Moto 360: 2nd generation vs. 1st generation
Today Motorola launched its second-generation Moto 360, which brings some spec upgrades and trademark Motorola customization options to the smartwatch. Let's see how the new compares to the old.
The new Moto 360 will ship in two different sizes. The bigger (46 mm) model is aimed at men, and has nearly identical dimensions to the 2014 version – the only difference is it's a hair thinner.
But there's also a smaller (42 mm) Moto 360 (available in both men's and women's models) that won't look quite so ... massive on the wrist. It's 9 percent shorter and narrower than the bigger model.
Build (main body)
Nothing new here, as the 2nd-gen Moto 360 sticks with a stainless steel casing, like last year's model.
Motorola is also selling the new watch with your choice of leather or stainless steel bands.
Similar to the Apple Watch, Motorola says you'll be able to swap out the new Moto 360's band with a single touch – no clunky pin removal necessary.
The new Moto 360's primary casing colors are black, silver and gold (pictured), but the women's model will also ship in rose gold.
For the first time this year, you can also order a customized version of the new Moto 360 with a bezel that's a different color from the rest of the casing.
Of course all Android Wear watches will work with recent Android phones (running Android 4.3 or higher).
Google just cast its wearable platform's net much wider, by adding iPhone support.
Though Google's announcement only mentioned compatibility for new models, several outlets have reported that the original Moto 360 pairs with the iOS Android Wear app and works without a hitch.
In addition to having a nearly identical physical size to the 2014 model, the bigger 2015 model also has the same screen size. The smaller of the two new models has a screen that's (roughly) 77 percent as big.
"Flat tire" display
We're starting to think the original Moto 360's "flat tire" (cut-off point at the bottom of the display) may have been less of a technical necessity and more of a deliberate design choice, after it's shown up for a second straight year.
It can look a bit odd, but when you consider that the horizontal lines of Android Wear cards pop up from the bottom of the screen, the flat bottom makes a little more sense.
No major upgrades here, but the new models do get a slight resolution bump – with the smaller model getting the bigger pixel density boost of the two.
Motorola, which once stuck like glue to AMOLED displays in its smartphones, appears to be using an IPS LCD in its smartwatch for a second straight year (press materials list it as "backlit LCD," which was the same terminology used to describe the IPS in the 2014 model ... we'll update if we hear otherwise).
Battery life was the biggest concern with the 2014 Moto 360, but if Motorola's estimates hold true, it could be one of the most important updates in the second-gen model. We'll be keeping a close eye on battery life when we review the new Moto.
Most Android Wear watches have an always-on display option, where the screen leaves a dimmed clock face active at all times. But the original Moto 360 only had an "ambient mode" that would leave the screen on more often (it appeared to be when it was within a certain range of view), but still not all the time.
In the new model, "ambient mode" means always-on, bringing it into parity with other Wear watches. And you still have the option of turning the setting off, so the screen only comes on when you lift your wrist or physically activate the watch.
Though the 2nd-gen Moto 360 won't be backwards compatible with the original's charger, both support wireless charging (and include a dock for that purpose).
The original Moto 360's performance was slightly laggy compared to other Wear smartwatches, but the new model gets the same Snapdragon 400 that powers its zippy rivals.
512 MB of RAM has been consistent across the board with all Android Wear smartwatches.
Ditto for 4 GB of internal storage.
We're looking at the same IP67 water resistance in the new models. That means they can soak in 1 m (3.3 ft) of water for half an hour, and keep on ticking (erm, processing?).
Heart rate monitor
Like just about every major smartwatch release we've seen, the new Moto 360 has a built-in pulse sensor.
The new models should launch with the new Android Wear 1.3 update, which many 1st-gen Moto 360 owners have already received.
The new models launch this month, with pre-orders up and running.
The first Moto 360 launched at a US$250 starting price, but has since dropped by $100, as retailers make room for the new models. The new version jumps up to a $300 starting price, and climbs as high as $430, depending on which size/color/band you choose.
For more from Gizmag, you can check out our full review of the new Moto 360.