Say "Hello Moto" to your next WearOS based smartwatch from Motorola.
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Quick facts about Motorola smartwatches
- Motorola was one of the first smartwatch makers to provide a "circular" smartwatch
- Older models had a noticeable "flat tire" base on the screen
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What to consider when choosing a Motorola smartwatch
Motorola as a brand has a long history in smartphones, and the same is true in the smartwatch arena. All the way back in 2014, it launched its first Moto 360 smartwatch, the first on the market to feature a round watch face at a time when every other smartwatch used square or rectangular designs. Motorola only released two variants of the Moto 360 before taking a bit of a break from smartwatches, but in late 2019, it released a new Moto 360 model, initially only for the US market.
Here's what to consider when choosing a Motorola smartwatch:
You're not spoilt for choice when it comes to Moto 360 smartwatches, with only three models ever making it to market. They're all circular, with the early models featuring that noticeable "flat tire" effect at the base of the screen. That's thankfully absent from the newer 2019 Moto 360, possibly because it's not actually made by Motorola and is instead manufactured by a company called eBuyNow. It comes with leather and rubber straps, as well as a full-screen OLED display.
Again, the relatively small number of available models means that you're stuck with only a couple of screen sizes. The original Moto 360 watch had a 1.56 inch diameter LCD display, while the 2nd generation featured either a 1.37 inch or 1.56 inch LCD. 2015's Moto 360 Sport watch featured a 1.37 inch display, while the newer, strictly-speaking-not-Motorola Moto 360 features a 1.2 inch, fully circular OLED display.
The older Moto 360 smartwatches are, in a word, old. In this case, that's not necessarily a bad thing if you're after compatibility, because they'll work with much older Android variants than many newer smartwatches that rely on newer Android versions. If you opt for the newer Moto 360, it requires Android 5.0 or newer, or iOS 10 or better to pair with your smartphone of choice.
While you don't typically need that much storage on a smartwatch, it's handy to have some capacity to add companion apps or sideload music for on-the-go listening. The older Moto 360 watches tended to have just 4GB of storage space for everything you'd want, while the newer model features 8GB of storage capacity.
The newer Moto 360 features a 355mAh battery with quick charging capability, and that should fairly easily be good enough for a day's usage. That used to be the case for the older models as well, but if you are considering buying one, it's well worth realising that every single older Moto 360 smartwatch will have more than a few years on it. You'll most likely save in purchase price, but the simple chemistry of lithium-ion batteries means that they will almost certainly have lost some capacity unless they've been refurbished in the meantime. They're a sealed battery, like every other smartwatch, so that's not going to be a simple process.
While IP-rated water resistance is something of a rarity when it comes to Motorola's own phones, its Moto 360 smartwatches are generally tested for water ingress. For the newer Moto 360, there's even the claim that it's tested for some 10,000 swim strokes, although that's most likely still in clean water rather than, say, seawater which has different effects on the kinds of seals used to keep water and delicate electronics separate.
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