Moto 360 Second Gen Review: Moto Make It Your Own

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Hardware: Design, Comfort, and Battery Life

Motorola learned a lot from its initial Moto 360, and that's evident in the design of the new edition. Gone are the internal lugs that made changing the strap so difficult, and in their place are conventional external lugs that support standard watch bands from all manufacturers. The company also moved its push button from the 3 o'clock position to a 2 o'clock position, presumably to prevent people from accidentally engaging it. Moreover, it's now available in two sizes for men (42mm and 46mm) and a slimmed-down variant for women (42mm).

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The test unit we were shipped is the larger 46mm version, which gets a 233ppi display (360 x 330). The 42mm watches have a 263ppi display (360 x 325), and all models sit 11.4mm high. Crucially, the largest 46mm model gets a 400mAh battery, while the 42mm model remains at 300mAh. The entire suite has 4GB of internal storage paired with 512MB of RAM, and a pair of digital microphones enable Dick Tracy-style calling if you're smartphone is nearby and paired over Bluetooth.

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Moto Maker

The Moto Maker inclusion makes designing the 360 a lot of fun. You can choose your size (42mm or 46mm), your gender (male or female), your bezel (chamfered or micro knurl, which is an additional $20), your case color, your band, and even the software face that'll be activated right out of the box. While the base model goes for $299.99, you can bump that up depending on what color, edging, and band you select.

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The "flat tire" display is still here, meaning that there's a small snippet of the round display that's cut off to house internal circuitry. We were assuming Moto would do away with that in gen two, but at this stage, they might as well own it. If you can't nix the flat tire, perhaps it should remain throughout the life of the product as a signature. It's the type of thing that really doesn't impact performance, but some might see it as a bit odd to still have this a part of the design in this version.
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Wearing the Moto 360

In terms of wearability and comfort, the new Moto 360 is still larger than some. Even the 42mm model sits 11.4mm tall, which is really thick on one's wrist. For the sake of comparison, 42mm is Apple's largest Watch, and neither its 42mm model nor its 38mm model sit over 10.5mm high. Yes, we're talking millimeters here, but the new 360 looks every bit as chunky as its predecessor. For some users, that could be a good thing of course. That said, it's comfortable to wear, helped by its lightweight stature and Moto's choice to go with external lugs. This allows the watch to fit and feel like a typical watch rather than a new contraption.

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Battery life and longevity

Battery life, thankfully, has improved. It's still next to impossible to benchmark the battery life of a smartwatch due to the obvious variables, but our 46mm model routinely survived from 8:00am to midnight. Even with notifications coming in on a regular basis, a workout during the day, and plenty of reviewer fiddling, the watch never needed to be charged during a typical day. Usually, it would have between 15 and 25 percent remaining when I turned in for the night. We feel comfortable suggesting that the new 360 will last a day when used normally, though you'll want to make a habit of charging it each evening.

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