It has been mentioned in this column numerous times how this job can be filled with pleasant surprises. This time around, the pleasant surprises come in the form of a collection of features on the new Motorola Moto 360 Sport. As it so happened, these features were exactly the ones I was looking for in a smartwatch, but just didn’t know they were missing until they were suddenly available. In fact, it is these features that differentiate the Moto 360 Sport from the second generation Moto 360 reviewed here.
In the review of the second generation Moto 360, I wrote that it is “one of the best activity tracker/heart rate monitors you’ll ever use,” which is still true, but the Sport is even better thanks to a little bit of hardware and the software required to make it work. Since the Sport is so sport-centric, things like an altimeter and built-in GPS make perfect sense. The GPS works seamlessly with the Moto Body app and makes it possible to leave the phone behind when out for a run while still tracking every square inch of the path taken.
But if the phone is left behind, won’t the tunes be left behind? Nope. Freedom is yours. Since a workout without tunes is merely a bunch of sweating, grunting, and arguing with the inner voice about how much more fun it would be to be eating a giant, sloppy burger than running anywhere, ever, it is nice that playlists can be easily loaded up and accessed. Listening to that music is as easy as pairing a favorite pair of wireless headphones with the watch and heading out into the world.
While out and about, viewing the screen in bright, direct sunlight has become much easier thanks to the AnyLight Hybrid Display. This display automatically adjusts to make the screen readable in any light. While it is not as easy to read as an e-paper display in direct sunlight, it is far more bright and crisp in all other conditions.
While it would be nice to be able to get more time out of every charge, there’s no complaints about battery performance. With the GPS turned on and the “always-on” screen and WiFi shut off, the Moto 360 can easily go for 24 hours between charges with each charging session taking about 45 minutes. Not bad. Obviously, battery technology is the next great technological frontier. (Hello, Elon?)
To say that the Motorola Moto 360 experience keeps getting better is a pretty big understatement. The Moto 360 Sport may not be the best match with your favorite cufflinks but it is so dang awesome at and for everything else that it’s casual, sporty appearance is almost inconsequential. For more information about Motorola and the Moto 360 family, click here.
**Full disclosure: This watch was provided at no cost for editorial consideration, to think otherwise would be silly.