Last year Motorola changed the smartwatch game by releasing the first smartwatch with a circular display, however the watch had quite a few problems. The battery life was horrible, the build developed issues over time, and it was just way too big for a ton of users. A year later, Motorola released the 2015 model, and TL;DR, it’s WAY better.
At first glance, the 2015 Moto 360 looks exactly the same as the previous model, however there are some key differences here. First off, the watch now has “lugs” which hold the watch band. This not only makes it much easier to swap bands, but it also makes the 360 look a lot more like your everyday watch and personally, I love that.
Another huge change is to the underside. This time Motorola has swapped the plastic panel for glass. This solves one of the biggest hardware issues from the original, the cracking back. It seems like just about every other 2014 360 user had cracked that back panel at some point or another, however it’ll be a heck of a lot harder to do that on the 2015 model.
The final big change is the extra size. This time rather than only offering a giant screen on your wrist, Motorola is also offering a much smaller 42mm option which fits much better on smaller wrists. Personally I used (and prefer) the larger 46mm model, however that’s just personal preference.
Another thing worth mentioning is how you can customize the watch. Now you can order the watch through MotoMaker where you can change the body colors, the accent colors, the bezel texture, the bands, and even the out-of-the-box watch face.
The display on the 2015 Moto 360 hasn’t really changed. It’s essentially the same IPS panel used on the previous model and yeah, it’s fine. It works well indoors, struggles a bit in outdoor settings, and overall, it’s just fine.
And yes, the flat tire is still here. Does it matter? Nope. Just like last time around, this is a matter of personal preference.
Software & Performance
As with any Android Wear smartwatch, there’s really not much new on the 2015 Moto 360. All the main software elements are the same. There are a couple added Moto apps, but overall there’s nothing new here.
However what is new is the performance. While we’re still looking at the standard Android Wear processing package with the Snapdragon 400 and 512mb of RAM, this is lightyears ahead of the first generation. Be comparison, this new model absolutely flies. That said, I’ve noticed a fair bit of lag on this watch compared to other Android Wear devices like the LG G Watch R and the Huawei Watch. Regardless however, this watch is solid in terms of performance.
Without a doubt the biggest problem with the first generation Moto 360 was the horrible, horrible battery life. You were lucky to get through a day with that watch, however with the 2015 model, we’ve got a night and day change. This time, the Moto 360, at least the 46mm model, lasts me at least 24 hours with the ambient display turned on, if not much more. Thanks to the recent Marshmallow update, standby time has improved. I can even forget to charge overnight and I’ll still be fine to make it through my work day with no issues.
Qi charging is of course always a welcome addition as well.
When it comes down to it, Motorola has a winner with the 2015 Moto 360. It’s undoubtedly one of the best you can get, however there’s one small caveat, the price. Starting at $299, it’s much more expensive than the previous model. Fully specced out, this watch costs $449. While yes, the premium materials do help justify that, it’s still expensive by any measurement. That said, if it falls in your price range, you’ll won’t go wrong buying it.