Moto-360-AH-1

About Ambient Display and Battery Life on the Moto 360

September 8, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

As most of you know, a lot of people weren’t too impressed with the battery life on the Moto 360. There was even a “review” that came out early – then got pulled – from The Wall Street Journal that said they had to charge their watch twice a day. Which I’m not a fan of writing reviews just hours after being handed a device from a manufacturer. It’s just not enough time to put the device through it’s paces and really see how good, or bad it really is. Which is why we haven’t done a review on any of Motorola’s new products just yet.

The first full day I had the Moto 360, was Friday, September 5th. And I had it in Ambient Display mode for a bit. After about 5 hours or so, it was down to 59%. And since I was traveling that day, I didn’t want to be walking around an airport with a dead watch on my arm. The second and third day, I used it with Ambient Display turned off. I was able to go through about 15-16 hours of use and it would be around 30-40% (each day was different due to the amount of notifications I got). Which is plenty of battery life for me, as I always put it on the charger at night as well.

So Ambient Display isn’t ideal right now, especially if you don’t want to charge your watch during the day. I’m not sure if an OTA will fix this or if it’s a hardware issue. But if it is a software issue, hopefully Motorola gets it straightened out asap. As a lot of people are beginning to turn away from the Moto 360, after it got so much hype when it was first teased earlier this year.

A few other notes to keep in mind about the Moto 360. It does have about 25% smaller battery when compared to the LG G Watch. So no it’s not going to have as good of a battery as the LG G Watch, nor the Samsung Gear Live because the Gear Live has an AMOLED display while the Moto 360 has a LCD display. Additionally it is running an older, slower processor. the TI OMAP3 – yes the one from the Galaxy Nexus and the MOTOACTV a few years ago – when the others are running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400. So that will also affect battery life. Also keep in mind, this is a generation one product for Motorola, and I’m sure their smartwatches will get better with the next few generations. And this is just part of the price we pay for being an early adopter.