Battery life on Moto 360 is better than many think

The battery life on smartwatches is a topic that is frequently discussed. Depending on how you use your device, it logically fluctuates as to how long your watch will go on a single charge. That makes sense to me at least. I thought I would give you a few insights into how the Moto 360 holds up in different situations. These are purely my personal observations and there is nothing scientific about them, yet I think this is at the end of the day what every regular user should be looking at. In the end it all depends on how you would like to use your watch and what you would like to do with it.

Charging your Moto 360

Charging the Moto 360 is done with the dock that comes with it (see image at the top). The dock is quite beautiful, and made of a black, hard plastic. The watch does not have to be “plugged-in” to anything, but can simply be laid into the dock for it to start to charge. It is very convenient and quick to charge your watch and it looks a lot nicer on your bedside table.

When your smartwatch is in charging mode, it switches the display to show you the time and the charging percentage is displayed in a blue circle that goes all around the display. When the blue circle is completely round, the phone is fully charged and ready to go. You can stop the charging-process at any time and just take the watch off the dock. At night, the blue is a very pleasant color to have next to your bed and it functions as a little alarm clock.

The Moto 360 battery is nearly 50% bigger than that of the Apple Watch

Whilst charging, the watch tends to get a little bit warm. That is because the induction charging by Qi standard uses more energy than you would “technically” need. About 30-50% of the energy is generally lost through Qi inducted charging, but it is still not a whole lot. Its 320 mAh battery size is larger than that of the Samsung Gear Live that has a battery able to store 300 mAh, but it is still not huge. Compared to the Apple Watch though, the battery is huge as this only has 205 mAh. The software is what makes the biggest difference, and determines how long your watch will last on a single charge – next to the screen quality and type.

There have been rumours about the fact that you should not leave your watch to charge for a too long period of time, because of something called the screen burn-in effect. Some users have reported that the blue lines that are displayed when charging the watch, did not fully disappear anymore after a few days of leaving the watch in the dock. The color seemed to have burned into the screen and cannot be removed anymore. Apparently, if that is the case you can send your watch to Motorola to have it replaced. Within my social network, I do not know anyone who has had issues with that so far and I have not had problems with it either. Just to be on the safe side though, I would not leave my watch in the dock for more than a night. You will probably want to wear it the next day again anyway, right?

Travelling without the dock

I cannot always remember to bring my dock and I also do not want to carry too many chargers around with me. Although this one looks nice, it is not the best format/size to carry around with you. If you travel a lot like me, and especially short business trips, you don’t really have to worry about the dock all too much. With moderate use, meaning receiving a few emails per day from your VIP marked friends, 10 minutes of hangout messages, checking google maps for 10-15 minutes a day, you will probably drain about 40-50% of your battery life.

Okay getting through the second day entirely is not that easy you would need to use it a little less on the second day, but it is possible. The longest it has lasted me so far is about 3,5 days – simply because I did not get a lot of messages I guess and managed not to play around with my smartwatch all too much (which is a challenge – trust me).

How much does the battery drain when you don’t use it: well at night it uses about 7-10% of the battery life that it started with (if you sleep in until 11:00 this will clearly be higher of course). On a regular working day, I generally take off my watch around 22:00 and put it back on at 07:00 in the morning. Last night it used approximately 10% of the battery I had the night before. Non scientific approach of course, but i think that as a rule of thumb that should be ok.

What drains the battery most on the Moto 360?

There are a few functions on the Moto 360 that will drain your watch more quickly than others. If you use your watch more, it will drain more quickly too of course. These are the functions of my smartwatch that I find to drain my battery fastest:

  1. Constant “check-ins” with your phone (GPS)
  2. Google Maps (goes hand-in-hand with point 1.
  3. Hangouts/Whatsapp – sending messages back and forward by using your voice
  4. The screen – leaving the screen on at all times uses a lot of battery

What I do to make sure that the longevity of my battery stays nice and long:

  1. Hangouts/Whatsapp I try to avoid longer sentences than just a few words, the more complex the sentences are and the more you say, your watch will need to communicate quite a bit with your phone and this drains the battery quite a bit. Simple and direct messages such as: “I will be right there”, “see you in a bit” or “meet you there at 12” really help save your battery time
  2. I try not to fiddle with it too much, although it is very tempting… What drains most battery is the screen itself. So if you click on the screen the whole time or leave it on constantly for the whole day, you will surely not make it through 24 hours of usage
  3. I take it off / put it next to me when I am working. I have a desk job anyways and see most of the notifications on my screen. If you twist and turn your wrist the whole time, the watch will start up and turn on the screen – draining your battery far quicker than you actually want it to. My piece of advice would be to take it off from time to time – even if it is just for 30-60 minutes whilst you don’t really need it and you will save quite a bit of battery right there

Will the Moto 360 make it through the day?

YES! Your Moto 360 will definitely make it through a normal day of wearing and using it. That is what it is for – and that is how it was designed. Surely it won’t last you a whole week and maybe not even a busy weekend in which you send a lot of messages to your friends and family to coordinate the Saturday night party you are planning on going to, but it will take you through any normal day. Play around with it, use it, and have fun with it.

At night it serves as a nice little alarm clock and looks pretty on your bedside table, so there is not reason you should not put it in the charging dock in the evening when you go to bed. If you are not a big fan of having electronics in your bedroom, you can disconnect it at night if you would like so that it does not try to search for your phone through its bluetooth connection.

I think the battery life on the Moto 360 is fine. It is surely not great, I would not really feel comfortable leaving the dock charging station at home on a long weekend or business trip, it could be better and I do find myself looking at the battery level ever now and again, but it will last you for a whole solid day of regular usage.