Release Date: 9/14/2015
Sizes: 42mm, 46mm
Usually, with the second generation of hardware, most manufacturers get everything right. The first-gen Moto 360 was great, but it had many issues that were addressed this time around. For starters, the first-gen had major battery issues that weren’t resolved until the end of its support cycle with the Lollipop update, after that the battery life was great if you didn’t use the ambient screen. The biggest issue of all was staying connected to your phone and I had issues with this up until about 2 months ago when I finally resolved them. With the Marshmallow update, the first-gen Moto 360 was pretty solid, but there were also issues with the hardware. The first generation smartwatches had very slow hardware equivalent to phones that came about over 5 years ago. The second-gen Moto 360 is 10x more powerful than the first. This reduces crashing, overheating, hangs, faster boots, and overall more responsiveness. The first-gen also had a mediocre body as over time the glue would loosen up and the screen would come up, and the band was not easily changeable without a jeweler or voiding your warranty. The side button also got stuck a lot and didn’t have very good feedback.
The second-generation fixes all of this plus some. Let’s start with the hardware. The body itself is thicker, but the overall design makes it seem sleeker. The hardware button is bigger and located on the top right corner and clicks very nicely this time. The watchband is inside the watch anymore and is now attached to the outer frame with quick-release buttons for easy changing. This is a huge update that I love so much as I can now collect watch bands with ease. The material feels more sturdy and thicker and the screen is also double the resolution and has better glass.
With that said the watch also fits better. We get a three-way point of wrapping due to the “hinges” of the strap rather than one band that you wrap around your wrist. The watch sits flatter and no longer slides around which is great. If you want to get under the hood the Moto 360 second generation has the following hardware for the 46mm version which I have.
CPU: Snapdragon 400 Quad-Core @ 1.2Ghz
GPU: Adreno 305
Display: Corning Glass 3 LCD at 233 dpi (360×330)
Storage: 4GB ROM + 512MB RAM
Battery: 400 mAh
That’s a huge step up over the last watch. This is a fast beast and the display is beautiful. The 46mm version is the way to go and the $50-100 jump in price is well worth it if you factor in the extra day of battery life. I can actually use ambient mode with this watch and it can lose more than a day, I could not do that with the first-gen watch. While the watch is the same software-wise (there are no new features) just having it perfected is worth the price to me. I don’t really have any complaints with this one as all my issues were resolved from the last watch.
With that said the biggest issue is the price. Starting at $300 this is a premium and high-end watch that is the only one that can beat Apple in terms of style (which the Apple Watch is ugly) and usability. If you hated the first-gen watch I suggest coming back as everything is fixed.