Motorola reinvents the smartwatch. Kinda. @IFA 2015

September 3, 2015

Seems like Motorola has just taken the smartwatch crown. Again.

Seems like under the new management, the only way is up for the Moto 360. At their pre-IFA briefing, Motorola unveiled the second generation of the Moto 360. And it’s gone places where very few brands have dared to thread. Think versions for the ladies, massive personalization, fitness iterants, they seem to have all corners covered.

Let’s start with how it looks. The original Moto 360 was always the best-looking smartwatch around, and its’ successor seems to follow on in that tradition. The new case design features extended lugs to improve fit and comfort, and there are now two sizes, a 46mm and 42mm case diameter. Each Moto 360 is manufactured from aircraft-grade 316L stainless steel and scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass.


There’s also a new collection designed specifically with women in mind. The case features smaller, more elegant lugs, the peak-shaped bezel is jewelry-like, and the new double-wrap band creates a very fashion-focused aesthetic.

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Bands can be swapped in seconds, and customers will have the option to completely customise their device with the Moto Maker program.

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Next up we have hardware. The original Moto 360 was criticised for its low-powered guts, but the new model shouldn’t have that problem. With Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 chip, with 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU and 512 MB RAM, navigating the Android Wear OS should be a silky smooth experience.

The 42mm watch has a 35mm screen with 263ppi, and the 46mm watch has a 40mm screen with 233ppi. Motorola claim this has the highest screen to case ratio of any smartwatch on the market, there’s practically no bezel in sight. Eagle-eyed readers will notice the infamous flat tyre is still in tact.

Battery life also looks set to improve, with a 300mAh in the 42mm and a 400mAh on the 46mm. This provides around 1.5 or 2 days use respectively, the devices also feature wireless charging similar to the previous model (but chargers are not compatible).

To round things off the smartwatch has two mics, WiFi, an optical heart rate sensor and an IP67 dust and water resistance.

Not content with going after the style market, Motorola has also targetted the fitness-focused consumers with the Moto 360 Sport. The Sport variation is very similar to the other model, however it features both a heart rate sensor and GPS. It runs Android Wear on a LCD display that combines a traditional backlit transmissive screen with a front lit reflective technology.

Both watches will benefit from the recent Android Wear update that brings iOS support and interactive watch faces.

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2015 and 2016. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering.  Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.