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Does the Moto 360 Really Have Dramatically Better Battery Life Now? Yes.

moto 360 charging1

On Monday morning, Moto 360 owners couldn’t help but take to the internet to talk about the “dramatic” increases they were now seeing with their smartwatches thanks to an update that rolled out to the masses on Friday. Even Tim pinged me that morning to mention that the 360 was a “bossy little watch now” because of the battery life he had witnessed over the weekend. After posting about the potentially amazing news, our comments filled up with others who were experiencing similarly extended single-life charges. Some were even considering switching Ambient Mode back on. Seriously. 

With that thought in mind, we decided to test the Moto 360 for a couple of days with Ambient Mode on, because well, Ambient Mode is just that much cooler. While there isn’t much of a reason to leave your watch’s display on at all times other than to no longer have to rely on the watch recognizing that you want to see it with wrist movement, the thought of being able to run the watch with it’s display on at all times and have it last a day, something that wasn’t previously possible, is kind of exciting.

So what did we find? In two days of testing with Ambient Mode turned “on,” I was able to take my Moto 360 off the charger in the morning and carry on for a full 13 hours before it warned me about an impending battery death. And keep in mind that I was trying to use the 360 as much as possible, to really put it through its paces. I was pushing notifications left and right, responding to Hangouts messages with my voice every chance I could get, and making sure I looked at as many cards as possible before swiping them away. On day 2, I even put the 360 through a factory reset mid-day because I needed to attach it to a new phone.

As you can see in the two photos below, which are both after around 13 hours of use, I still had enough juice left that I could have potentially gone for another hour or two. So we are talking 13-15 hours of use with Ambient Mode on after the update, whereas we were only seeing 10-12 before.

Tim saw similar results in his tests. Over the weekend, with Ambient Mode still “off,” he went two days without having to charge his Moto 360. On Monday night, with Ambient Mode “on,” he ran his Moto 360 from 9AM to 11PM and had 5% battery remaining.

While I haven’t had a chance to test with Ambient Mode “off,” many are reporting two-day battery life. Many.

This update appears to be a massive success. Hopefully, you were able to get in on yesterday’s Moto 360 re-stock.

moto 360 battery2 moto 360 battery1

  • skywalkr2

    Based on this I am really looking forward to Moto 360 2.

  • ronandersonjr

    I took mine off the charger at six yesterday morning, and as you can see I put it back on at 10.51 and still had 49% left.

  • FAL_Fan

    Just did 15 hours with ambient off and had 46% battery left using often.

  • Gwolf

    Android wear is such a new O.S., this makes me very optomistic about what it will be capable of with future updates. For now I am very satisfied with mine as just a wrist watch; everything else it does is bonus money.

  • Ilya Kolodiychik

    I get mine today…can’t wait to get home. My first foray into the world of ‘android wear’.

  • Lawrence

    It is important to know that the apps that you have installed can also be a factor. I compared battery life when I had a standard Moto 360 watch face and a Facer watch face. And I was getting about 4-5% drain per hour on a standard watch face while I was getting around 7-8% drain on a custom facer watchface

  • michael steinmetz

    the only lag i see is when using the 3rd party faces and is it just me or does it not seem to be as sensitive to motion as before the update theres a lot of times that i pull my arm up and the screen doesnt turn on

  • jakeac

    Just to make clear. ambient mode is not the same as “always on” the screen will still turn completely off if there is no motion detected. Some other android wear smartwatches will leave the display on permanently. Also, the moto 360’s ambient mode isn’t quite as bright as I would like. I find myself still needing to turn the screen completely on when in bright light. That being said I still love my Moto 360 and the tradeoff’s are minimal.

  • Mason Lammers

    Does anyone know if Verizon will carry the Moto 360 as an accessory?

    • AbbyZFresh

      Verizon already said they will start selling the Metal band 360 next month. As of right now. Not yet.

  • Michael Evans

    With ambient mode ON, 12 hours later I’m at 42%.

  • Godzilla

    Yup I can confirm these numbers and actually had even better results than Kellex because I have much less notifications and cards.

  • Scott Smith

    This blog post is misleading with all the references to ambient mode keeping the “display on at all times.” To be clear, the watch face still goes totally black quite frequently using ambient mode — when it senses movement it turns on. It’s pretty good at knowing when you might be looking at it and then lighting up, but there is no such thing as “always on” with the Moto 360.

  • Francois

    That’s still not enough. With my LG G Watch i get a full day, wity the screen always on. I mean I wake up at 7, and at 1am when i go to sleep it’s still at 20% so it could last even longer.

    • Tom S

      Yeah, your G Watch might be on all day… But it’s not as purty as the Moto 360. 😛

      • Francois

        Ok, so you have a beautiful watch which is off all the time. Kind of weird isn’t it? LG’s watch is not as classy, I admit that. But I’m not sure I would like running with the Moto 360.

  • ronandersonjr

    I took mine off the charger at 4.30 am and I still have 45% battery left now at 5.45. First full day I’ve had the 360, so it’s been used quite a bit. I have ambient mode turned off.

  • Jerry Huster

    I took it off the charger at 8am…now at 5:30, it’s at 61%… I’m not sure that’s “stellar” battery life… I feel like it’s about the same for me. I’m still finding myself having to charge every night. I’m a moderate user at best…notifications and even a little navigation. Just not seeing the same life everyone else is after this update. Same goes for my partner.

  • ApplesNAndroids

    I just got my Moto 360 on Tuesday and it did an update as soon as I set it up. Today I took it off of the charger at 6:20am and it sits at 44% right now at 5pm. Love this watch. Got a lot of compliments on it today as well!

  • Suca

    Did anybody else notice that the always on screen with the ambient monde on is not actually always on. On my watch I noticed that if I don’t move my hand for few seconds the screen goes totaly off even with the ambinet mode on.

  • Chuckie

    I got the update but haven’t gotten more than 10 he’s with ambient off. What an I doing wrong?

  • Carter Taylor

    I got mine Sunday and installed the update but still have battery life in the 7 hour range with ambient mode off. Any suggestions?

  • needa

    for those wanting to get rid of your gray or stone bands… http://forum.xda-developers.com/moto-360/accessories/diy-6-fix-stone-purple-band-t2892492
    it looks a thousand times better and i can finally stop getting angry every time i look at my purple band.

    • Great, my watch is out for delivery but I have been searching the Internet everywhere for a black leather band that would fit!

      • needa

        i have been searching everywhere for a natural leather one to match my phone. luckily i am very happy with the black. it looks pretty good only having two colors on the watch instead of three. and for six bucks plus tac you can hardly beat it.

  • crisban

    The screen still turns off in ambient mode, there’s really no reason at all to use it.

    The 360’s battery has been a beast for me since the update. It lasts longer than my phone’s extended battery, which is 7,500mah.

  • AngryBadger

    What, so no more #Jank? Damn… there goes the t-shirts 🙁

  • velocipedes

    Makes one wonder just what the hell the watch was doing before that drained the battery so fast…

  • Anfronie

    I’m normally putting mine on the charger at the end of the day with at least 50% left. Ambient off. Stock watch face.

  • What a shame this update wasn’t available prior to the initial batch of reviews, Motorola could have had a run-away hit.

    • Thomas

      But why? I am confused why everyone is jumping on this with the LG coming out shortly. Don’t get me wrong, love motorola, just want the best.

      • Diablo81588

        Because the G Watch R looks like a military sport watch with thick bezels and numbers written around the edge.

      • Kevin Levrone

        Because if you calculate the screen area, you will see that the Moto 360 has a 30% bigger screen area even with the dead spot accounted for. Plus the G Watch R has a plastic screen.

  • Mario

    Glad to see the update but am going to hold off till second generation or in 6 moths wait for it to be 150 bucks.

  • Jarl

    restock? it isn’t even available outside of the US 🙁

  • LewisSD

    19 hours yesterday and my battery was at 63%!!!

  • Me

    OK…now do this w/ the Moto X

    • Aaron

      My moto X lasted me 15+ hours yesterday… no screenshot sorry. The battery is fine.

      • Godzilla

        i agree, my average battery life is 22 hours. granted im not a power user but still, its fine

  • Michael Thom

    So can Moto do the same for the X? That’s its only flaw for me so far…

    • guesswhat

      Why it already gets 4 hrs screen in time and better than gen 1 look for battery life reports in google plus community or android central forums

    • Godzilla

      kellex is the only one who had battery issues. I can tell you that my pure edition battery lasts plenty long. When idle it drains as slow as 1.3 percent per hours

  • Daistaar

    So is Ping going to be a thing again? Maybe the third time I’ve read it on here today. The only place for Ping is in a command prompt.

    • Ian Case

      Or the golf course.

  • Razma

    im just not seeing this dramatic increase like everyone else. it’s been less than 7 hours and im at 70%. that puts me at right around the 24 hour mark for battery life, and that’s with ambient mode off. idk how people are getting 2 days unless they are leaving the watch on their desks at night when sleeping

    • Raven

      Running a stock face? I have read the battery life improvement isn’t as great with a Facer or similar face.

      • Ronald Bernard

        I have to agree with this comment. The first day I used the watch I was on it from approx 9 am until 12:30 at night and still had about 5%. Since loading up a customized face from Facer I do notice a bit more a a battery drain. But it will certainly get me through the whole day at work and that is all I am worried about.

      • Godzilla

        facer sucks, beautiful watches is great and battery isnt effected by it

  • Linh

    +1 for me on the exceptional battery improvement.

    Ambient “on”
    Screen Brightness “5”
    Notifications: SMS, Facebook Messenger, Hangout, Gmail

    7am – 11pm with 15% remaining

  • Nautical Nate

    Team 360 forever.

  • CabbageHeadCat.

    My new X can’t get here fast enough. All this 360 goodness and I am stuck using my emergency phone. An HTC X8. Ugh

  • Michael Bassett

    Ambient mode does nothing for me, what is it supposed to do in real world terms? I have it off and lift my watch to see the time and it goes black with hands by my side. With ambient mode on it is black with hands by my side and I life my hands to see the time/notifications.

    • It probably is just a feature that is there cuz they can do it….

    • JRUIV

      Ambient mode does not actually leave it on all the time. Turn your watch SLIGHTLY towards you and it will light up part-way. Turn it FULLY towards you and it will light up the rest of the way. I had to look this up to find it out because i was wondering the same thing.

    • Godzilla

      honestly its just so people can see your screen and ask you about the watch. Not reason enough to have it on.

  • Thomas

    My question still stands, how will this compare to the new LG? Can’t wait for your review and testing on that Kellex! btw, love this site.

  • Shane Redman

    Took mine off the charger yesterday morning around 8pm….didn’t charge over night and just hit 20% around 12 today. Amazing jump. (Ambient off)

  • TSY87

    I have had decent battery life before the update so I don’t really pay attention to it. I can EASILY get through a day with heavy use though. I also have a problem with constanty trying different watch faces. Its an addiciton.

  • ckeegan

    I hadn’t even noticed, since I never had a problem the battery easily lasting 8am-10:30pm with Ambient On. Now that I look at it, my 360 has been off the charger for 4 hours, and I have 91% remaining. Pretty sweet.

  • jhjr24

    This is awesome news, now just need the Nexus 6 to do the same and I will be a very happy man. 😀

  • JSo

    I wonder how the people who got rid of their Moto 360 due to battery life feel now.

    • Tyler Durden

      That a new watch is coming soon

  • Tony Byatt

    I know DL is not reporting on this yet, but the rumored Nexus 6 may have been spotted in the wild…

    http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/10/01/this-guy-seems-to-be-using-motorolas-nexus-6-while-commuting/

    • Suicide_Note

      Y E S!! : D

    • Tyler Durden

      That’s huge.

      TWSS

  • mcdonsco

    What I want now are some really good watch faces; suggestions?

  • Rodeojones000

    The update could result in 7 day battery life. I’m still not interested as long as that terrible looking light sensor is a part of the design. Glad so many of you are enjoying this, though.

    • mcdonsco

      Its really not that big of a deal. With a black face on it I dont even notice it at all.

      • Rodeojones000

        For you perhaps it’s not a big deal. For me, it’s a deal breaker.

        • asten77

          Good thing we live in the world of Android, where you actually have multiple options!

          • Rodeojones000

            Indeed. I completely agree with you.

    • SVem26

      Weren’t you getting an iPhone 6? Does this work with iOS?

      • Rodeojones000

        My G3 is currently on Swappa. No new phone until that’s gone. But thanks for asking.

    • Primey_

      People make such a drama over this minor flaw. It’s honestly not that bad

    • Anfridil

      I dont know if you have interest in Gear live /LG G watch or any other smart watch. They have huge bezels on all four sides and its bigger than 360

      • Rodeojones000

        Not really. I’m interested in seeing the G Watch R because I like the more watch-like bezel, despite it being larger than the 360. Of course, all of this could be moot should my plan to sell my G3 for the iPhone 6 come to fruition.

        • Matthew DiGiacomo

          Why the f*ck would you ever do that?

          • Rodeojones000

            Because I like the new iPhone and iOS 8. And while a decent phone, there are lots about this G3 I don’t like. I’m kind of tired of Android.

          • Hate the G3, it’s garbage. Note 4 here I come

          • Rodeojones000

            I wouldn’t go that far. I’d go back to a dumb phone before using the Note 4 or any other Samsung device. That’s just me. Hope you enjoy it.

          • Sure

          • Tony

            Just curious, but what is it you dislike about the G3?

        • cns2007

          It is a case of different strokes, I guess. For me personally the thick bezel and permanent markers on the R are what turned me off, after considering when I saw the original teaser. But perhaps it’s something I could get use to, just like many have said in regard to the 360.

      • Thomas

        I am very interested in seeing the G Watch R. Once it arrives and a review has been completed, then I will buy!

        • Kevin Levrone

          You have to remember that the Moto 360 has 30% more screen surface, even taking the dead spot under consideration (33% if it wasn’t for the dead spot).

    • Razma

      if you use a dark watchface it’s not even noticeable

  • Reed Kerr

    Any change in performance? I’ve seen a few people report that the slight lag that had been reported by some is also gone.

    • Garrett Sechelski

      It does seem faster when scrolling through cards. Haven’t had any noticeable slowdown since the update, even when first waking the watch.

    • mcdonsco

      I’ve only used mine with the update and only lag I notice is when I first touch the screen to see the notification it seems to only wake the screen, have to touch again to get the notification full screen…might not be lag, might be by design?

  • I kinda lost interest in this 360 after the stock/shipping fiasco hopefully there’s a Moto 360-2 (or 720) coming out. I’d be very interested in the 2nd gen version with better specs and improved software (not saying anything is wrong with it)

    • mcdonsco

      I wasn’t supposed to get mine for another week…its on my wrist now.

      • Derek Robinson

        Yeah mine shipped a week earlier than it was expected to.

  • Warwick

    After owning it for a week it has pretty good battery life.

    Monday – Friday unplug at 7:00am with work email notifications til 6:00pm. When I get home at 11:00 pm I’m still in the low 40s – high 30s.

    Saturday/Sunday no work emails. Usually get 60s before the night.

  • EdubE24

    I guess the iPhone testing is done?

  • jwildman16

    I’d be interested to hear what exactly the update changed.

    • Garrett Sechelski

      http://www.droid-life.com/2014/09/29/moto-360-update-said-to-dramatically-increase-battery-life/#more-151261

      Linked and covered in the article above. Official changelog had it pegged as a small update fixing Bluetooth connectivity and squashing some minor bugs. I think that’s why it’s such a surprise to many how much it actually improved.

      • jwildman16

        Yeah, I saw the vague changelog, so I wondering if anyone had any more details to provide. Maybe it’s as simple as adjusting Bluetooth connectivity timings.

        • Garrett Sechelski

          Very well could be. I know some people were reporting that the software out of the box was near unusable (before the initial update that was downloaded & installed once charged to 80%), so I’m guessing the software was no where near optimized at time of release. May be a reason for the slow rollout/sale of the device by Motorola?

    • Godzilla

      it magically put another 100mah in the battery

  • mcdonsco

    Now I’m just worried about screen burn-in from the charging screen…mine finally arrived yesterday and after one night charging I couldn’t help but notice the screen stayed on the exact same charging screen all night; something tells me this could become a burn in problem?

    Oh, but no before/after thoughts…got the update after charging the first time so nothing to compare to for me.

    • FAL_Fan

      I haven’t seen any screen burn issues, I was actually able to pick it up release weekend, but I don’t wear it to work, only after I get cleaned up and I leave it on the charger all day, sometimes 3 days at a time and still haven’t noticed any screen burn.

    • Armando Rodriguez

      Its a problem but not for “burn in” because is an LCD display it just a persistent static image that can be “fixed” by moving around another image on the screen

      • cns2007

        Good news is, there are very few people reporting this and it can apparently also be corrected with a software patch.

    • Godzilla

      do what i do. Put your 360 on the charger. Go to your phone, open the wear app, go into settings, turn ambient mode on, the 360 will light up, wait for it to dim, go back to phone and turn ambient mode off, your 360 screen will turn off, boom you are now charging with the screen off.

    • Diablo81588

      LCD displays don’t have permanent image retention.

  • Garrett Sechelski

    Also confirming 2 day battery with ambient off. I was fine with the battery before (8AM-11PM, would have around 30% at end of day) but this update has been incredible. Round of applause for the ladies & gents at Motorola, they knocked this one out of the park.

    • rals

      What about performance? I convinced myself to wait, but if they optimized the performance with the TI Chip, I might ask Santa (wife) to get me one for Christmas.

      • DanSan

        From what I’ve seen not only has battery life improved but any jerk or lag has been minimized.

      • Stephen D

        I got mine yesterday just before I left for class. I used it on the pre-update software for about 4 hours until I got home and updated it. Performance is definitely better after the update.

      • Michael Bassett

        Proformance is decent and there if you watch (pun intended) for it. I really don’t notice or care for it and it will only get better with updates Android Wear 2.0.

        Man up, I went out day one and bought my watch, wife was a little mad but whatever I don’t get anything for Christmas anyways and we have food on the table and heat in the house.

        • MistaButters

          You have the heat running in the summer?

          • Michael Bassett

            Only when I blast some Nelly through my Bluetooth speakers.

            IT’S GETTING HAWT IN HURR!

        • jakeac

          Aside from battery life – which has been one complain from me (even after the update), I would have liked the SoC to be more powerful. The UI is not entirely smooth, with occasional frame dropping, but to me it was not a deal breaker. Keep in mind the watch is primarily for notifications and replies so it doesn’t need a powerhouse chip, but I can’t help to wonder if using something more recent built on a smaller design process would have helped with power consumption..

      • Godzilla

        I have no issues

    • Tyler Durden

      Too bad the Gnex couldn’t get an update like this

      • r0l

        The GNex should have held two batteries.

        • Adam Neighbors

          I had two batteries for my GNex. Still wasn’t good enough.

        • JoeTi

          Its called the Hyperion Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus 3800mAh Extended Battery. Worked well. You practically had to palm it like a football, but it did the job. Miss my GNex….

    • Ryan Powell

      Right there with you. 30-35% end of day before update, and 50-55% end of day now. I still put it on the charger every night but nice to know I can go two days when needed.

  • Carlos Lopez

    Nice that makes it so much more desirable to me now

  • Ben Landwehr

    Right when I convince myself I don’t need one, this happens. Looks like I’m joining the club.

    • It’s a pretty sweet club.

    • Don

      I bought one from the Motorola site yesterday after reading the battery improvements noticed. I figured it is now worth spending $250 to play with it. I think I’m gonna get the Pebble steel band to go with it.

      • jstew182

        I was in the exact same boat. I convinced myself I could keep living with my not as pretty to look at LG G Watch until v2 of the 360. After ordering the watch yesterday I went to Best Buy and bought the Pebble Steel band so I would be ready to go once my 360 got delivered!

        • impulse630

          Got my Pebble Steel band on Monday. I liked the leather band, but the metal band makes it’s look like a whole new (and much classier) watch. It’s definitely worth getting the Pebble band.

          • jakeac

            Reports on reddit.com/r/moto360 have suggested that the pebble band can cause the plastic back of the watch to develop a crack where the watch band sits under the backing. You’ve been warned!

          • Dylan H

            Yikes! Hadn’t read that, hope this doesn’t happen to me.

      • mrseanpaul81

        You can add a pebble steel band to the moto360?

      • Dylan H

        Snagged one at my local Best Buy yesterday. Bought the Pebble Steel Band too, looks great together (took a photo: http://pho.to/7MWAh)

        • Don

          Nice! Let me ask about the fit on the strap… any clearance or rubbing issue of the band to the watch?

          • Dylan H

            I think the band fits perfectly. It is a tight fit that looks OEM to me no rubbing issues. I can now see how excessive force (by pushing the band together) may crack the plastic plate on the bottom (i will take a photo), if you have small wrists i think this is more likely due to the tension in the band and the angle generated by wrapping around a smaller wrist, I think I will be fine for me though. It was kind of a pain in the butt to install and remove a link on the Pebble Steel band, but only took about 25-30 mins total time. I only used the tool which came with the band too, so it is very possible to remove a band and link using it.

          • Dylan H
    • DanSan

      Same here, the battery life and lag people mentioned turned me off. im back on now.

    • Raven

      I was going to get one around my birthday in mid September, but after the lackluster reports, I decided I could hold off until a possible Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal. Now with these latest reports, I may just be getting one a tad sooner.

      • Nw_adventure

        Took the plunge today after the good news with the update. -)

      • Jorge

        my birthday was 2 weeks ago and i kept telling myself i don’t need a half day watch. Now with the update, I am debating whether I should spoil myself

        • Davy Sprocket

          Do it. I bought mine after the second restock pre update, almost sold it because it later 12 hours the first day. Now I don’t know what I would do with out it. I barely look at my phone and have gotten dramatically better battery life on my moto x because of the 360!

    • WAldenIV

      In before the flat tire complainers…

    • John Whitehead

      I did the same. Just got mine yesterday. I am glad the battery life is better. It would be nice to be able to shut off or uninstall some apps like the walk and heart rate tracker. That would save even more battery.

  • Batman

    Can confirm 2-day battery life with ambient mode off on my 360.

    • inklenotrump

      2nded here – woke up sunday – forgot to put on charger – was sure it was dead – 34% left

    • Foosa Noble

      Na na na na na na na na Batman!!!!!! Sorry can’t help it its an OCD thing.