If you’ve ever had to stop what you’re doing, without really wanting to, so that you could search for a phone in your kit bag or answer message after message, then you know why smart watches are such a good idea. Yet, they’re not just glorified extensions of your smart phone…they have their own identity as well. Your phone doesn’t read your heart rate, does it?

And, with an example like the moto 360 2nd generation, with its convenient strap swap out, it’s a fashion accessory of note. Yet, if you bought into the 1st generation, the chances are that straps are the last thing on your mind. You’re asking: “What’’s the difference? What’s stayed the same? We’ll get those questions answered.

What’s the difference:

Two Sizes

The previous version only offered one size option but the moto 360 second generation smart watches are coming to you in two sizes, namely the men’s 46 mm (same as the original, only slightly thinner) and the women’s 42 mm version. We call them mens and women’s sizes but actually, there are mens and women’s versions available for both size variations.

Quick Release Bands

Lugs are those parts of the watch where you attach a new watch strap and because this one has regular lugs with easy release pins, you can pull out the strap by hand with no problem and install a new one with just as little effort. The 1st Gen Moto 360 called for a special tool for this tweaking and was far more of a mission to take apart!

New Colors

While the previous release came in black, gold and silver, the release of a women’s version also heralds the release of a new rose gold option. Not every girl’s cup of tea but if you think about it, smart phones don’t come in a million different colors so why should smart watches? Still, ladies don’t HAVE to buy the rose gold version.

Android Wear 2.0

Here’s a serious upgrade because a great interface is half of the battle won. Users of the 1st gen watches won’t be able to run Android Wear 2.0, while Moto 360 2nd generation is being released with this update currently.

New Processor

The new model uses the same processor that’ll be running all of the new Android Wear watches, namely the Snapdragon 400 quad core 1.2 GHz. The old version made use of the TI OMAP 3 single core 1.0 GHz.

Clearer Image

As you’d expect, the display resolution has been increased. Where the 46mm screen on the first generation model was at 205 ppi, things have improved so that the 42 mm screen now packs 263 ppi and the 46 mm screen packs 233 ppi. So, it’s a smaller improvement on the bigger screen than on the smaller one.

Ambient Mode On/Off

What this means is that the new gen version can be toggled to be Always On (screen wise) or Sometimes On. The prior version didn’t have this versatility and was always in “Sometimes” mode.

Battery Life

We’re seeing some impressive improvements to battery life on the moto 360 2nd generation. A whopping 400mAh battery (over Gen 1’s 320 mAh) on the larger screen size will give you a full two days wear with your ambient mode off, while a 300 mAh battery in your smaller screen version offers 1.5 days life in the same dark mode. What that means is a full day in bright mode for the big guy and the same for the little lady.
What’s the same?:

Heart Rate Sensor

This detail hasn’t changed and still looks and functions the same.

Wireless Charge

You still have a comfortable and convenient cradle on which to charge your smartwatch.

Compatibility

Both versions pair with both Android and iOS phones which are above certain specs.

Storage And Memory

As is the norm for first generation and second generation Android Wear watches, the 2nd moto 360 features the same 512 MB RAM as the first. On the storage front, we’re still getting that hefty 4 gigs, although, of course, not all of it is usable.

Flat Tire Display

Both the older and newer moto 360 devices feature that display with the flattened bottom. The, so called, flat tire of the screen houses the LCD display drivers and the ambient light sensors and is, sadly, a technical necessity.

LCD IPS Display

Where as some smart watches might go for the AMOLED display, Motorola still opts for the brighter LCD.

Water Resistant

The new watches are water resistant to the same depth and for the same time, so it’s half an hour at 1 meter on both the 1st and 2nd generation Moto 360.

Materials

The 1st version and the moto 360 2nd generation versions both feature a stainless steel body casting, so no difference there. Plus bands are being released in the same materials, leather and stainless steel with no silicon options.

Conclusion:

So you see, when it comes to physical components, the moto 360 2nd generation is already an improvement over the 1st.  When you couple that with the outstanding improvement to features on the latest version of Android Wear, ie: Android Wear 2.0…well, all the more reason to go out and make the upgrade!