If 2014 was the year when smartwatches arrived, 2015 and 2016 are the years they came of age. They’re not on every wrist yet, but the hardware has really advanced since Google announced Android Wear at its 2014 I/O developers’ conference. Apple Watch is a major contender, but the most elegant smartwatches on their market are probably the Huawei Watch and Moto 360 2nd Gen, both powered by Android. After all, it seems like consumers still want their smartwatch to “look like a watch” with a round face, rather than another screen in a world that’s already saturated with screens.
The biggest gripes that users had with the first smartwatches included their bulkiness, short battery life and underpowered processors. The Huawei Watch is the Chinese company’s first smartwatch design, whereas the Moto 360 2nd Gen is a refresh of the first Android Wear device that was announced alongside the LG G Watch. For a first stab in a quickly evolving product category, Huawei gets an amazing number of things right with the Huawei Watch. The new Moto 360 also improves greatly upon the criticisms leveled against the nascent model.
Until now, the smartwatch you bought was mostly decided by what smartphone you used. For instance, the Galaxy Gear smartwatches were only compatible with Samsung’s own Galaxy smartphones. Android Wear was designed to break down all those barriers, letting you pair any recent Android device (OS version 4.3 and above) with any Android Wear smartwatch, in theory.
In our comparison below, we look at the Huawei Watch and the Moto 360 2nd Gen. There’s also a separate device called the Moto 360 Sport, with a hybrid display that’s less reflective in the sun, silicone strap to repel sweat and built-in GPS sensor that can be used independently of a smartphone. We haven’t covered it in the chart below.
Huawei Watch versus Moto 360 2nd Gen Android Wear Watches
|Huawei Watch||Moto 360 2nd Gen|
|Colors & Styles
||Black, Rose Gold, Swarovski Crystal, Clous de Paris||Silver, Black, Gold|
|Material||Stainless Steel Casing, Steel or Leather Straps||Stainless Steel Casing, Steel or Leather Straps|
|Case Diameter||42 mm For Ladies: 44 mm||Mens: 42, 46 mm Womens: 42 mm|
|Case Thickness||11.3 mm For Ladies: 12.45 mm||11.4mm|
|Display||1.4″ AMOLED, 286 PPI||Mens (42) & Womens: 1.37″ Backlit LCD, 263 PPI|
|Mens (46): 1.56” Backlit LCD, 233 PPI|
|Watch Band||Standard 18mm||Mens (42): 20 mm|
|Mens (46): 22 mm|
|Womens: 16 mm|
|OS||Android Wear||Android Wear|
|CPU||Quad-Core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400||Quad-Core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400|
|Memory||512 MB RAM||512 MB RAM|
|Storage||4 GB internal||4 GB internal|
|Wireless||802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE 4.0||802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE 4.0|
|Ambient Light Sensor||No||Yes|
|Mic. Noise Cancellation||No||Yes|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyro, heart rate, barometer||Accelerometer, gyro, heart rate|
|Battery Life||300 mAh, up to 48 hours||400 mAh, up to 48 hours|
|Charging||Wireless, proprietary charger||Qi wireless charging|
|Watch Face||Sapphire Crystal||Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|Water Resistance||IP67 certified, Up to 1 m for 30 mins||IP67 certified, Up to 1 m for 30 mins|
|Release Date||Mar 2015||Sep 2015|
|Price at Release
||From $499||From $379|
|Buy Now||$299 – Check Price on Amazon||$284 – Check Price on Amazon|
Key Differences Between the Huawei and Moto 360 Smart Watches
- Connectivity – Both smartwatches must be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy to download notifications from the Internet via your phone’s data connection.
- CPU, RAM and storage are identical with support for recent updates of Android Wear.
- Fit and finish – Both watches have an abundance of finishes to choose from, but the edge goes to the Huawei Watch with luxurious Swarovski Crystal and Clous de Paris designs for women. Since Huawei’s designers went with a standard 18mm strap size, a plus is you can easily use third-party straps.
- Display – At full brightness, the Huawei Watch’s AMOLED is easier to read in the sun, with deeper blacks and more saturated colors compared to the Moto 360’s backlit LCD display. If you hold the watch up close, the higher PPI (286 PPI) is evident with the Huawei Watch and the display is fully circular, unlike the Moto 360 that still has a black strip at the bottom, as in Gen 1.
- Battery – The Moto 360 has a larger capacity battery (400 mAh) compared to the Huawei Watch (300 mAh). This makes us suspicious that the Huawei Watch claims the same 48 hours between charges as its Motorola counterpart.
- In real world tests though, both watches deliver all-day battery life, but the Huawei Watch’s longevity held up surprisingly well. It even got a couple more hours compared to the Moto 360 when using dark watch faces, despite Motorola’s efforts to sip power with a black-and-white mode when passively displaying the time.
- Charging – In a bind, it’s easier to find a charger for the Moto 360 than the Huawei Watch because the former uses the Qi charging standard. The Huawei Watch must be charged using its proprietary charger with a magnetic connector, which can be finicky at times.
- Speaker – In terms of miscellaneous features, we prefer the Huawei Watch. The loudspeaker is a significant feature that enables the Huawei Watch to be used as an alarm clock or speakerphone. The Moto 360 only notifies by vibrations, without an internal speaker.
- Light Sensor – But the Huawei is missing an ambient light sensor, so it cannot adjust brightness automatically like the Moto 360. You have to adjust the brightness manually for the bright sun, or when you go indoors to optimize battery life.
Overall, both devices are elegant smartwatches that will elevate their wearers’ sense of style. The Huawei Watch comes in at a higher price point, but has higher quality components like its sapphire watch face that justify this. The Moto 360 is much improved over its 2014 edition, swapping out the appallingly outdated and slow TI OMAP 3 processor for a modern one.
Since a smartwatch is as much a fashion item as a tech gadget, take the time to browse the different finishes and straps that you can pair with your purchase. Now, smartwatches are not only reserved for first adopters but they are going mainstream.
Just like when you got your first smartphone, you might not realize the usefulness of a smartwatch until you have one. Busy professionals and people on-the-go can save time pulling out their phone to “swipe away notifications” and benefit from a growing collection of Android Wear apps for personal organization, fitness, navigation and more.
Featured image used under Creative Commons License, from Wikipedia Commons