Moto 360 2 hands on

This week we asked one of The Lowdown’s trusted reviewers to spend a week with the new Moto 360 smartwatch…
by
Moto 360 2 hands on

Heavy metal

I’ve used a lot of smartwatches – but I distinctly remember the first time I used the original Moto 360 midway through 2014. At the time it seemed like the best thing since sliced bread, but compared to Motorola’s new model sitting on my wrist today, I might as well have been wearing a Casio Databank calculator watch.

This is also the first smartwatch I’ve had the pleasure of using a smartwatch that doesn’t feature a plastic or leather strap. It’s steel - cold, hard, stainless steel.

The weight difference obviously contributes to the feeling of a traditional timepiece, and links can be removed or added to suit to size of your wrist. This is one of the first things I did. Having consulted a jeweller, I found it easy enough to add a few extra links to suit my larger wrist size, which are included in the box.

This isn’t a difficult process, so if you want to do it yourself this is how you add or take away links on a metal watch:

  • Look closely at the side of the links near the clasp, you’ll notice small pins embedded within the metal. These are removable.
  • You’ll need something that matches the size of the pin – a SIM key will work.
  • You need to apply a fair amount of pressure to push the pin through, so that it comes out the other side.
  • Once you’ve removed the pin, you can detach the links and add more by reversing the process.

If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, any reputable jeweller will have the necessary tools to do it for you.

Downsizing

The original Moto 360’s circular face measured 46mm across, which was pretty massive compared to competitors. Although it was round, a small section was missing from the bottom of the screen, which has since been dubbed the ‘flat tire’ display.

Motorola told me the missing section was included to cover some internal hardware, but as it also features on the new model, it must be more of a design choice. A weird one, at that.

The clarity of the screen has been boosted, and the option of a smaller 42mm size is available (which you can see in the photographs in this article). This also made for a more familiar look, which makes all the difference in the smartwatch game. The only thing that made it standout as slightly unusual was the 2 o’clock crown/power button position.

Android Wear

Android Wear 5.1 is the operating system that runs on the 360. Despite its Google heritage, however, the Moto works with both Android and iOS devices, opening itself up to a much wider audience.

The 5.1 update was a big one, and you can read about all the great new features right here, but in a nutshell it means you can do more from the wrist. Access your favourite contacts with a quick swipe, check your heart rate and track fitness with the inbuilt apps, or choose from a huge range of clock faces, available from the Google Play Store and Motorola Connect.

Our verdict

All in all, the second generation of the Moto 360 is superb. The various band materials ultimately make the big difference in terms of look and feel, but the Android Wear software is a good as ever, guaranteed to deliver a seamless and enjoyable wearable experience.

Order your very own Moto 360 2 from our sister company, Currys PC World. And if you've got any questions, drop us a comment below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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