This is not new; sports watches are not suited to everyday life. You put on your Garmin Forerunner 225, Polar M400 or TomTom Spark, you tighten your running shoes, and you begin your training by visualizing at a glance its speed, heart rate or distance traveled. But once the practice is over, the GPS watch, as beautiful as it is, leaves our wrist until the next exit.
With its all-new Moto 360 Sport, Motorola is looking to change the way it uses its sports watch, adding to the standard functions for runners options that make it indispensable in everyday life. Thus, in addition to its GPS and integrated heart rate monitor, the 360 Sport is a real small Smartwatch, allowing access to all your notifications, respond to SMS, listen to music without requiring your Smartphone and much more.
However, to want to do too much, is the last connected watch from Motorola able to compete with watches before any thought for sports? You will find in the rest of our article our complete return after a fortnight at his side. Importantly, the Moto 360 Sport runs on Android Wear, and although it can be used with an iPhone, keep in mind that many of its features are limited to Android devices.
Unlike packagings that we usually meet in the world of sports watches, the Moto 360 Sport offers a presentation a little more “Premium.” The box, circular, has a transparent cover providing a direct view of the product. On the sides, there are some details about the features of the latter, where learns in particular that it has a GPS, an optical heart rate monitor or a touch screen whose lighting adjusts automatically.
Inside, the watch is accompanied by a charging station, a wall charger (no charging via USB so) and a quick start book. At first sight, the whole appears of rather good quality.
Design & Ergonomics
In itself, the Moto 360 Sport takes the main curves of the second generation of connected watch manufacturer, obviously with different materials to adapt it to external conditions. Finally, in theory, since in practice the watch is only IP67 certified and therefore can not accompany you in the shower, and therefore even less at the pool for example. The first disappointment for a product-oriented Sport, especially since the vast majority of competitors withstand no problem immersions.
Design side, the sports version is, however, a little more compact than the classic version and is relatively elegant, despite the choice of a silicone bracelet. The latter is also irremovable, which may displease the adepts of personalization. It will, therefore, choose to buy a black version, white or orange. In our case, it is as you can see from the darkest version, which will have the merit of getting dirty less quickly but the failure to attract a lot of dust.
Once around the wrist, the bracelet is rather comfortable thanks to its soft-touch coating but still less pleasant than that of Polar products for example. It has several perforations allowing both the skin to breathe but also to properly adjust the length to the majority of morphologies. The closing system is classic and works perfectly, no untimely loss of the watch has been reported during our various outings.
In the center, we apparently find the dial of the Moto 360 Sport. It is protected by a glass Gorilla Glass 3 which should offer in practice an excellent resistance to shocks and other projections. With a size of 1.37 inches and a resolution of 360 x 325 pixels, the color screen also offers excellent readability, especially since it has an ingenious system automatically adjusting its brightness depending on the environment. An instead well thought out option, which allows reading the LCD perfectly even in full sun, and that, the sportsmen should appreciate. Small flat, however, the sensor, present at the bottom of the screen, just trim a part of it.
Around this screen, there is a single button, to return to the main screen of the watch (or turn on / off the latter). All other actions are carried out directly to the touch screen, a bit like what we had discovered on the Garmin Vivoactive a few months ago. If in everyday life it is very convenient to navigate the various menus with a simple movement of fingers, the use is, however, more hazardous during training. Indeed, the reactivity is primarily impacted by sweat or rain, making it difficult to use and, admittedly, sometimes a little painful.
At the back of the dial, there is a heart rate monitor. This is an optical sensor, as we see more and more on GPS watches for athletes. Obviously, we will come back a little lower on its use and performance, but note that unlike some products, cardiac monitoring is not permanent.
Moto 360 Sport Interface
Smartwatch requires, the interface of the 360 Sport is very different from the usual models. In addition to the options for athletes, the youngest at Motorola has obviously many features to make life easier in everyday life.
The main screen can be changed to suit your tastes via different dial designs. The one proposed by default is apparently the “Sport” version, displaying via several small bars the number of steps taken, the calories burned or the so-called Active minutes. By keeping your finger pressed on the dial, you can, however, move towards a dozen additional styles.
By swiping down the screen, you can then navigate between different “cards,” mainly taking the notifications extracted from your smartphone. A swipe up allows him to access some quick settings.
Back on the main dial, a swipe to the left gives access to the different applications compatible with the Moto 360 Sport or to launch running training or consult his heart rate. The navigation between the various menus is fluid and relatively intuitive. Being able to navigate easily from the fingertip, without having to click on countless buttons is an advantage, although as explained above, the whole remains sensitive to sweat or rain.
Running with the Moto 360 Sport
Although this 360 is stamped “Sport,” it remains primarily for fans of running. Indeed, unlike a Moov Now, for example, the Moto 360 Sport does not allow to follow other types of training such as cycling, swimming or bodybuilding. By launching the application “Racing Moto Body,” a screen asks us to specify whether it is an indoor or outdoor training, but also if we want to add a goal of time, distance or calories burned. Unlike many other sports watches, impossible to set up a goal heart rate, which is rather unfortunate especially since the sensor is directly integrated into the back of the watch. Then, the location of the GPS signal starts and is usually done in seconds (much faster than the average). It only remains to press the “Start” button to begin training. From there, several screens are accessible and allow to follow its indicators during the effort.
The first page indicates at the top the current time, then the distance traveled. Below, we find the chronometer and the rhythm. The second screen is for the heart rate, with a half gauge on the upper part showing the heart zone, and on the lower part the heart rate in real time. A third screen allows him to follow his different segments. At the end of each training session, a table summarizes the various data of this one, by displaying on several pages the registered indicators as well as the various characteristics of your session. A history of the different outings of the week is also available. While the presence of all these different indicators is indeed a good thing, however, it lacks many features on the Moto 360 Sport to compete with the best models from Garmin, Polar or even Fitbit. Indeed, we find for example no option to manage oneself segments, or even the possibility of setting up interval training or to follow his pace (not per minute). These are rather classic options, which are expected by athletes and especially lovers of running.
As for the accuracy of the GPS, the Moto 360 Sport offers in most cases fairly good performance and has the advantage of not having to use his Smartphone to follow you during your training. However, everything is not perfect, and several times the data displayed had anomalies more than blatant, with for example segments made in less than 2 minutes while the actual pace was rather 6min / km. However, this is probably more of a software-level bug than GPS, since the rest of the time the data seemed consistent. The heart rate monitor, for its part, offers correct results, with data close to our usual results. Keep in mind, however, that as with all watches with an integrated heart rate monitor, the results may vary depending on temperature, sweat, and hairiness. However, the Moto 360 Sport offers rather convincing results from this side. All this data can then be viewed directly from the Moto Body app. To enjoy it, however, it will go on an Android Smartphone, the application is not available on iOS. For the record, we started our tests by connecting the watch on an iPhone 5, before switching later on a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. During our change of the device, all the data present in the watch were lost, and it was not possible to recover them on the Android Smartphone, despite the use of the same Google account.
The Moto Body application is rather traditional, presenting on the main page the various indicators of the day, namely the minutes of heart activity, the number of steps and calories burned. At the top of the screen, we can go from one day to another to consult its previous results. Clicking on one of the indicators gives you access to specific pages displaying additional details, in the form of bar graphs or curves.
A “Running” page gives access to the history of the different training sessions and the statistics of each race. We then find all the information that we could discover at the end of each training on the dial of the watch. The presentation is rather well done, although some runners will find the set a little too limited. Note also that it is possible to synchronize the data of the Moto 360 Sport directly with other sports applications, such as Strava, Fitbit, MapMyFitness or Google Fit.
You will understand, the 360 Sport is not intended for the most fierce runners, but should logically be enough for the majority of the amateurs wishing to follow a little more efficiently lures outings while having the many assets of a Smartwatch. Indeed, where the usual watches are just limited to a sporting use (and offers advantages of features on this sector), the Motorola watch stands out on other points as we will see below.
A watch for connected sportsmen
Although relatively recent, the smartwatch market has exploded in recent years, with the arrival of iWatch for the Apple brand and the many Android Wear models offered by Samsung and others.
The Moto 360 Sport has the same features as the second generation of Moto 360 and therefore allows access to many information and applications directly from the dial of the watch. We had already discovered some smart options on models like the Garmin Vivoactive, but Android Wear allows to pass these features to the next level. Since the 360 Sport, it is, therefore, possible to view his messages but also to respond directly via the built-in microphone! With a simple “OK Google” followed by the action of your choice, the watch runs and allows you to write messages or contact a friend without even leaving your smartphone.
The list of available actions is long and continues to grow day by day with more and more compatible mobile applications (more than 4000 at the moment). Thus, besides the management of e-mails, the calendar or its reminders, one can, for example, manage its calls from Skype, to consult its playlists on Spotify or to order a heating Uber directly from the voice.
In use, all this necessarily requires a little time to adapt and is more gadget than anything else, but we finally get caught up in the game, and Android Wear knows how to be comfortable situations. While this does not necessarily meet the usual expectations of a sports watch, all these bonuses are welcome and should be increasingly present in competing models shortly.
Storage for your music
Like the TomTom Spark that we tested recently, the Moto 360 Sport can store your music directly in its internal memory (4GB) to enjoy your favorite songs directly without going through your Smartphone.
To use the feature, it will obviously have a pair of Bluetooth headphones that will connect to the watch. The Jabra Sports Coach or the Jaybird X2 are the ideal candidates at the moment.
Note however that the option is again reserved for users of Android phones, and it is necessary to go through Play Music to transfer its files. Limitations not necessarily necessary, that was already blamed on the TomTom Spark and its dedicated application. To the advantage of the 360 Sport, it is still possible to go from one track to another even during training.
Smartwatch requires, the autonomy of the Moto 360 Sport is very different from other GPS sports watches. At present, few connected watches can offer autonomies for several days, even more so when the proposed screen is at once colorful, tactile and particularly fluid.
In practice, the 360 Sport should, however, hold a full day, with the daily training of a good hour. This is in any case what emerges from our various tests, but keep in mind that the use of GPS drains the battery considerably. Thus, if you are fans of long outings, it is a safe bet that the watch falls asleep before you at the end of the day.
Charging, however, is done rather quickly, via a dock provided with the watch. The latter also uses the Qi technology, allowing to recharge the watch without having to connect any cable. Just put it on his station and in a short time the watch is fully charged.
If you’re looking for an Android Wear compatible watch and built-in GPS, the Moto 360 Sport is probably for you. A choice that is made without hesitation, since it currently has no real competition, if not the Sony Smartwatch 3.
However, difficult to recommend the product if the whole Smartwatch part is not an essential point for you. Indeed, if the 360 Sport allows following correctly it’s training of foot races, the proposed options remain a notch below the specialized models offered by Garmin, Polar, TomTom or even Fitbit.
We can at the moment find better as well on the side of sports watches as real Smartwatch. But if you want to enjoy the benefits of these two types of products, the Moto 360 Sport is, for now, the watch to beat. A first test half conclusive, which, however, foreshadows a bright future for smartwatch GPS sports.