Moto 360 Second Gen Review

Moto 360 Second Gen Review

Moto 360 2nd Gen

$299.99
Moto 360 2nd Gen
8

Overall Rating

8/10

    Pros

    • Touchless voice control of your smartwatch
    • Largest display real estate and best screen-to-body ratio in the entire smartwatch industry
    • Better chipset performance and longer battery life are upgrades from Moto 360 1st generation
    • Inductive charger
    • Second only to Apple Watch for fashion customization options
    • Ambient light sensor improves battery life
    • Simple interchangeable straps

    Cons

    • Flat tire look of display UI
    • IPS LCD display lags behind AMOLED displays of competitors
    • Touchscreen sensitivity is likely not industry best quality
    • Poor microphone ergonomics drive occasional problems recognizing the “OK Google” launch phrase during voice command and control
    • Compatibility with iOS is quite limited
    • Some regular, annoying and system glitches and reset issues
    • Some known connectivity disconnecting issues
    • Some lingering Android Wear awkwardness in apps & operations
    • Noticeably thicker than most other smartwatches

    VERDICT AND RATING

    If Motorola Mobility chose to use an industry best AMOLED screen, eliminated the “flat tire” screen issue while retaining an effective ambient sensor (which is easy to solve, by the way), fixed a few elementary ergonomic issues with the dual microphones, and rolls out more software integration and native apps, then this watch could have earned an 8.5 or higher rating.

    As it is now, the Moto 360 2nd generation smartwatch earns a rating in this review of 8.0.

    Rating of the Moto 360 2nd Generation Smartwatch:

    • 8.0 on a 1 to 10 scale (10 = best)

    Voice functions raise the rating by 1/2 point

    Flat tire drops it by 1/2 a point

    OVERVIEW + BEST USE CASE

    The Moto 360 2nd generation’s unparalleled smartwatch voice command features and the very tangible customer productivity benefits are realized by the rich trifecta combination of

    1) Moto Voice recognition and automation

    2) Android Wear enabled deep app integration

    3) Google Now technologies

    Moto 360 Second Gen ReviewThis novel triple play platform of Moto Voice, Android Wear deep app integration, and Google Now is a personal ToDo list and work item automation platform that has great promise for an even better Speedy Gonzales future to be voice commanded by you to help yourself.

    The Moto 360 Gen 2 (or 2nd generation) allows you to efficiently leverage world class voice command technology via Moto Voice to get a lot more done in less time, thus freeing up valuable time.

    The Moto 360 Gen 2’s combination of top-shelf tech professional looks and best-in-class, fairly reliable and highly effective voice command features and benefits make it a good niche competitor to the Samsung Gear S2 and the Apple Watch as a 2016 “go-to” smartwatch.

    Using the voice command on this classic smartwatch is as easy as turning your wrist to your face, which immediately lines up the Moto 360 2nd generation’s dual microphones for best voice pick up, and you say to your Moto 360 2nd generation “OK Google, what are the top 10 best use cases for the Moto 360 Gen 2’s world class voice command, voice dictation, voice-search, and voice-to-text texting technologies?

    Congrats! You just used the Moto Voice + Google Now enabled Moto 360 2nd generation smartwatch.

    Our view is that no other smartwatch industry player has so productively matched this winning troika on a smartwatch – the Moto Voice + Android Wear + Google Now.Best Reviews Moto 360 Second Gen

    As this platform matures, the positive and highly productive use cases for frictionless voice command and control (C&C) of smartwatches are almost endless.

    Now let’s get to some of the requisite review topics, the evaluations of the performance, design, hardware, software, specs, and how the Moto 360 2nd generation fares in the seven (7) battlefronts of the smartwatch war.

    PERFORMANCE

    The performance of this smartwatch is not the best amongst all the smartwatches, but it does the job, and for an everyday smartwatch, you’ll have a difficult time finding a significantly better upgrade for your wrist amongst all the Android Wear smartwatches.

    The sluggish Texas Instruments’ processor incorporated into the first generation Moto 360 has been upgraded significantly to the emerging smartwatch standard Qualcomm Snapdragon technology, resulting in above average all around performance for an everyday smartwatch.

    Still, you’ll notice some time lag when the watch display wakes from its ambient sensor triggered dim state that helps extend battery life.

    The display is not industry best, but it gets the job done even in daylight conditions. Neither, apparently is the touchscreen sensitivity industry best. It gets the job done in most cases, but some users have reported this as an occasional nettlesome issue.

    Trusted Reviews Moto 360 Second GenIf you use the Moto 360 2nd generation smartwatch every day in an always-on state and with the brightness turned up high to 80 percent, with notifications on and common every day use of the voice control, you’ll find the battery life drops around 5+/- percent per hour.

    The user community is reporting some concern over the vibration mechanism in the Moto 360 2nd generation. Its vibrations against the wrist to give you notifications falls below customer expectations, on the light side – to the point where one often misses incoming alerts.

    There are some occasional performance glitches in the pick-up of the dual microphones during your use of the voice command and control features. Considering this tech is a core competence of Motorola Mobility and especially considering that Moto Voice is a central feature of this watch, Motorola would be well advised to solve this problem to make the Moto 360 3rd generation a best in class voice command and control smartwatch that outshines by a wide margin all other smartwatches.

    There is a noted connectivity disconnect issue that is annoying a noticeable segment of the user community, an issue about which Motorola is aware. It’s unclear if this is related to the device heating up, but some users are experiencing the Moto 360 2nd generation heating up and shutting down.

    Its Android Wear OS is steadily improving, yet still presents the intermittent bug or glitch. A number of users have noted a bothersome glitch in the tendency of this smartwatch to require a reset every couple of weeks.

    That said, one could say with good reason that the performance of the Moto 360 2nd generation smartwatch is the best amongst all the Android Wear smartwatches out there, given all the features and benefits.

    DESIGN

    The design’s main features are the circular design, thus the name 360, and the large and industry best display-to-case (or body) ratio.

    The introduction of and even the “360” product naming emphasis on the round shape, which has been the mainstay form of most of the global chain watch and wrist watch industry for hundreds of years speaks to the issue Motorola got right in today’s and tomorrow’s global smartwatch industry, a design form issue I suspect Apple will be forced to eventually correct in future iterations of the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch could have been a much greater success than it is now if their design team had acted on the insights understood by the Motorola smartwatch industrial product design and engineering team.

    In fact, if you do the calculations, the Moto 360 2nd generation smartwatch offers an industry best display size design spec that is 20% larger than even that offered by theMoto 360 Second Gen Reviews Huawei, even though the Huawei Watch is 1mm smaller in diameter. This unit presents a record 71.7% display-to-body ratio, compared with the Apple smartwatch which only comes in at a display-to-body ratio of slightly less than 50% (49.1%).

    That being said, it is still disconcerting to many users that the well noted “flat tire” effect of a good portion of the arc segment bottom of the display is blacked out to enable the placement and function of the Moto 360’s ambient light sensor, which helps to activate battery saving, automated dimming and display on/off functions. Some users note, with common sense insight, that it just “looks a bit strange having [round] clock faces cut off at the bottom.”

    Additionally, which many customers find the thin bezel of the Moto 360 2nd generation smartwatch attractively slimming. It certainly is a differentiator amongst all smartwatches on the market and is a quite elegant fashion feature for some enduring segment of the global smartwatch industry moving forward.

    Another good feature is the changed location of the crown button from the three o’clock position to the two o’clock spot, which makes a lot more sense considering how many times we all “extend” our wrist in a manner that might inadvertently tweak or unintentionally activate a push button activation of a feature.

    The Motorola Moto 360 comes in at 11.4mm (0.45-inch) thick, which is almost exactly comparable to the Apple Watch, which sports a thickness of 11.5mm.

    Most Promising Moto 360 Second Gen ReviewMotoMaker. One design feature to call out for a special award and congratulations to Motorola for getting this spot-on-correct is the MotoMaker app. This is an online product configuration and customizer app that allows you, the customer, to pick your choice of housing color, bezel color, and band and simulate the final product to be prospectively shipped to you via a high res photo that you’ll find especially appealing, since you can visualize how you can tailor your new smart wrist décor to your individual preferences. In the future, if all the other smartwatch industry competitors do not follow suit, I’ll be shocked and disappointed. It’s really a great feature of this Moto 360 Gen 2 (or 2nd generation) experience.

    Overall, although the smaller 42mm diameter offering suits the women’s market segment quite well, a good case can be made that the Moto 360 2nd generation smartwatch is primarily geared to suit the men’s market.

    HARDWARE

    The hardware of this smartwatch is not industry best, but it gets the job done.

    One particular example is the display, which offers an adequate, though certainly not stunning visual experience. Instead of the AMOLED display tech used by the smarter set of smartwatches, Moto 360 2nd generation uses IPS LCD display technology, a choice that many customers find surprising and disappointing.

    The Huawei watch sports a 400×400 pixel resolution display with 286ppi (pixels per inch). Contrast this with the Moto’s display which comes in at 263ppi for the 42mm model that appeals to men with smaller wrists and women, and the 46mm model that offers a 233ppi spec due to the larger diameter.

    If Motorola’s smartwatch team wants to gain market share, in fact, if they plan to NOT LOSE market share during their upgrade to the 3rd generation, they would be well advised to fix this issue in a big way.

    Another example is the protective cover of this smartwatch. The Huawei correctly uses sapphire glass to protect its smartwatch. Considering the investment one makes in a highly functional piece of art that decorates your wrist with great intelligence, all smartwatches should protect their sensitive surfaces with the ultimate in modern scratch resistant technology, even if it means embracing a bit of a sticker hike.

    What would you rather have, a smartwatch that costs “x” price, which then gets inevitably scratched over mere months of typical use or a work of industrial art that costs more, but leaves your considerable investment rather scratch free for most, if not all of its life cycle?

    Sapphire glass protection of smartwatches is the industry best technology. Motorola needs to improve this product by employing industry best surface protection technologies to mate with its industry best Moto Voice enabled smartwatch command and control. Gorilla Glass 3 is great, but its not even the current smartwatch protection market share leader, Gorilla Glass 4.

    Moto 360 Second Gen ReviewsTwo hardware features that are hitting the sweet spot with a good segment of Moto 360 customers are the bigger 400mAh battery on the 46mm model and the wireless charging dock.

    The charging dock enables inductive charging so that all you really need to do is to casually place your smartwatch on the cradle horizontally and you get a 100 percent charge in two hours or less while enabling a small deskside or bedside clock, as the charging cradle allows the Moto 360 2nd generation to perform simple, yet very convenient clock functions while displaying status updates on the charge level.

    There’s WiFi capability to enable notifications while you are in situations when and where you are not tethered to your smartphone, such as if you are more than Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy) distance apart from your beloved smartphone assistant in a large apartment, home, or office.

    One disappointing item to note is the lack of NFC (Near Field Communications) technology on this smartwatch. By the time the next Moto 360 smartwatch comes to market, NFC technology enabled mobile payments will be well on its way to becoming a rather pervasive market leader in the form of both terminals and smartwatches. As such, Motorola is well advised to get this right in the 3rd gen of the Moto 360 or suffer market share loss, as customers will become increasingly fond of the UX ease of doing the wrist-to-pay maneuver via an NFC enabled smartwatch.

    The Moto 360 2nd generation sports 9-axis gryo and accelerometer functions, a compass, pedometer, optical heart rate monitor underneath the watch, and it offers a housing that is rated at IP67 dust and water resistant, but which many customers are finding is not all its cracked up to be in watery resistance required circumstances.

    Moto 360 2nd gen reviews and specifications

    Overall, the Moto 360 2nd generation offers quite capable everyday smartwatch capabilities and good, though not superior performance and user satisfaction with all its features and benefits.

    It could use some sprucing up with the 3rd gen model or Motorola will start suffering market share loss.

    On the other hand, there are simple and eminently obvious solutions to the hardware issues of better battery life, thus enabling vastly improved display performance via industry best AMOLED technology for the 3rd Gen model, more consistent Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity without the nettlesome drops, fewer [heat causing?] aggravating resets, which is a real performance bummer, and better microphone pick-up for improved voice command and control.

    As stated, the hardware of the Moto 360 2nd generation is good, but it is not industry best. This only begs the question, “What could this smartwatch achieve if the Motorola design and engineering team put on a turbo-boosted smart cap to think up these obvious solutions that are already apparent to analysts who write such reviews, but who are not in a position to implement such?”

    If there is enough demand from the readership, these solutions can be proffered in future updates.

    SOFTWARE

    The biggest software advantage this product has in terms of any reviews from industry has already been explained; it is its well-suited integration of Moto Voice + the Android Wear OS for smartwatches.

    The basic software enabled personal productivity boosters of setting and efficiently receiving timely reminders, launching apps, sending texts, timers and alarms, launching and receiving tethered calls on your smartphone via your smartwatch, and tethered handoffs to enable playing of a song or voicemail are there.

    However, some users are reporting a number of bothersome glitches in the operation and apps of this smartwatch, but this is to be expected in an emerging, not yet mature Android Wear smartwatch marketplace. The user community is generating a bit of disappointing buzz about the lack of app installation and uninstallation customization and app integration on this smartwatch, something Motorola needs to correct in the next model, a Gen 3 version.Moto 360 reviews and news

    Another noted feature of this smartwatch is that it offers compatibility with the Apple iOS, so you can wirelessly tether the Moto 360 2nd generation to your iPhone. However, don’t look for this to solve all your issues because many users are noting the lack of full integration and robust feature set availability with the use of this smartwatch paired with an iPhone. And you certainly will not get much in the way of deep app integration on your Moto if presently paired with an iPhone – such is still to come in the cross platform compatibility arena of the smartwatch war.

    Sans iPhone pairing, with just straight Android smartphone pairings, you get an upgrade with Moto Body functions, which leverage the device’s optical heart rate monitor to offer you good, though certainly nowhere near industry best performance in the helpful health and basic dashboard presented fitness matters of heart activity minutes, which is a proxy for how much you are exercising, the number of steps you take per day, and your extrapolated calorie burn.

    It lags far behind the Apple Watch in terms of fitness tracking smarts. It’s good stuff on the Motorola Mobility smartwatch. It’s just not industry leading fitness tracker or fitness oriented smartwatch market segment leadership, but then again, it’s not intended to be in everyday smartwatch.

    Some custom watch face offerings such as putting the picture of your loved ones or special someone on your display background are a nice new touch to the software customization.

    In sum, the Moto 360 2nd generation smartwatch is not an industry best example of the current or near term potential of the deeply feature rich Android Wear enabled smartwatches that can be made today or tomorrow. For now, it’s a very capable offering that needs some very specific resources applied in the areas of more and better features and more and better deep app integration and better compatibility with iPhones.

    User Experience (UX)

    The actual speed and productivity gains that can be wrought by the high level abstraction benefits of natural language phrases and sentences spoken to command and control a smartwatch to get important things done in your life on a daily basis — every fifteen (15) minutes or less if you’re that busy — simply cannot be matched by the physically inefficient meanderings of hands and fingers and touchscreens and swiping and tapping and zooming in and icon size enlarging maneuvers and button pushing and tapping or pushing menu selection after menu selection after ad nauseam menu selection.

    Make the observations. Do the easy peasy experiments at home or at work or during playtime or leisure time at the beach, no matter.

    Do the math. It’s not even close. Voice command and control of a smartwatch will win at least 50% of all operational and app use cases for the dozens of different things you need done and want to accomplish with a smartwatch.

    Yet where are the industry reviews that attest to this paramount issue with regard to the voice command and control + deep app integration innovations that the Moto 360 brings to the market by smartly leveraging Android Wear, its own Moto Voice technology, and Google Now? The silence is rather deafening, say I.

    Make no mistake about it, the position of this review is unequivocally supportive of the end game of omnipresent voice driven launching and command and control of smartwatch operations and apps. Although nowhere near perfect, the Moto 360 2nd generation smartwatch offers an industry best example of how the user experience (UX) of almost all smartwatches quite often will be voice driven in the decade ahead.

    Buy moto 360

    Apple Watch Crown

    Although the Apple Watch has some voice command and control sans truly effective deep app integration, there is no reason at all for an Apple Watch user to convert to or buy a Moto 360 360 2nd generation smartwatch.

    However, if you want to learn how the nuances of voice command and control plus deep app integration on a smartwatch platform that’s going to be a very important segment in the explosively growing global wearables industry, and if you desire tosignificantly increase your personal and work productivity, this as good addition to your emerging smartwatch collection and it constitutes the best user experience challenge to the Apple Watch digital crown and the Samsung Gear S2 bezel.

    As such, this is a truly important potential competitor in the arena of User Experience (UX).

    The Moto 360 2nd generation does not seem — at its current rate of conviction to game changing, across-the-board innovation and technology adoption in the smartwatch space — to offer any significant challenge to win the overall smartwatch war.

    However, if Motorola goes for broke down the field on a long bomb football type pass with multiple obvious and aggressive design and engineering workarounds for the current shortcomings of the Moto 360 2nd generation, they could win the UX battlespace with a truly compelling and market leading suite of features and benefits maxmimized for user efficiency by the strength of a voice command and controlled hardware & software environment combined with deep app integration that brings near fully seamless and frictionless voice automation of dozens and dozens of real world functions and use cases for all types of smartwatch industry customers. This is the only way Motorola Mobility can win the global smartwatch war.

    CONCLUSION

    There are really just two purchase decision points that you need to consider here regarding the Moto 360 2nd generation smartwatch.

    First, are you keenly open to or committed to the very bright and enduring future that the Android Wear OS offers the full spectrum of the global wearables marketplace, and not just the smartwatch pie slice of it?

    Second, are you up to the challenge to aggressively ramp up your learning curve on the frictionless and pervasive future use voice command and control of smart devices to prepare you for such a future?

    If you say Yes to either or both of these questions, then this very capable, business like, and industrial tech fashionable smartwatch platform is a must have to enable you to keep ahead of the market. The Moto 360 2nd Generation will serve its everyday purpose as well as prepare you smartly for the voice driven world of tomorrow’s best-in-class smart devices.

    The game changing trifecta of Android Wear + voice C&C (command and control) + deep app integration is here to stay in the smartwatch industry and the global wearables industry as well.

    To the wise tech adopter go the spoils of the smartwatch war, indeed!


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