Tips & TricksWearables

Pro Tip: how to protect your Moto 360 from dings and scratches


Moto 360 screen

Last week I wrote an article about the first 12 things you should do with the Moto 360. One of our fine readers wisely suggested a 13th thing to do: buy a screen protector. We never even considered the idea of putting a screen protector on a smartwatch, but the reader made a very good argument for it. So that is exactly what we are going to do.

A watch is much more susceptible than a phone to dings and scratches since it lives on your wrist. All day it’s out in the open with zero protection. One door jam or brush up against a wall and you could have a nasty scratch on your precious device. The idea of a scratch on my shiny new Moto 360 was enough to make me instantly buy some screen protectors, and you should too.


For about $6 (including shipping) you can get a pack of 6 screen protectors from Amazon that should last a long time. The reason I chose these specific screen protectors is because they are sized to fit the display without overlapping the beveled edge of the glass. Klear Cut also has screen protectors for the upcoming LG G Watch R, but if you have the LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live you’ll want to check out Spigen.


Repeat after me: “bubbles and dust are not my friend.” Those are the only things that can really screw up the process of applying a screen protector. With that in mind, here are the steps to successfully applying a screen protector.

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Use a clean cleaning cloth to wipe off any fingerprints or dust from the device
  3. Peel the first side of the screen protector
  4. Line up one side of the screen protector and slowly lay it on the display
  5. Use a credit card to work any bubbles out
  6. Done!

You’ll know if you’ve succeeded if you can’t tell the screen protector is there. The screen protector is like Batman. Because it’s not a hero. It’s a silent guardian. A watchful screen protector.

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. I just applied the same one this morning. It’s a little off center, so I’m worried that one edge might be susceptible to peeling, but it doesn’t really over hang, so we’ll see. Luckily it comes with several, so if I need to reapply, I can start fresh.

    Any tips to cleaning the screen if I need to remove a previous screen protector? Does it leave some sticky residue behind?

    1. If it’s a good quality protector it shouldn’t.

  2. 100% off topic, but I applied my first tempered glass screen protector to my G3 2 months ago and it was the easiest protector I have ever installed and it sealed itself, no card required to get the bubbles out.

  3. I thought I read somewhere that Google doesn’t recommend screen protectors for Android Wear smart watches. Good to know that they seem to be okay for use anyway!

  4. Another functional benefit of the gwatch r dial …

    1. Another? What were the other functional benefits?

      1. Copy and paste from my comment in the other article: “There are diving bezels on a lot watches that never get used. One functional use of this bezel is that LG’s always-on watch face can just be a continuously moving minute and hour hand so there would be no screen burn-in or ghosting from static minute and hour markings. When you wake the watch, the full watch face is shown, but just the minute and hour hand is shown in semi-sleep mode. I like the dial bezel solution over the flat tire.”

        1. Hmm… I guess. Seems like a more limiting design to me but what matters is how the purchaser feels about it. I have no doubt that the LG R will make a fine watch for a lot of folks.

        2. um….no.

          1. Care to explain?

      2. lol

  5. I never took the plastic off my G watch.

  6. Gonna hold off until crystal displays are in place. Those small screens are where they make sense.

  7. You guys are awesome! Thanks for the shout-out!

  8. Totally lame this even has to be done. Just 1 more reason why this whole “wearables” concept is half baked and not ready for primetime.

    1. It doesn’t HAVE to be done. Just like with phone screens, many people will not put a protector on their watch and will never have a problem. This is a suggestion.

      This same suggestion could also be made for a traditional watch.

      1. I have beat the s*** out of Timex watches for 20+ years. I have one on my wrist 24/7. Literally. No, traditional watches do not need to be babied like these “wearables”.

        1. Then don’t baby yours :) I baby all my watches .. when I get a smart watch, I’ll baby that one too lol

          1. My advice, wait.

            Battery life blows. Water and dust proof… ha. It’s on your wrist and cannot take any sort of beating in real life – and that is real life for a watch. It is a nifty idea, but one not ready for primetime as all these guys rush rush to get to market and make a device you have to baby like a paper dragon.

          2. I can’t find where to buy a paper dragon anywhere….sounds awesome though!

          3. With the latest update, their battery life has been improved dramatically. Take a couple seats sir.

          4. As others have said, after the latest update, the battery life is awesome. And as far as beating around your old Timex, that’s completely different. Does you Timex have a touchscreen that you need to interact with? And if you have to replace it, what’s below the glass? A watchface and the hour, minute, and second hands, not a digitizer and display. That’s a lot more complicated.

          5. Why do you insist on talking nonsense about something you have absolutely no clue about? I’ve worn the Moto 360 all day, every day for the last month, and have NEVER once “babied” it and the battery has never once died on me. On the other hand, my phone has, as I’m sure yours has.

          6. Sound like you have no experience with the watch. The battery life is quite good.

        2. Ok whatever… I can assure you that the glass on this smartwatch is every bit as durable as the glass on a traditional watch and probably more so. You obviously don’t see a need for a smartwatch so don’t buy one. It’s like you are trying to convince everyone else that you are right for not wanting one when really nobody cares.

          1. It’s like you (and others) are trying to convince yourself and others that these over-priced, underperforming glass chin devices are so worthy of buying. They aren’t. And in 1 year, when they become 50% better, you will have wished you waited rather than jumping now.

            You know, it is ok to say that some ideas that come out of the Android world are just not ready. When you have to put a screen protector on your watch, or take it off every 12 hours to give it life & let it sit for hours to recharge, or worry about hitting it on objects, or better not swim or shower with it, or tilt it in just the right direction to even read it in the sun, it is not a true worthy watch as a watch should be.

            But, I suppose it takes some big tech mag to tell you that for you to believe it.

          2. I don’t try to convince anyone that something is worth purchasing. I evaluate how I would use something and decide for myself. For ME it was worth $250 to be able to leave my giant Galaxy Note 3 in my pocket and check my wrist for notifications.

            Another reason that I wanted it is that I spend a lot of my time riding a motorcycle, bicycling and running. When I’m out for a run I like to be able to glance down and see my distance and pace right on my wrist.

            Trust me… I have spent over $250 on a lot of things that I don’t use nearly as much as an Android Wear watch. I use it every day. I take it off at night before bed (with over 50% charge left) and put it on the charger just like my phone. The limitations that you speak of sound more like trolling than personal experience with an android wear device.

          3. It literally takes an hour to charge……considering I don’t wear a watch when I go to sleep at night, art the end of the day that’s when it goes on a charger….I’ve worn it countless times on my ship and if it can survive workdays on a military ship then it’s well built for me….and to address your other comment wether or not you like it ,technology advances at a progressive rate just like every year or so a new phone is released….I’m pretty sure you had more than a few phones in your life time that goes for everything, cars, gaming systems ect…they get better with time otherwise I wouldn’t have waited for something like an Xbox One to come out back when I got my super Nintendo …in a year or so I’m sure there will be a new and better smart watch and when that time comes you can either choose to buy a new one or stick with what you have….the money you choose to spend typically doesn’t break you, if it does then you don’t need to be buying anything at all

          4. When a better looking traditional watch comes out a year later after you bought yours do you “wish you waited rather than jumping now?” Or how about when you buy a phone and a better one comes out a year later?

        3. Well, after someone wears the Moto 360 for 20+years without a screen protector, then you can examine it’s condition, and THEN make your comments.

    2. What do you want it’s a watch.If you ever wear one they get knocked around on your wrist that and will never change no matter what you make them out of

      1. I have owned a watch and worn it every day for three years now. The most it has on it’s screen is a tiny scratch and the manufacturer has a lifetime warranty that if it would ever be cracked they would replace the screen for free.

        This watch was $150 less than the Moto 360. Not saying I disagree with anyone but if they made the watches so nondurable that a screen protector needs to be used, they need to rethink how they are doing things.

        1. A screen protector isn’t going to stop it from cracking the screen but it should stop it from getting scratched like your watch.

    3. It doesn’t have to be done.

  9. Quick question for a Phandroid Admin:
    Why the heck you always disable the full screen button for YouTube videos?

    1. I see the button.

      1. Yeah, but does it work when you click it?

  10. banged my 360 into a door latch the other day. After a moment of sheer panic I couldn’t find a single scratch on it. The thing is pretty damn durable.

  11. …Dosn’t the moto360 have gorilla glass 3 or somethin?

    1. GG3 can get scratch quite easily.

    2. Yes, it does. And my screen still looks immaculate.

  12. If only a smart watch can come with sapphire….

  13. I hit my 360 against a wall a few weeks ago and I had a screen guard on from xtremeguard. Left marks on the guard and my watch was in perfect shape.

  14. I find myself hitting it against stuff every once and a while and it has never scratched the screen but it has scratched some of the black of the rim of the metal near the screen.

  15. Thats it???? Thats the pro tip…. gee thanks

  16. Word of warning: Motorola sells an official Made for Moto screen protector on their site and it is also readily available at Best Buy. Since it came with a stamp of approval from Moto itself, I bought it and was sorely disappointed. I bought it NOT because of concerns with scratching or breaking, but because the product claimed to reduce fingerprints. INSTEAD, it actually RETAINED fingerprints and smudges and could not be easily cleaned off which made my gorgeous screen look worse than without it, so I removed it, returned it, and got my money back. I WON’T be putting another screen protector on. I don’t feel it needs it, and the look AND feel of a screen is always better without it. But however you feel, stay away from the one currently sold by Moto and Best Buy.

  17. You don’t need a 6-pack of crappy cheapo plastic. Buy one MilitaryShield protector and it will outlast your watch. I buy one for each of my new gadgets and they never disappoint

  18. Can’t say I’ve ever bought a screen protector for other watches I’ve owned, so I don’t see the purpose of doing that with this one. Not to mention I’ve gone sans screen protector on my Moto X and it’s still in fantastic condition after a year.

  19. I am waiting for the glass screen protector. I have on on my OPO and it is amazing, can barely tell it is there.

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