Moto 360 Sport Review

The Moto 360 Sport has made its way to the consumer market and I got the opportunity to review Motorola’s new Sport Buddy

I’ve been sporting the Apple Watch Sport (no pun intended) since April 2015. After reviewing the unit, I was convinced I needed a wearable, but I wasn’t sure why. After loosing nearly 30 pounds in the last nine months, I understand the importance of wearable technology in the consumer market. However, not all technology is created equal.

The Moto 360 Sport is no doubt Motorola’s response to the Apple Watch, as both a watch and an activity tracker; and it does its job very well. Like most activity trackers on the market, it comes in a few colors, has a heart rate sensor, is water resistant, and is charged wirelessly. However, the Moto 360 Sport is more than just another activity tracker or another Android wear device. It is the younger, active sibling to the classic Moto 360 smartwatch, which was released in September 2014. At first glance, the box look nearly identical to the Moto 360 but the wristband reveals watch’s true identity.

Above: A cardio workout measured by the Moto 360 Sport. Below: The same workout measured by the Apple Watch. Image Sources: Matthew Montoya.

The Good

There is little to like about the watch. First, as a runner, I like this device. The built-in GPS is highly accurate, making it great for ditching the phone while exercising. The Anylight Display allows me to track my progress or simply glance at the time, no matter the lighting condition. Secondly, the tight integration with the Android OS makes it a fantastic companion device. Because I’m wearing my watch, my phone automatically knows I’m near it, allowing me to skip the tedious unlocking process when I want to get into my phablet. Unfortunately, that’s about all the good this device has to offer.

The Bad

Although the watch can be paired with an iPhone, I wouldn’t recommend doing this. You still get notifications from your iPhone on the 360 Sport but, cannot do much with them. The watch frequently looses connection with the iPhone, causing the user to repeatedly reconnect the device on both ends.

Because of the built in GPS, the battery life on the device is deplorable. My day normally starts at 4:30am and ends around 10:00pm. Motorola claims the drives gets “up to a full day of mixed use with Ambient on,” however, with an early morning gym session and a day filled with active movement, I couldn’t get the 300mAh battery to last beyond 2:00pm.

During my initial review of the Apple Watch, I found that as a fitness tracker, it very closely matched Garmin’s top fitness tracker (at that time), offering highly accurate results when it came to fitness tracking specifically, calories burned. During workouts, the Moto 360 Sport came within a plus-or-minus range of 10 calories when compared to the Apple Watch. However, outside of workouts, it grossly overestimated the number of steps I took and calories burned, claiming I burned an extra 100–250 calories PER DAY when compared to my Apple Watch


How does this stack up against other smartwatches?

Like Fitbit devices, Android Wear watches are compatible on multiple platforms, meaning that iPhone and Android users can use this device with their phone, giving it a leg up over device like the Apple Watch.

The Moto 360 Sport overhangs from the wrist, meaning that if you have thin wrists, expect discomfort along the protruding bone. This issue however, is not unique to the the Moto 360 Sport but, is common among round and square smartwatches. This can be combated by raising the watch higher along your wrist.

Setting up the watch and transferring apps/music took quite a while yet, this is also a universal issue, NOT unique to the 360 Sport.

Should I invest in a Moto 360 Sport?

For the $300 price tag, this device brings the worlds of Fitbit and Android Wear together. However, if you are looking for for the same price, you can opt for the Moto 360, which sports a great design and allows for interchangeable bands. For less than $100, you can purchase a Fitbit activity tracker.

The Moto 360 Sport is a great contestant in the current smartwatch market but in this growing industry, buyers may want to consider alternative devices. This device is great for the active person but that’s about it. The bands cannot be exchanged, so what you buy is what you get. The band feels like it will easily rip and wear out, which is something to consider when purchasing the device without Moto Care protection.

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