Moto360 3rd Generation Review: Wear OS still holding things back

October 02, 2020

Motorola was the first company to create a circular smartwatch back in 2014. Despite having a flat tire, the original Moto360 was super popular and ahead of its time. Can the 3rd generation of the Moto360 bring back some of that magic?

Specifications

Moto360 3rd Generation Diagram

  • 🧠 Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
  • 📺 1.2" Circular AMOLED 390x390
  • 🗃 1GB RAM + 8GB Storage
  • 🔋 355mAh
  • 🎁 Always on display
  • 🔌 Quick charge 0-100% in 1hr
  • ⚖ 52g
  • 💸 $350+
  • 🎨 Grey, Black, Rose Gold
  • 📆 Ships 2019.12

Connection issues?

My initial impression of the Moto360 3rd generation is lacking. It struggled to connect to the Galaxy S20 5G I had. I had to reset the watch a couple of times before finally being able to obtain a secure connection. Oddly enough, a couple of weeks later, when I tried to connect to a Pixel 4a, the process went without a hitch. Your mileage may vary on this one, but I thought I would mention it.

Is it overheating?

Moto360 3rd Generation with watch face

Another thing I noticed was the watch would get extremely hot when charging or doing intensive work (for example: downloading and updating 3-4 apps). The interface would then lag to a crawl, making it unusable until it cooled down. I feel like this is the device overheating. The performance difference when it is hot v.s cool is quite significant.

The screen is dim in direct sunlight.

The screen on the Moto360 is pretty dim. The auto-brightness seems pretty aggressive in trying to dim the screen to save battery life. Under direct sunlight, the screen can be hard to see.

You'll need to charge this every day.

The battery on the Moto360 lasts about 12 hours with heart rate tracking on constantly. If you want to wear this watch for both sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring, you'll definitely need to come up with a charging schedule in order to use it uninterrupted.

Sad state of Wear OS

Wear OS app with original Moto360 watch faces

Various watch faces that are preloaded with the Moto360

New Google Fit app interface.

Wear OS has not changed much since it's initial inception. Sure, there have been some UX tweaks here and there. But, it is still very lackluster compared to Tizen OS on the Galaxy Watch line. It is sad to see that Google has not invested as much effort into Wear OS like Android.

Most of the preloaded watch faces have been around quite a few years and haven't changed much. Flow is the one of the few that Motorola created for the watch.

Recommendation

Wear OS and their watches still have a long ways to go to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch series. Until there is more investments in the hardware and software side, I can't recommend the Moto360 3rd generation or any wear OS watch for that matter.