Moto 360 (2015) review

Is it more than a pretty face?

Moto 360

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We first reviewed the Moto 360 back in October 2014. Since then, we've had the chance to review two very worthy competitors, the Samsung Gear S2 and the Huawei Watch.

Starting with the Android Wear-toting Huawei Watch, which looks strikingly similar to the Moto 360. In terms of internal specifications, these watches are identical, however, the Huawei Watch has a much clearer and more vibrant 400 x400 screen (which is fully circular, unlike the Moto 360's).

The design of the Huawei Watch is a little more chunky, but it's nevertheless a well-made, solid, and premium Android Wear competitor. However, that added panache does come at a cost, with the starting cost around £299 (US$349.99, around AU$549), which is a bit more than the Moto 360.

Moto 360 comparison models

Also competing with the Moto 360 is Samsung's Gear S2, which, despite running Tizen OS, is compatible with many Android smartphones.

The S2 is currently our favorite smartwatch, the innovative bezel makes navigating the UI incredibly simple and intuitive. The watch is well-made, but in my opinion, it's not as fetching as the Moto 360. Part of the blame lies in the Gear S2 looks like a piece of technology, instead of a modern timepiece. It has a certain futuristic chic, but the Moto 360 is more traditional, and fashion focused.

The lack of apps does let down the Gear S2's appeal. The Gear Store is certainly barren in comparison to the Google Play Store, which itself isn't exactly overflowing with apps. Whether that's a problem or not is a question that only you can answer, as wrist-based apps are one of the features we find ourselves using the least.

When the Samsung Gear S2 was first released it was more expensive than the Moto 360, priced around £249.99 ($299.99, around AU$428). But now the cost of the watch has fallen a little bit, so both can be picked up for around the same price.


Like the LG Watch Urbane, Asus ZenWatch 2 and the Huawei Watch, the Moto 360, too, is capable of syncing up with your iPhone.

However, the compatibility comes with a caveat, being that it's extremely limited in terms of features. You get the basic notifications … and that's about it. Your texts don't come through with the personable photos attached to your contacts and overall, the experience is nowhere near as good as it is when paired with an Android device.

Moto 360

If you're synced up to an iPhone, you can't offload music from Google Music to the wearable. For me, one of the biggest hindrances was a cosmetic one, in that the selection of watchfaces available is lacking, to say the least. Without Google Play access, you're bound to be disappointed with the selection.

That said, the cross-compatibility was an exciting bit of news when it was announced. More smartwatches for Apple devices than just the Apple Watch! But alas, you can't do much. I noted in the ZenWatch 2 review that it's not a complete loss if you want to only spend $149 (€149, £159.99, about AU$210) to pair up with your iPhone. But it's a bit different with the Moto 360, considering it costs far more for the same experience.

For $299 (£229, AU$329), it hardly seems worth it to use a half functioning smartwatch with your iPhone.

Battery life

The battery life of the second-generation Moto 360 has been tricky to determine. The first day, we used it with a iPhone 6S and the battery lasted for one full day – nine in the morning until nine at night – with all notifications turned on. The second day, it lasted for over a day.

Switching over to an Android-powered Galaxy S6 for two days while using a few more features, like messaging through the watch and popping on one of our choices for best Android Wear watchface, yielded similar results – one full day of usage and then one and a half days.

Moto 360

You can squeeze out two days if you use the watch sparingly. There's also priority mode wherein you'll only get certain notifications opposed to every single piece of, say, spam mail. Using this feature, I was actually able to get two days out of a single charge.

Charge time takes about 35 minutes on the Qi stand, or a bit closer to 45 if it's dead as a doornail. Good news for previous Moto 360 owners: your old Qi charger will work just fine. So now, you can sprinkle them about in your abode.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.