Hands-On With the Third-Generation iPhone-Compatible Moto 360 Android Watch

The first Moto 360 watch came out in 2014, featuring an Android operating system (now wear OS) and a circular display, a design choice some Apple Watch owners have lusted over.

Motorola discontinued its version of the Moto 360, but a third-generation version came out recently because the name has been licensed to a company called eBuyNow. The new Moto 360 still has the same look and feel as older models, it runs Wear OS, and it can connect to an iPhone, so we thought we'd check it out and compare it to the Apple Watch.

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Priced at $350, the third-generation 42mm Moto 360 continues to use the same circular design introduced with the original Moto 360, and it's equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB of storage. It features a heart rate monitor along with GPS and NFC capabilities.

It has a 360 x 360 OLED panel that's always on, like the new Apple Watch Series 5 models, plus fast charging, water resistance, and a charging puck. In a nutshell, it's pretty similar to many of the Android-based Wear OS watches on the market.


You can pair watches that run Wear OS with the ‌iPhone‌, so the Moto 360 can be used in lieu of an Apple Watch, but given the lack of native integration, it's just not worth it. Functionality is limited to reading text messages, notifying you about text messages, and tracking fitness through Google Fit.


There's no option for answering phone calls, interacting with text messages, or interacting with other devices like the Mac. At $350, there is no reason why an ‌iPhone‌ owner should buy a Wear OS watch like this over an Apple Watch, even if the circular design is appealing.


For Android users, though, it's a solid choice. The OLED display looks great for a smartwatch, there are two buttons for navigation, and it can run Google apps downloaded directly from the wrist. Wear OS can be customized so quick actions like tracking workouts, paying for purchases, and sending texts are right at your fingertips, and combined with apps, functionality is not far off from what the Apple Watch can do.


On the downside, it's a little bit sluggish and sometimes just fails to respond to input for a few seconds, plus it's sometimes prone to random disconnects. Google still needs to make improvements to Wear OS to put it on par with competing platforms like watchOS, but for Android users looking for a smart watch option, the new Moto 360 is worth considering even if it's not made by Motorola.

What do you think about the Moto 360? Is the circular design something you'd like to see in a future Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
9 months ago
What is the obsession with round? It literally only makes sense for an analog watch. Who wants to read a text on or anything on something round?

Why
do people
think this is a
good idea
for a
watch?

It's really confusing to me. It reminds me of the Echo Spot which was round and is mostly useless for getting information. Rectangles are for reading.....
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago
Would buy a round Apple Watch in a heartbeat



Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago


Would buy a round Apple Watch in a heartbeat


That’s hideous.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago
It's nice looking, but I would prefer a round Apple Watch (which is long overdue from Apple, IMHO)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago


It's nice looking, but I would prefer a round Apple Watch (which is long overdue from Apple, IMHO)

Yeah, it's odd that the Apple Watch wasn't round from the beggining given that its honeycomb interface seems like it was designed to optimize space on a round display.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago
If I were an Android person and wanted a watch, I might get this, but it wouldn't make me feel any less jealous of Apple Watch owners. Two problems: the Moto360 is slow, and it's round.

As someone who has owned an Apple Watch since it first hit the market, I know first-hand how lag can mar a smartwatch experience. If you're going to lift your wrist up to do something, as opposed to pulling out your phone, it had better be fast and reliable. The Apple Watch was originally neither, and it took until Gen 3 to finally get there. I have a Gen 4, and lag is finally ancient history to me. It always does what I want, right away. Only Apple can pull this off, because Apple makes their own watch CPU. Android Wear devices are stuck about two generations behind when it comes to processors, with no solution in sight. Qualcomm won't bother because they won't sell enough CPUs to justify it.

As for round, yes it looks more like the watches we are used to. But round is simply not the right screen shape for deep smartwatch functionality. You can do basics with it just fine (telling time, setting an alarm, etc.) but if you want to do more than that, a round screen is going to clip off too much info. That's why I believe Apple will never do a round smartwatch. Because it ruins the canvas.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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