year whenever my screen turned completely off instead of dimmed.

The men's 46mm Moto 360 battery life is up to two days with mixed use with those mode off, or a full day with mixed use with it off, according to Motorola. Its 400mAh capacity bests last year's device in which I was lucky to have to last the entire day without that ambient light feature at all.

The men and women's 42mm watch lasts a day and a half with ambient mode off and a full day with it on, despite its smaller 300 mAh battery capacity.

The same wireless charging dock is included, so if you're upgrade, bonus. You now have two.

New Moto 360 vs Moto 360: Price and availability

Moto 360

Everything about the new Moto 360 sounds like a major upgrade, but here's one area in which you don't want to see Motorola make a big change: the price.

The newer smartwatch now starts at $299 (£229, AU$329) for the 42mm smartwatch and, at least in the US, adds $50 to that price for the 46mm version.

That contrasts with the older Moto 360 that just ended its run at $150 (£135). But, taking everything into context, it first launched at $250 (£200, AU$329) when it came out 12 months ago. I'm sure there will be a price drop after Black Friday and the holidays here, too.

New Moto 360 vs Moto 360: Verdict

I'm a big fan of the Moto 360 smartwatches. It has a minimalist watch casing that doesn't focus on the lugs, but accentuates the watch face. The Samsung Gear S2 follows that same theme.

The decision between the new Moto 360 and the old version is pretty clear if you're ordering from the official Motorola store. The new watch actually replaces the old one. But you can still chose between the two second hand.

If you're new to the smartwatch game, spring for the new watch since it has a more responsive processor, additional size and options and better display. If you're thinking about upgrading, see if you can offload your old one to new buyers who don't take my advice, then put your money toward that brand new Moto 360.

Matt Swider