Moto 360 (2014) review

Motorola's first smartwatch has looks, but lacks longevity

Moto 360 review

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

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.

Smartwatch specs are often considered boring because they're filled with small numbers and purposefully underperforming processors next to today's monster PC components. That's why a lot of manufacturers are quick to tout the outward appearance before hastily glossing over the lightweight internals. Moto 360 takes this to a whole new level.

There's a Texas Instruments OMAP 3 processor making this digital smartwatch tick, and it's about four-year-old technology that can also be found in the MotoACTIV and Moto Droid X. Maybe Motorola had to burn through these 45nm chips instead of opting for the more efficient, yet capable Qualcomm-made 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 found in the LG G Watch and Gear Live.

Moto 360 review

Moto 360 could have looked like the bezel-heavy prototype on the right. The horror!

The TI OMAP 3 translates into occasional lag when swiping through Android Wear menus, almost as if you didn't apply enough pressure on the touchscreen. It's not you, though, it's the the turn-of-the-decade chip. Just as frustrating is that the watch's connection to our phone (and therefore the internet) was lost several times, more than with its Google-powered rivals.

Even with a decently sized 320mAh battery listed on the specs sheet, the inefficient Moto 360 processor taxes its - at best - day-long battery life before it shuts down. That shouldn't be. Our Samsung Gear Live ran even longer with a Super AMOLED display with a 300mAh battery. Likewise, we got a day and a half out of the LG G Watch with a 400mAh battery.

Moto 360 review

This is what is inside the Moto 360

Moto 360 does come with 512MB and 4GB of internal storage, exactly like the Samsung and LG watches, so the blame lies squarely on the round watch's inferior chip. It does lack the GPS capabilities being introduced with the Sony Smartwatch 3 later this year and offline music playback that is expected to be a part of future Android Wear watches.

However, Motorola managed to make Moto 360 somewhat workout-worthy thanks to a built-in optical heart rate sensor and pedometer neatly integrated into its first-party fitness app.

Matt Swider