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Hands-on with the 2015 Moto 360

By Adam Z. Lein September 2, 2015, 3:00 pm

The Moto 360 has been considered the poster child for the Android Wear smartwatch platform for a while now. Today, Motorola and Lenovo have announced the 2nd generation Moto 360, with a few design changes and improvements. The new Moto 360 is meant to appeal more to a wider variety of people including men, women, and fitness enthusiasts. It will be available in the $299 to $499 price range depending on your customizations and in addition to the regular online, Amazon, & BestBuy retail locations, Motorola will also be selling the Moto 360 at Nordstrom which will hopefully appeal to the more fashion-conscious consumers. The Moto 360 will be running Android Wear 5.1 which has over 4,000 apps available for it. It’s got a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU (APQ 8026), Adreno 305 with 450MHz GPU, 4GB internal storage, 512MB RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Haptics engine, ambient light sensor, optical heart rate monitor, and dual microphones along with a 300 or 400 mAh battery depending on the size.  We got to spend a little time with the new smartwatch and a full review will be coming later down the line.  For now, here’s our initial impressions and a few close-ups of the new Moto 360.


Moto 360 hands-on video


First off, the Moto 360 will now be available in the MotoMaker website where you can choose to customize your smartwatch completely. You can choose your own bezel style, wrist band, and even pre-load custom watch faces.  There are also 3 primary designs, a 42mm diameter female style, 42mm male style, and a larger 46mm male style. The women’s style is specifically designed for smaller wrists.


There are about 300 different combinations of designs that you can come up with for the Moto 360 via MotoMaker now and that’s only the choices that they’re offering. It’s easy for 3rd parties to make new wristband styles for the Moto 360.

As you can see above, there is a tiny little switch inside the wrist band that will release the hinge so you can easily swap out to a different wristband.


Also note the lugs for the wristband are now extending outside of the circular design of the watch. This means there’s more room for things like a bigger battery inside the watch. The case is made from aircraft-grade 316L stainless steel
while the face has scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass. The case is also IP67 certified which means it’s totally protected from dust, and also protected from immersion in liquids with depths between 15 cm and 1m.


Of course, the Moto 360 has kept the unique round display. One of the advantages to this is the screen to body ratio. The round style and thin bezel gives you 71.7% display area which is more than any other smartwatch out there.


The incoming caller ID screen looks great, and you can respond to the incoming call right from your wrist just like other Android Wear smartwatches.


The plunger button is now in the 2 o’clock position on the Moto 360 instead of the perpendicular 3 o’clock position.  This makes it less likely for you to press the button accidentally, for example, when bending your wrist backwards.


One of the watch faces on the Moto 360 has “Live Dials” now. They’re like “Live Tiles” on Windows, except they’re round.  The really cool aspect of these is that you can choose different apps to show information within these Live Dials.  Or you can simply choose one that is a shortcut to a specific app but doesn’t show live information.


If you tap and hold on the Live Dials watchface, there’s a gear icon at the bottom which gives you the settings screen. From there, you can scroll through and you’ll find options for the left dial, center dial, and right dial. Having “Shazam” there won’t show any live information, but it will give you a quick shortcut to instantly start listening for music so that it can tell you what the song is and who is playing it.  Of course, you can also choose to display things like health information or the weather, which is certainly very useful.


There’s also a new app from Ford that can link to your electric or connected car.  With that you can see how far you’ve gone, how far you can go, your car’s battery life, etc. You can even show your car on a map and get directions back to where you parked.

As mentioned earlier the Moto 360 will be available between $299 and $499 which is a pretty nice price compared to the Apple Watch especially considering how highly customizable the 2015 Moto 360 will be.

Are you going to order a custom Moto 360 when it becomes available on MotoMaker?  Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow our other coverage of IFA 2015.


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