When the second generation Moto 360 was released nearly a year and a half ago, we deemed it a duly capable smartwatch with competitive features. Now that the Android Wear 2.0 operating system has been released, is it still worth holding onto? Or should you upgrade to the LG Watch Sport instead?
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
The Moto 360 is available in two sizes, 46 mm and 42 mm. The two have several features in common; we'll indicate where they differentiate below.
Altogether, this lineup of watches is similarly sized. Note that the LG Watch Sport's measurement includes the sizable crown on the right side of the face, so its overall bulk is a little smaller than you might expect, although it is still substantially thicker than the relatively slim Moto 360 options.
The LG Watch Sport has a stainless steel body, but the part that touches your skin is plastic. The Moto 360 is stainless steel all over. Both have Gorilla Glass 3 displays.
The LG Watch Sport has a fixed elastomer band – it contains antennae, so you can't take it off or swap it out. The Moto 360 has stainless steel and leather band options that are easily interchangeable thanks to a quick release lever.
Fully round display
The display on the Moto 360 is not entirely round. It has a conspicuous flat area on the bottom (see its outline on the display size image below).
Even accommodating for that "flat tire", the bigger Moto 360 watch's display is approximately 19 percent larger than that of the LG Watch Sport. The 42 mm Moto 360 overall display area is just a tad smaller.
The LG Watch Sport has the highest resolution, which translates into a visibly sharper viewing experience.
Both watches have always-on display options, so you can see key notifications at a glance. You can turn it off if you'd prefer privacy, or to reduce battery drain.
However, the Moto 360 still holds onto an IPS display. That's an interesting choice considering its always-on display option. In general, OLED screens are better choices for always-on displays, since they don't waste battery life by backlighting black pixels.
Heart rate monitor
Both watches have built-in heart rate monitors for your fitness-tracking needs.
Only the LG Watch Sport has built-in GPS for navigation and mapping workouts.
The LG Watch Sport has cellular data connectivity options, so you can use all of its features completely independently of your phone.
Moto 360 is not set up for Android Pay, but thanks to NFC technology, you can use the LG Watch Sport to make mobile payments with a swipe of the wrist.
The LG Watch Sport has the biggest battery of the bunch, but LG has not released an official battery life estimate. Considering all of its extra sensors, we don't expect it to have significantly longer battery life than the 46 mm Moto 360.
Both watches come with a wireless charger.
Rotating power button
With its rotating power button, LG has successfully mimicked our favorite navigational feature on the Apple Watch. Instead of being limited to swipes and taps, you can rotate the crown to access content and switch between apps.
Both watches are water resistant (but not swim proof). The LG offering can withstand brief accidental immersion in slightly deeper water than the Moto 360 can.
The LG Watch Sport was launched alongside the Android Wear 2.0 update, and at this point, it is the most fully-featured 2.0 offering available. Google has said that the 2.0 update will roll out to the second generation Moto 360 watches soon. However, due to the Moto's hardware limitation, it will not be able to support all of the new software's features.
Note that Android Wear watches are compatible with both Android and iOS-running smartphones, but they work more seamlessly within the Android ecosystem.
We don't normally put much stake into smartwatch processors, because they have historically been very similar. But here, the newer Snapdragon 2100 chip in the LG Watch Sport should represent a marked difference over the older Snapdragon 400.
The LG Watch Sport is one of the newest smartwatches on the market. The Moto 360 has been around for nearly a year and a half.
Starting price (full retail)
The LG Watch Sport has a similar price point to the Moto 360's original full retail pricing. At this point, we probably wouldn't recommend buying a Moto 360 since it's a relative dinosaur in the mobile technology world, but if you do decide to take that route, do not pay full price. Most of the places where these watches are still available for purchase are offering them at a steep markdown.View gallery - 21 images