Latest Moto 360 update seems to bring a ridiculous boost to battery life


Moto 360 DSC06955

There were two major concerns with the Motorola Moto 360 when it first launched. The first was performance — the TI OMAP 3 chipset inside doesn’t seem to be favorable up against the tried and trusted Snapdragon 400 most other Android Wear watches use. The second was battery life — it was downright abysmal, and Chris will tell you that ten times over in his review.

But it seems Motorola has effectively addressed at lease one of those areas. The latest update to the smart watch, firmware KGW42R, is delivering some rather impressive battery life. Many folks at the Android Wear subreddit have reported being able to make it more than 16 to 20 hours on a single charge before the device hits 40-50%.

User RockItGuyDC’s report certainly puts a smile on our face:

I keep responding to these posts, but here’s my best battery life yet. I took it off the charger at 10am today. Used it all day, 2 hours running navigation plus music controls in the car, checking emails and texts a few times an hour, responding to 15 or more texts from the watch, used QR codes on the watch to get into a party. It’s now almost 3am the next day and I’m at 41% battery! Couldn’t ask for more. Don’t need more.

That’s pretty insane for all that he was doing throughout the day. Motorola didn’t formally address what bugs were squashed in this upgrade nor did they tell us to expect better battery life as a result, but whatever change they made seems to have made a rather significant difference.

For what it’s worth, there were sparing reports that the update addresses performance issues, though this reddit thread was focused squarely on battery life. We’ll be giving our own Moto 360 units a good run to see if all these reports are accurate, but with the overwhelming response from the Moto 360 community we’d say there’s nothing to worry about. Now, let’s see if we can’t get this thing’s availability up to par with the rest of the Android Wear gang.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

OnePlus 2 confirmed for Q2 or Q3 2015; OnePlus says they’re thinking about a smaller form factor

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  1. Good. Can’t wait for mine to arrive. Ordered the 19th Sep with shipping date on 12th Oct. Yikes!

    1. Might want to visit a couple of BB locations, should be able to find one earlier than that.

      1. I know, the problem is that my closest BB is like 80 miles away. And my schedule lately has been crazy.

        1. well from the pictures i have seen online it looks good but I will likely replace the band with a nice brown leather one as prefer that color…I am getting this until ASUS zen watch comes out. I think it looks just as good if not better than the 360 with a nice Italian brown leather strap. Nice to know I will be able to sell my 360 at cost

    2. just bought the new stone grey band one from best buy, missed the first sale the other day but i just checked for the heck of it due to this story and best buy had them in stock again and get mine in 2 days

      1. That’s the one I’m. Getting! How does it look in person? There is a whole discussion over at XDA about different metal bands, and it looks sick!

  2. Eh, it was pretty good before the patch, I’ve had my watch a week and honestly have yet to worry about battery life. I’m just happy to see how well they can address things via software update.

    1. Yeah, sounds like to me it addressed issues some — not all — were having with battery life. Mine was good before the update, so not much change for me.

  3. Yes, i’ve noticed mine not needing to be recharged before heading home and still having about 25% by the time i put it on the charger at night.

  4. My watch was pretty good before the update. I was down to 55% from 8am to 10pm.

  5. It has been so interesting to watch the fans of these first gen watches go from “battery life is as to be expected for size” to “battery life is not so bad” to “battery life is not so great, but what did you expect” to “you should get a full 12 hours of use: (bwaa ha ha that one was pathetic) to “it was downright abysmal”.

    And no one, ever, in battery life, should say, “Couldn’t ask for more. Don’t need more.” – yeah, you can ask for more and yeah, there is always better.

  6. Huh if this post is true I might consider buying it now! (:

    1. Confirmed to be true. Been getting improved battery life since my OTA last Thursday night.

  7. Can Chris chime in on this since he reviewed the 360 watch?

    1. My battery life was already good before the update, but I know some were having issues. Sounds like the update patched up some things for other devices.

      1. “The second was battery life — it was downright abysmal, and Chris will tell you that ten times over in his review.”

        1. Looks like Quentyn didn’t read your review Chris!

      2. Hey Chris, what’s going on, been kind of slow here lately. Or is just me, that I have to have a new feed every time I open Phandroid?

  8. With the screen on? because if it is off may as well stick with a Gear 2

  9. Most wristwatch’s batteries last for 5 to 10 years, yes years, not 24 to 48 hours, kids and their new toys, boredom will soon set in and all will be gone and forgotten.

    1. yes but a wrist watch that isn’t digital in anyway is not mean to use much power, it is why standard watches have not have significant change in their life time. You either use to either wind the watch or for the past century or less use a little battery. These new watches have lights, sensors, electronics, so those small batters would be pointless. I will still use my analog watch for certain occasions but tech shouldn’t be knocked because you don’t think it is worth it. It is no different from a cell phone less than 10 years ago, My flip motorola could last a week with normal usage before a charge, not most smart phones need a charge every night, so the watch is no different, i am not at a concern for my “sleep” habits so like a analog watch I will take it off each night and charge it

    2. High quality watches don’t even HAVE batteries. Self-winding. And those watches can go for 40-50 years.

      1. Self-winding watches do have something known as a power reserve. Automatic watches get their “power” from movements of the hand on which the watch is worn. A stationary hand or a self-winding watch that is not worn starts eating into this power reserve. High-end automatics have a power reserve of a few days, but most have a reserve of about 36 to 42 hours.

        Seiko has a quartz movement watch that works as though it is a self-winding watch and doesn’t use a battery. The power reserve is achieved via a capacitor that starts to discharge if the watch is not worn or if the hand is stationary.

    3. For the love of me I can’t understand why some of you people try to compare these watches to your traditional battery operated watches. Its like comparing a smartphone to a Motorola startac phone from back in the day.

    4. My cordless phone lasts about a week, why can’t smart phones last that long?!?


  10. Yep, I’ve been having great battery life the past few days, not that I didn’t have great battery life before, but I can definitely tell that there’s been an increase in longevity. (More info here on my G+ post about it from over the weekend http://goo.gl/i68EEB)

  11. That makes me reconsider Moto360. Of course I’m still waiting for the steel bands to be out.

    1. You can also use the pebble steel bands, and at $20 per band, much cheaper than the $80 for the 360 bands.

      1. I’ve also seen a few reports of cracked backs with the Pebble band. That makes me want to wait for an official one.

        1. Good to know.

        2. Thanks to both of you MK2 and Derek. I’m OK to wait as I don’t have the money yet anyways :)

        3. I was reading up on this and people with stock bands also have this issue. I dont think it is because of the pebble steel band.

  12. Can someone please comment if this update addresses the lag issues at all? I’m almost sold now.

    1. Haven’t experienced much lag, either before or after the update.

    2. There honestly isn’t that much lag. Only people that are in tune with this sort of thing will notice it. For example, sometimes when the device first wakes and you would go to swipe away an app or card, there would be a slight UI lag. If you wait a second or two, you don’t normally see that. With this OTA, I still see it from time to time, but it’s not as bad (even though it wasn’t bad in the first place).

    3. Keep in mind, the watch isn’t meant to be something that you spend lots of time on doing lots of stuff, so there isn’t a lot of opportunity for lag. You check a notification, swipe it away, and done. Or use a voice action, and done. About the only time you’d spend more than a few seconds looking at it is if you were using the turn by turn, and that seems to work just fine.

    4. I definitely DOES improve the overall speed, BUT there is still SOME lag. That update is by far a much needed update, difference prior to this update is like night a damn day..please go get you a 360

  13. Isn’t this the same update you all reported on on the 11th?

  14. Its amazing how excited this makes me. Everybody calm down i can Officially say that the battery life is much much better! speed has in fact increased but every now and then i still do notice some lag.. but ill take it! hell ill even run with it, this is NOW the watch that i have been dreaming about, now all i need is the bands to come out!

    1. It was a lag fest before but it’s much smoother now. . There’s still some lag that needs to be ironed out.

      1. lol! @ “lag fest”…. im sure some more updates should be able to take care of the rest of the “Lag Fest” hahaha

    2. This excites you ?? Usually hot naked women excite me. But to each his own.

      1. what about hot naked women with moto360’s that last all day via OTA Updates or Naw?

      2. Moto 360, hot naked women love a man with Moto 360

  15. Ordered stone grey moto 360 from motorola.com on 16th and got the delivery date as 6th October. Cancelled the order on 19th because of all the bad reviews & got a confirmation email as well & was told that refund will be processed in 2-3 business days.

    SHOCKER – Moto 360 delivered at my doorstep today. I mean WTH..
    Not that I dont want it but Motorola messed it up big time.
    Now I have to send it back to them and wait for 7-21 days for a refund.. gaawd..

    1. Cool story bro.

  16. I really really wanted one of these but something about that OMAP 3 is such a huge turn-off that it has me waiting for the LG G Watch R or (preferably) the sequel to the 360.

    1. I understand people’s concerns about the processor. “Oh, that chip is from 2011.” But we’re not talking about running current smart phone software in its entirety. It’s Google now cards and app controls. Things that the 2011 androids has no issue performing… I’ve had my 360 for several weeks now and have noticed a huge gain in battery with the new update but the overall performance never seemed to fall short.

      1. I sympathize with the comments about performance is all that matters and I fully agree. As long as the device functions as well as you would expect, what’s the difference? I suppose it bothers me being a techie. When I buy a new product I want it to be the latest and greatest, inside and out. It’s kinda how I think the Tegra 3 is a perfectly capable processor but I wouldn’t buy a new device with one in it regardless of how it performs, especially when the competition offers similarly priced devices with newer hardware. It’s completely vain but because I have that feeling, I’d never be happy with my purchase.

        1. Ha. I can relate to that. My impatience got the best of me. I mean if they had tiered it and had a higher spec one at like $299 that’d be the clear winner.

  17. Ridiculous battery to go along with that ridiculous name.

  18. I pulled my 360 off at 6:30am it is now 3:30pm and battery is at 68%. I have used it more to day than most days. Seems to me i would get 24 hours of use every time but never find out cause i plug it in about 10 every night.

  19. My MOTO360 was updated a few days ago with the new firmware KGW42R, and it STILL ONLY GETS 6 HOURS BEFORE A CHARGE!! I have not noticed anything different in battery life since the update. I think that sometimes people who are in love with a product will say anything to get others to share in that love, even if it is a lie. I love the watch, but I’m honest about the crappy battery life, even with the new firmware update!

    1. Can I buy it off you?

    2. Mark, I am sure I wouldn’t have any problem selling the watch, but I never said that I wanted to sell it. I love the watch, I just hate the 6 hour maximum battery charge. Hopefully there will actually be a firmware update that truly increases battery life. I just haven’t got it yet! I have a wireless charge pad on my desk at my office. I am getting good at taking my watch off in the middle of the day and placing it on the charger for about an hour. That usually gives me another six hours. And just in case I forget, I have another wireless charger in my car.

    3. Maybe you got a faulty battery? Most people are reporting easily double that.

  20. The battery has most certainly been improved dramatically from this update. I bought the 360 the week it came out and tried the ambient light setting three times starting in the morning. It never lasted longer than 3:00 pm. Yesterday, after the update left me with more than 50% of non-ambient use on Sunday at midnight, I gave the setting a shot again. To my amazement, I got a full 18 hours on ambient with 10%+ remaining at midnight. What a difference it makes to have this option turned on. Liked the watch a lot before the update; absolutely love it now.

  21. UPDATE TO MY LAST COMMENT: OK, the last two days I have paid particular attention to my batter life on my MOTO 360 since the new firmware update, and I can say that my battery can now go from 6 hours to 7 hours before needing a charge.(That leaves about 3% battery life) It appears that the new firmware KGW42R update has improved battery life, but not by HOURS as some have said. Does one extra hour of batter life make a big difference? Sure. Ten or twelve hours of battery life would be awesome, but folks, it/s just not there yet. I still love the watch and have no intention of taking it back or selling it!!

    1. maybe you will get better battery life when the clock api is released later this year. I see you are using a custom face.. have you checked out battery life using a stock face?

      1. I hope you are right. I’ll take your advice and switch back to the stock clock face and see if that makes a difference.

  22. I just received my gray Moto 360 last night, and it’s been awesome so far.I’m at 40% of battery life, after taking it off the charger around 6AM this morning (it’s a couple minutes to 10PM here).

    Awesome product. Sorry to hear others have had mixed results with the battery. I’m running completely stock settings, with that god awful step counter turned off.

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