Welcome to Fit&Well’s Moto 360 3rd generation review. We’re hands-on with the latest Wear OS smartwatch (and one of the entries in our best fitness watch buying guide) to tell you everything about its battery life, features, design, performance and fitness tracking capabilities.
Its presence in our “best of” list probably gave the game away, but it’s safe to say the Moto 360 is one of the best WearOS watches you can get, and is chock-full of fitness features while retaining all the functionality of a real smartwatch.
Despite the name, the watch isn’t actually made by Motorola: the Moto 360 name has been loaned out to an independent electronics firm called eBuyNow, and they've overseen production. However, they've overseen what's ended up as a fantastic Wear OS watch.
There’s a few design issues and omissions which would be required to bring it up to the standards of some of the top-tier Android offerings like the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active line, but it’s a well-made wearable nonetheless and definitely one we recommend.
MOTO 360 REVIEW: DESIGN
The Moto 360’s face is 42.8mm diameter, including bezels, and the casing is 11.68mm deep. It’s not a subtle watch: it looks big and bold and it weighs 52g, so it feels premium. However, the simple design ensures it never veers into being "flashy": the always-on display keeps the watch looking streamlined and simple.
The 1.2” circular AMOLED screen is clear and bright, with no problem being seen in broad daylight. Its thick black circular bezel is quite noticeable, but if you chose a black watch face, as we did, the bezel is almost invisible at a glance. You'd hardly know it was a smartwatch.
The stainless steel casing comes in rose gold, phantom black or steel gray. It’s not the most revolutionary design, but it’s simple and easy to use with the addition of two crown buttons, which are fixed onto the side of the watch. The top button acts as a scroller, just like an Apple Watch.
The watch comes with a silicone 20mm strap for workouts and a leather one for everyday use. The colours of these straps depend on which watch you buy, but we ended up using the plastic strap much more.
The straps are an easy snap fit, so can be changed quite fast, but the watch and the silicone strap are both water-resistant to 3ATM (so you can go swimming with it on). With the silicone strap on, you can go from workout to showering without fussing about the leather, so we rarely used the leather strap during our test.
MOTO 360 REVIEW: PERFORMANCE AND FITNESS TRACKING
The Moto 360 supports Android Pay, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The sensors in the watch are very accurate and the screen kicks into life very easily: during our two week review period, not once did we have to do the classic smartwatch “wrist shake” to light the watch up. The sensors accurately track the watch’s movements, working with the GPS and Galileo satellite targeting support for accurate pace tracking, perfect if you’re just getting into running for the first time.
The watch works well enough to go on runs without the phone, with its 8GB of memory holding plenty of music. However, Moto 360 runs in conjunction with apps like Spotify if you don't want to download your own music collections onto your watch. Heart rate readings are also very good, with a few small exceptions: while wearing the watch day-to-day, we found the heart rate sensor would miss a few points, resulting in small, irregular gaps in the Google Fit data throughout the day.
Google Fit is what WearOS' fitness tracking is based on, which uses Heart Points (with each "heart point" representing one minute of exercise) and a separate “active minutes” metric. These are pretty much interchangeable, but the fitness tracking also covers lots of different forms of exercise, tracking your heart rate and stats while boxing, playing basketball, calisthenics, rock climbing and a whole host of others activities. It's really comprehensive, and once you adjust your goals on the WearOS and Google Fit apps to meet your requirements, it's a very useful tool.
MOTO 360: BATTERY LIFE
The Moto 360’s 355mAh battery lasts around a day and a half, roughly 30 hours. I’d frequently wear mine all day and all night to get my resting heart rate, only to remove it for charging around 1pm the next day. With more significant GPS use, such as a long run or cycle, expect to charge it early the following morning.
When battery life is at its lowest, the Moto 360 reverts to a "time only" mode. The always-on screen still displays your watch face, but shuts down all smart functionality. It's a useful feature that ensures you're never left with a dead device strapped to your wrist.
The battery is also said to charge from 0-100% in sixty minutes, which our findings reflect. The charger provided is a magnetic snap-on USB charger, which does the job perfectly well, but for the price point, we’d really like to have seen wireless charging from the watch, which is one of the few things it lacks in addition to a speaker.
MOTO 360 REVIEW: VERDICT
At a price of £299/$299, the Moto 360 smartwatch is a great Wear OS watch. Those taken in by the nostalgia of the Moto 360 name and shape will feel right at home, as the iconic design has been updated in the best way: the sensors are accurate, the UI is easy to navigate and the information the watch provides is useful. The design, while prominent, isn’t too big, with the slick stainless steel and choice of colours leaves the user looking and feeling like they’re wearing a mechanical timepiece.
However, the Moto 360, although down from its initial price of £340/$340, is only an attractive prospect for those who know they want a Wear OS watch. If you’re dithering between other operating systems, such as the Apple Watch and its WatchOS or Samsung’s Tizen software, the Moto 360 can’t quite topple the others as the best in the game.