The Moto 360. Hands down the best looking smartwatch on the market and I’ve been glad to call one my own for the past couple of weeks. There is one thing about the Moto 360 that irks me more than any other, the battery life.
Powering the Moto 360 is a 320 mAh battery (or 300 mAh depending on who you trust) which is a pretty solid capacity for a smartwatch. For instance, Samsung’s Gear Live, also an Android Wear device, has an even smaller 300 mAh battery and still gets pretty solid battery life. So what about the 360? To be frank, it’s pretty terrible. Now most Moto 360 owners will tell you that their battery life is pretty solid usually lasting an entire day and even sometimes extending into the next. That might be true, but the 360 cuts a lot of corners to do it. For me, that just translates to a bad battery experience in the first place.
For me personally I’ll use my Moto 360 with ambient mode turned on and I will get about 10 hours of use. For most days, that’s perfectly fine. But every once in a while I’ll have a late night or an early morning and then I’m pushing it to get myself back to that charger. So let’s backtrack a little, why am I using ambient mode? For one reason and one reason only, because I work at a desk. Most of my time is spent on a computer since both iTechTriad and my regular day job are online. I use ambient mode on my watch because most of the time when I’m at my desk I don’t move my watch very much to look at it. Sometimes it’s just a quick glance and sometimes it’s just a slight move to see the watchface. To add to that, even when I’m away from the desk the gesture to activate the screen is a bit less reliable when ambient mode is turned off. Now yes, that has a dramatic impact on the battery life of my watch, but I just don’t think it should.
To compare, let’s look back at the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live. Both run software practically identical to that of the Moto 360 with one major difference, both of those watches always have their screen on. The Moto 360 does not have any setting that even allows this. With ambient mode turned on the watch will simply become more sensitive to movement and turn the screen on in more situations but the screen still turns off. Simply said, the 360 has the worst battery life of any Android Wear device out there for this reason. The software just cuts a few corners to hide that fact. Yes, I know an update was released to improve the battery life and it certainly did, but it’s still not good enough. Feel free to keep believing that battery life is just as good on the 360, but just remember, when you think about it, it’s really not even close.