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Moto 360 2nd Gen Review – Moto 360 2nd Gen 42mm & 46mm

Motorola Moto 360 2nd Gen or new Moto 360, is now available, including through its Moto Maker personalization store. There are two versions of the Android Wear watch for men, and a model for women. This is the device we had on our wrist for a few days: here is our opinion.

A little more than a year after the first Moto 360, unveiled at a Google I / O 2014 where it had made its small effect, alongside an LG G Watch not frankly design here comes a second-generation Moto 360 commercial. One, or rather three, since the watch now comes in two versions for men – one with a 46 mm case, the other measuring 42 mm – and a model for women, this time with a 42 mm case . What changes between these “small” models 42 mm, depending on whether they are for men or women is mainly the proposed colors, but also the size of compatible bracelets. Thus, when men’s bracelets measure 22 or 20 mm wide depending on whether one chooses a large or a small box, the women’s bracelet measures 16 mm.

Design and ergonomics 

In 2015, Motorola was evolving very slowly. The new Moto 360 offers some improvements in design and ergonomics compared to the old model, but the company has not singularly upset its habits. The Moto 360 “2” therefore incorporates most codes of his earliest, until small defects that already handicapped the latter.

As for the construction, rather than hide the hooks in the case as on its first model, Motorola has opted this year for a watch with “horns” in which attach the bracelets. The latter is therefore very easily changed by a simple pump mechanism. The leather strap delivered by default is also not the most excellent quality, but it nevertheless gives a rather distinguished style to the whole. We also note the push button still present, but slightly higher than the old model, falling more naturally under the index. With 55g on the scale, the watch is comfortable to wear, and its thickness of 11.5 mm allows it to remain relatively discreet wrist.

Where the rub is on the internal construction of the device. A component under the screen presses on the slab as soon as you press lightly on the back of the watch, this is especially noticeable when you lift the wrist while wearing the device. A detail that worries a little bit about the durability of the object.

On the display side, the watch adopts the same round screen close to the codes of traditional watchmaking but is still afflicted by the short black band on the bottom of the dial that houses the ambient light sensor. If a year ago the technical constraint could serve as an excuse for this slight visual nuisance, it is more difficult to excuse Motorola today while a manufacturer like Samsung manages to marry brightness sensor and perfectly circular screen on his Gear S2. 

The other slightly annoying detail is the beveled edges that contribute to a slight distortion of the image and a “rainbow” effect when the screen displays a white background.

In addition to these slight visual disturbances, the screen of the Moto 360 still offers a pleasant experience. The definition makes all texts readable without problems on a screen of this size and the brightness measured at 587 cd / m² allows you to enjoy your watch in just about any light conditions. On the reactivity side nothing wrong, the watch obeys the finger and the eye to most actions.

Features of Moto 360 2nd Gen

Here are the features of the Moto 360 2, compared to its competitors of the moment, including the Huawei Watch. It should be noted that both watches that of the Chinese brand and the women’s version of the Moto 360 2 that we tested have a 42 mm case. Their overall dimensions are also very similar, to a tenth of thickness, which proves that the Motorola watch is not quite the finest.

ModelHuawei WatchMotorola Moto 360 (2015)Asus ZenWatchLG Watch Urbane
Screen size1.4 inches1.37 or 1.56 inches1.63 inches1.3 inches
Screen technologyFull AMOLED 
Crystal Sapphire
LCDAMOLEDP-OLED
Screen definition400 x 400 pixels 
286 dpi
360 x 325 pixels 
360 x 330 pixels
320 x 320 pixels320 x 320 pixels
Screen formatCircularCircularRectangularCircular
Memory space4GB4GB4GB4GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 400 at 1.2GHzQualcomm Snapdragon 400 at 1.2GHzQualcomm Snapdragon 400 at 1.2GHzQualcomm Snapdragon 400 at 1.2GHz
RAM memory512 MB512 MB512 MB512 MB
GPSNo No
WirelessYesYesNo
Dimensions42 x 42 x 11.3 mm42 x 42 x 11.4 mm 
46 x 46 x 11.4 mm
50.6 x 39.8 x 9.4 mm45.5 x 52.2 x 10.9 mm
Weight (case)  50 grams 
Drums300mAh300 or 400 mAh369 mAh410 mAh
Pulse measurementYesYesYesYes
sensorsGyroscope 
Accelerometer 
Barometer 
Compass
Gyroscope 
Accelerometer 
Compass
Gyroscope 
Accelerometer 
Compass
Gyroscope 
Accelerometer 
Compass
ReloadingMicro USB moduleWireless inductionMicro USB moduleMicroUSB module
Water resistanceIP 67IP 67IP 55IP67
Price449 euros (mesh model)Starting from 299 euros199 euros349 euros

What do women want?

The real challenge of Motorola is to convince the female audience, often left out by the manufacturers of devices designed for technophiles traditionally imagined as men, even if this distinction is no longer relevant to our time. Still, if the features can appeal to women, it is still necessary that the design suits them, and that the format of the devices in question is adapted to the finest wrists.

Let’s go back to the basics: with its 42mm diameter and 11.4mm thick case, the latest-generation Moto 360 is naturally smaller than the first 360 and displays dimensions similar to the Huawei Watch, it also has a diameter of 42 mm but for a thickness of 11.3 mm. Where Motorola stands out, it is by the attachment system of his bracelet, attached to a small bar as on the classic watches. Not only do we save a few millimeters on both sides of the case, but we can hope to very quickly change the bracelet in question – a small pusher can remove a few seconds. It is also possible to change the base bracelet by a standard watch strap. A good idea for both women and men which suggests real possibilities of customization, not to mention that the possibility of changing a watchband can increase its life. Also, note, and it is not negligible, that the screen border does not go over the slab, unlike the Huawei Watch: this accentuates its appearance “real watch.”

What does not change, however, is the presence of the famous black bar located at the bottom of the screen of the watch, and which is absent from competing watches. Motorola concedes that it hosts the brightness sensor of its watch, which remains a useful option to preserve the eyes of the user and the battery of the watch. Nevertheless: as useful as it is, this black bar alters the impression that one can have the watch.

For both men and women, this Moto 360 also looks like a classic watch, with a good quality leather strap, a metal case – the golden version is matte on the case and more brilliant on the “bezel,” c that is to say around the screen. Its weight remains limited to about fifty grams, the wearing of the watch is comfortable, and Moto Maker offers a few customization options welcome. These relate in particular to the color of the case, that of the outline of the screen and the bracelet. Regarding the female model, only the silver case with a smooth bezel (regardless of its color, as opposed to striated screen contours and charged 20 euros extra) and a single-turn bracelet will be charged 299 euros. For a gold case or rose gold color,

If we go back to the female version of our 2nd generation Moto 360, we will naturally welcome the effort provided by Motorola. The colors are feminine without overplaying the pink and the tinsel (even if the gold is not discreet), the case seems slightly more rounded than its male counterpart, but there is always a but. With a 16 mm strap, the case of the watch seems more massive, and the contrast may disappoint its buyers. Note also that the two-round bracelet, charged 10 euros more than a standard bracelet, offers dubious maintenance of the case, which, however light it is, tends to hang on the wrist. Roughly speaking, to appreciate wearing this watch, a thin wrist, but not too much, will probably be the most appropriate.

What do men want?

As you can see, the second generation Moto 360is an evolution of the original model, they have preserved the overall aesthetic. The new Moto 360 is available in several sizes, with improved range, and a refined design that makes it more comfortable to wear. Laure had not found the watch very pleased, for the thicker wrists (like those of men), this is a little different. In its 42mm format, the Moto 360 (2015) is comfortable enough, lighter and with a standard wristband system. We thus note an excellent level of design, the screen is always as fabulous, and the black bar under the screen does not interfere almost. The leather of the bracelet seems to be of good quality; it comes from the same supplier, an American company located near the offices of Motorola.

Screen and use

Let’s start by recalling that instead of a 1GHz TI OMAP 3 SoC combined with 512MB of RAM, the 2nd generation Moto 360 comes with a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core SoC, coupled with 512MB of RAM. Suffice to say that even if Motorola did not offer performance back from its competitors by sourcing from Texas-Instruments, it gets up to date. Regarding daily responsiveness, do not expect any particular changes: it works, and that’s all we ask for this connected watch. The navigation is fluid between the pages; the screen reacts to the click, applications load relatively quickly: performance side, no complaints.

We will be more circumspect about the screen of the watch, which does not evolve enormously from one generation to another. On the definition side, things are improving since we noted a resolution of 263 dpi on the watch 42 mm (360 × 325 pixels on a diagonal of 1.37 inches) and 233 dpi on the 46 mm (360 × 330 pixels) when the old Moto 360 displayed 320 × 290 pixels or 205 dpi. It would be dishonest to say we perceive the difference, but the display is excellent enough for the hands of the watch to “make it true.” The brightness, defined in 5 steps, can be adjusted automatically – an excellent idea to save the battery – and offers good readability outdoors, thanks to a maximum brightness measured at 570 cd / m2 on our probe.

Side use and software, nothing changes in this Moto 360, which embeds a heart rate sensor, associated with the Moto Body application dedicated to fitness. This allows to check the rhythm of the heart regularly, but without monitoring continuously, to check the number of steps made in the day, and sends from time to time encouragement notifications. The rest is classic: voice control, receiving notifications, SMS response, ability to draw emojis directly on the screen of the watch, routes with Google Maps … Obviously, Motorola provides some “watch faces” to customize a little the watch. Always favor the black backgrounds so as not to see the black bar at the bottom of the screen. Here we find Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.

Autonomy

Motorola promises a 1.5-day dual-use battery life for the Women’s version of its Moto 360 2. The watch has a small battery of 300 mAh, the same capacity as a Huawei Watch. It is associated with an induction charger including a base that allows putting the watch so that it can read its notifications even when it is charging, which is convenient, especially since it must often be loaded. Motorola is right in the description since we have held a day and a half or even a few extra hours at each charge, with various uses: receiving notifications, checking the heart rate once or twice in the day, answering SMS, a few Maps routes … But by not keeping the permanent lighting of the screen of the watch, and taking care to use automatic brightness. With a permanently on screen, it is not very difficult to lose 30% of battery in a big afternoon, even without being a hard user of the watch.

Note that the full charge of the watch takes about 2 hours.

Advantages

  • Beautiful screen definition.
  • Maximum brightness is satisfactory.
  • Elegant design.

Disadvantages

  • Black bar and beveled edges spoil the experience.
  • Internal construction that threatens sustainability.
  • Autonomy always too disappointing.

Conclusion

Finally neither better nor worse than the other watches connected on the market today, the latest Moto 360 perfectly embodies the tactics of Motorola in 2015: take back the star products of 2014 and correct minor mistakes. The manufacturer’s connected watch under the auspices of Lenovo enhances the experience especially regarding overall ergonomics and customization possibilities, but beyond that, it does not stand out in the middle of the Android Wear watch market.

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