Moto 360 teardown uncovers smaller-than-advertised battery
It feels like there are a million little things users are paying attention to about the new Moto 360 smartwatch. From the circular display to its wireless charging abilities, this is a smartwatch unlike any we’ve seen hit the market before. So it’s hardly surprising that iFixit felt compelled to tear the smartwatch and but its components under the microscope, seeing what makes this wearable tick. What they found are some dense circuit boards and tiny interconnects, sure, but also a few surprises, including a battery that’s not as advertised.
Motorola’s clear in its Moto 360 spec breakdowns that the smartwatch is powered by a 320mAh battery. That’s in contrast to the 300mAh on the Samsung Gear Live, or the 400mAh on the LG G Watch. Motorola would be in second place there if the Moto 360’s battery really was 320mAh, but the teardown reveals a 300mAh cell, instead.
So what’s 20mAh between friends? On the one hand, the impact on actual battery life is almost certainly going to be tough to notice. On the other hand, that’s still a 6.25 percent difference, and when we buy a gallon of gas, we expect a full gallon, and not 120 ounces. And what’s the shame in just admitting your watch has a 300mAh battery?
Was Motorola expecting to include a 320mAh battery, but faced stock shortages? Is there a technical reason for this discrepancy that we’re just missing? Are all Moto 360s stuck with the same 300mAh battery, or is this an issue of an odd batch or two?
Could this be a rounding error? Based on the 3.8V output and 1.1 Watt-hour rating, we’d expect a number closer to 290mAh. Suffice it to say, this just isn’t adding up.
We’ve reached out to Motorola in the hopes of getting some answers, and will update this post when we hear anything.
Update: Motorola has responded to our inquiry with its explanation:
The typical battery capacity for Moto 360 is 320 mAh and the minimum is 300 mAh. In the mobile industry, sometimes both the minimum and typical capacity is listed on the battery, with the typical capacity quoted as the official battery size. Both figures are included on the batteries of our Moto X, Moto E and Moto G devices. In the case of smaller devices, we aren’t always able to list both figures. For Moto 360 we only had room for one figure and choose to list the minimal capacity of the battery. We see how this can be confusing and we will look into ways to add the typical capacity as well in the future.