Moto 360 (2nd Gen) vs Samsung Gear S2: Hardware Comparison

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The Moto 360 2nd Gen. and Samsung Gear S2 are no doubt two of the hottest smartwatches on the market right now. So much so, that consumers may be having a tough time deciding which to get. The prices are comparable and they both have the round watch design. But when you dive into the details, the design approaches are pretty different. Therefore, we’re walking through a close look at them side-by-side.

Moto360_GearS2_2

We know that they’re very different software-wise. The Moto runs Android Wear while the Gear runs Tizen. But in this article, we’re focusing on just the hardware differences. There may be folks who are on the fence or who don’t care what the software is, and this comparison may help the decision. That said, we’ll cover how the software experiences differ in a second part, so stay tuned.

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Before we start, I must mention that the images compare the 42mm version of the Moto 360 2nd Gen., not the larger 46mm variant (it comes in two sizes). Also, I have the base model of the Gear S2, not the “Classic” model with the leather band.

Both watches have a round body, like a traditional watch. But where the Gear S2’s chassis curves almost seamless to the band, the Moto 360 has two attachment point lugs that the band fastens to. The aesthetic appeal of either approach is a toss up, but I will say the Gear S2 curves around the wrist more effortlessly.

Moto360_GearS2_8

Both of the watch chassis are made from metal (stainless steel). However, the Gear S2’s bezel can rotate and allow the user to scroll through the software. An interesting point is that the Moto 360’s glass is slightly raised above the body, while the S2’s glass is slightly recessed. The latter is better from a practicality stand-point (for protection of the glass), but I would say that the visual result is better with a more forward screen.

Funny enough, they have the same thickness, 11.4mm (even the larger Moto 360).

Moto360_GearS2_3

This is a good time to point out that the Moto 360 only has a power button, while the Gear S2 has a back button (top) and home button (bottom).

The display on the Gear S2 is smaller than even the smaller 42mm Moto 360 variant, at 1.2″ vs 1.37″, respectively. And the larger Moto 360 is 1.56″, so you know where to go if you care about a larger display.

Moto360_GearS2_4

BUT, the Moto 360’s display is not a full-round display. There’s a black area on the bottom of the screen that’s reserved for the ambient light sensor.

This is probably a good time to run through the hardware specs between the two:

[alert color=”green”][row][double_paragraph]Moto 360 (2nd Gen.)

  • Display:
    • 1.37″ 360 x 325 pixels (263 ppi) LCD
    • 1.56″ 360 x 360 pixels (233 ppi) LCD
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 400 (quad-core, 1.2 GHz)
  • Memory: 512 GB of RAM
  • Storage: 4GB internal
  • Battery: 300 mAh (42mm model) and 400 mAh (46mm model)
  • OS: Android Wear[/double_paragraph][double_paragraph]

Samsung Gear S2

  • Display: 1.2″ 360 x 360 pixels (302 ppi) S-AMOLED
  • Chipset: Exynos 3250 (dual-core, 1.0 GHz)
  • Memory: 512 GB of RAM
  • Storage: 4GB internal
  • Battery: 250 mAh
  • OS: Tizen (wearable)[/double_paragraph] [/row][/alert]

In addition, the chassis of the Moto 360 has an IP67 water/dust resistance rating, while the Gear S2 is slightly more robust with IP68. I will say that the S-AMOLED display on the Gear S2 trumps the LCD on the Moto 360. Both smartwatches fortunately have the capability to charge wirelessly.

Moto 360 and Gear S2 on their wireless charging cradles
Moto 360 and Gear S2 on their wireless charging cradles

The fit of the bands is comparable; they have a very similar latching mechanism. The rubbery material on the base Gear S2 is more stiff than the leather on the Moto 360, but the S2 also has a leather option. Conversely, there is a “Sport” model of the Moto 360 (45mm size), with a similar rubbery band.

Moto360_GearS2_7

Both watches have the ability to easily swap out the bands. It’s simple to do on both watches, but the mechanism is different. On the Gear S2, you pull back on a tab attachment between the band and chassis. On the Moto 360, you release a small latch on the band. It’s secured by a pin that then comes loose.

[row][double_paragraph]Moto360_GearS2_11[/double_paragraph][double_paragraph]Moto360_GearS2_12[/double_paragraph] [/row]

The available Moto 360 bands are leather (brown or black), metal (silver, gold, or black), or rubber on the “Sport” variant (black, white, or orange). The Gear S2 comes with either rubber (dark gray or silver) or leather (black or ivory).

There are also different options in chassis. The Moto 360 can be equipped with a silver, black, or gold finish (the bezel can have a different color as well). The Gear S2 is available with a black, rose gold, or platinum case.

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These two top-end smartwatch aren’t actually that far off, but there are a couple of good distinctions. For instance, if you want to maximize the display on your wrist, the larger Moto 360 variant would be the choice. However, the S-AMOLED display on the Gear S2 is leaps and bounds better, in my opinion. The rotating bezel is also a neat trick and actually works very well.

Which smartwatch design tickles your fancy? Let us your thoughts down in the comments section!

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