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The Moto 360 Smartwatch Is Back To Take On the Apple Watch

(Image credit: Motorola)

Motorola is back in the wearables business — sort of. The Moto 360, a resurrected version of its 2015 all-screen smartwatch, will go on sale in December, but this updated watch isn't actually made by Motorola.

The company abandoned its wearables efforts for nearly four years before licensing the Moto 360 brand to a third-party company, eBuyNow. The new $350 Moto 360 sports an always-on display that puts the watch in prime position to take on the Apple Watch, plus a slew of other neat features in a familiar-looking package. 

The watch has a 42.8mm stainless steel curved case with a wide bezel, rotating crown and action button. The 1.2-inch AMOLED (360 x 360) display has an always-on option, while inside a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform powers the Wear OS operating system. 

Wear OS will put a number of Google tools, like Google Assistant, Gmail and Google Pay, on a Moto 360 user’s wrist. Though the Wear OS platform lags behind Apple’s watchOS and Samsung’s Tizen, we found it's taking steps forward with the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch.

(Image credit: Motorola)

In fact, you might mistake the Moto 360 for a fashion-forward Fossil timepiece at first glance, especially in its rose gold variant or with leather bands. Aside from the Motorola ‘M’ on the crown, there’s little appearance-wise that differentiates the Moto 360 from other Wear OS offerings. 

What could set the Moto 360 apart, though, is support for upcoming Wear OS improvements. We have reason to believe Wear OS is due for an overhaul — specifically its fitness features. Google reportedly made a bid for Fitbit and its fitness-tracking business, though it's unclear whether Fitbit's features will ever make their way to Google's smartwatch platform.

Otherwise, the Moto 360 is in line with other Wear OS watches. The 355 mAh battery can be fully charged in an hour, and a full charge promises "all day" battery life. Like other Wear OS watches, the Moto 360 has a Battery Save Mode that continues to display the time for up to three days while sacrificing some smartwatch features.

(Image credit: Motorola)

The $350 price tag on the Moto 360 is higher than most WearOS watches (Fossil’s peak at $295), but it's on par with some Apple Watch Series 5 and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 models. And you get two sets of watch straps in the Moto 360 box, too.

The Moto 360 is available for pre-order starting November 12. It will hit shelves sometime in December.