Motorola Moto 360 Sport review: A fitness smartwatch that’s fatally flawed
Motorola Moto 360 Sport: Fitness tracking and Moto Body app
From a hardware perspective, then – aside from the waterproofing issue – the Moto 360 would appear to have all the tools it needs to deliver a serious sports tracker for the discerning fitness fanatic. It’s disappointing, therefore, that the Moto Body software, watch face and watch app are so limited in scope.
The hub of it all is the 360 Sport’s Sport watch face. This shows the time in the centre, with various fitness metrics ranged around the edges in the form of gauges. Three of these indicate progress towards daily goals – “Heart activity”, steps and calories burned – while the third simply shows seconds.
If this sounds unnecessarily complex, let me assure you it’s anything but. It’s a highly elegant, almost Apple-esque, way of getting a quick overview of your daily activity. The only disappointment is that it’s the only sport-related watch face Motorola supplies with the watch.
Hit the Start button below the time display and up pops the Moto Body running app, which is where all the action happens. This allows you to track your indoor or outdoor activities, and you can choose to exercise “free” or to time/distance/calorie targets. Once you’ve picked your mode and pressed Start, up pops a series of status screens.
The default screen is a dashboard of relevant live exercise data – distance, pace per mile or kilometre and time elapsed. Swiping to the right of this screen takes you to the heart-rate zone display, and right again to the lap display screen.
It’s all very effective and easy to use. The heart-rate monitor seems reasonably accurate and responsive (it records at one-second intervals, so you can see immediately when heart rate goes up and down). I also like the fact that there’s integration with more than simply Google Fit. The Moto Body running app synchronises with Strava, Fitbit, Map My Run, and Under Armour Record.
All of which makes it frustrating that Motorola’s own app is so inflexible. Quite apart from the fact that running is the only explicitly supported activity, that there’s no facility for more advanced training options is plain madness.
Smartwatches are potentially fabulous tools for guided workouts. They have Bluetooth for wireless headphone connectivity and internal storage so apps can store motivational audio snippets, but there’s no option for this here. The Moto Body running app doesn’t even alert you when you move from one heart rate zone to another for basic interval training. It’s a major disappointment.
Motorola Moto 360 Sport review: Performance, battery life and other features
There’s also little special about when it comes to performance and battery life. Although the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor ensures smooth operation, a small 300mAh battery means the Moto 360 Sport’s stamina isn’t very impressive, despite the fancy Anylight display.
The longest I saw it last with all the sensors and Wi-Fi turned on was a little over 24 hours. During this time I went for a short, 18-minute run and used the running app to track a couple of brisk walks during my commute home in the evening. That’s a total of only 27 minutes of continuous tracking – the rest of the time it spent being a standard smartwatch.
Even with GPS and Wi-Fi switched off, though, I was able only to eke out the battery life for a handful of hours more. In short, you’ll be charging this watch overnight, every night. Without fail.
There are other issues, too, the most serious of which was a bug that affected heart-rate accuracy and data synchronisation. Initially, the heart-rate monitor worked perfectly, but after a few days of use it went haywire, indicating my heart rate had fallen after I had climbed five flights of stairs. A factory reset did fix the problem, but this is a concern.
And, while the GPS appeared to be tracking my pace and distance reasonably accurately, once the data was overlaid on the map in the Moto Body smartphone app and Strava, the trace wandered all over the place. It’s clearly not dead-on accurate.
My final niggle is with the design of the strap. Quite apart from the fact that you can’t swap it out in the event of damage, it doesn’t lie flat, meaning you can’t use the Moto 360 Sport’s wireless charging facility with flat third-party charging pads. You have to stick with the cradle included in the box.
Motorola Moto 360 Sport review: Verdict
Clearly, the Motorola Moto 360 isn’t a very good fitness watch – it simply doesn’t give you enough control for that, and neither does it provide any extra motivation or the tools to take you beyond the usual target-based steps and heart-rate activity goals. If you need to take your training to the next level, this is not the wearable for you.
The problem is that it isn’t a great smartwatch in its own right, either. It’s comfortable to wear, runs Android Wear smoothly, and it has a few nice-to-have extra features, but a series of design flaws and poor battery life mean it lags behind in this department as well.
The only good news is that, at £219, it’s not all that expensive – in fact, it’s £10 cheaper than the smaller second-generation Moto 360 2 – but, despite this, I’d still recommend considering other Android Wear smartwatches first, namely the longer-lasting LG Urbane or the LG G Watch R.