Motorola backed out of the smart watch market way back in 2016, after releasing two versions of its Moto 360 smartwatch, the first all-touchscreen smartwatch with a round display. At the time, the company indicated there just wasn’t enough interest in wearable devices for the company to continue investing in the category. Fast forward three years and the Moto 360 smartwatch has returned, though not in the way you might expect.
The new Moto 360 is made by a company called eBuyNow, which describes itself as “an independent, data-driven consumer electronics company” that “work[s] with proprietary tools to identify precise gaps in the consumer electronics industry, and then proceed to build, market, and distribute promising consumer electronics goods with a strictly results-oriented approach.”
Apparently, that means licensing and resurrecting a dead smartwatch brand from Motorola and releasing a new product under its name.
The Moto 360 third-generation, as eBuyNow is referring to the product, will cost $349.99 when it ships in December. It runs Wear OS, and like Fossil’s fifth-generation Wear OS watches, the new Moto 360 has a fully circular display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 3100 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It also has a heart rate monitor, GPS, and NFC for mobile payments. You’ll be able to get it in silver, gold, or black stainless steel finishes.
The 1.2-inch, fully-circular (no “flat tire” here) 360 x 360 pixel touchscreen is an OLED panel with an always-on option, and there are two buttons on the side of the watch. The top button also rotates, letting you scroll through the interface with a twist, just like the rotating crowns on Fossil watches or the Apple Watch. The lower button can be customized to launch an app of your choice.
The Moto 360’s 355mAh battery charges on the included cradle, and eBuyNow says it can go from dead to fully charged in just sixty minutes, which is considerably faster than most other smartwatches on the market right now.
In terms of design, the 52g Moto 360 is smaller than some other Wear OS watches, but it’s not as compact as the smaller Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 or the 40mm Apple Watch. It’s design is modern, but it’s still chunky and thick and will dwarf smaller wrists. The lugs in particular remind me of the 2nd-gen Moto 360 that Motorola produced. The latest model also suffers a bit from a generic look — it’s hard to tell that this is any different from the many Fossil smartwatch designs unless you notice the Motorola batwing logo on the crown.
The OLED display is also not as vibrant or bright as Samsung or Apple’s. Despite it having a relatively high resolution, the screen looks visibly pixelated compared to the others. It also has a significant border around it that makes the screen look smaller than it actually is. The unit that we were able to use for a few days before the official announcement is a pre-production model, but performance is on par with other Wear OS devices that have 1GB of RAM. It’s certainly not as responsive as an Apple Watch or Galaxy Watch, but it’s not frustratingly laggy to use either.
At $350, the Moto 360 is one of the most expensive Wear OS watches on the market, and it costs more than Samsung’s latest models. It does come with two straps — a leather one and a rubber one — and its fit and finish is good. But at its core it’s still a Wear OS device, which puts it at a disadvantage compared to other smartwatches. It’s not really pushing the envelope with new technology or a fresh design, but if you were hoping the Moto 360 would rise from the grave as an updated Wear OS watch, you won’t be hugely disappointed.
The new Moto 360 will be available for preorder in November at moto360.com and will hit retailers in December.
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Source: The Moto 360 smartwatch is back… well, sort of
By Dan Seifert
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