When Google announced the first wave of Android Wear smartwatches last year, the wearable space was too young, and lacked compelling features that could entice most to ditch their beautifully crafted traditional timepieces. And as the time has since revealed, despite being one of the frontrunners in the game, Android Wear smartwatches haven't garnered much traction. With the hope to further drive Google's push into the market, Lenovo-owned Motorola on Wednesday launched the new Moto 360 at the sidelines of IFA 2015 in Berlin.
The new Moto 360 features a premium look, and comes in two sizes, with pricing starting from $299 (roughly Rs. 19,800), and going up to $429 (roughly Rs. 28,400), depending on the size of case and type of band. It goes on pre-order on Wednesday in the US, and will start shipping later this month. The global launch is expected to follow soon. A Moto 360 Sport has also been announced, but pricing and availability will be disclosed at a later date.
The latest Moto 360 is less bulky, and unlike the first generation Moto 360, the model is designed keeping both men and women in mind. For men, it comes in two case sizes - a 46mm design and 42mm design. For women, it comes in only the 42mm size, and has reportedly been designed for slimmer wrists (can be paired only with 16mm bands). The company claims that the Moto 360 has the largest screen-to-case ratio of any smartwatch available today. The Moto 360 is built out of aircraft-grade 316L stainless steel, with Corning Gorilla Glass protecting the screen from scratches. The smartwatch is also IP67 certified, making it dust and water resistant (withstanding immersion in up to 1 metre of water for 30 minutes.)
The 42mm case for men comes in silver case colour, and chamfer coloured bezel. The 46mm comes in black and gold coloured cases, and micro knurl bezel treatment. The women's Moto 360 comes in silver, gold and rose gold colour options, with bezel shining in peak and micro etch flavours. Both metal and leather 'quick release' bands are available for both sizes.
As for other specifications, the new Moto 360 comes in two screen sizes: 1.37-inch (of screen resolution 360x325 pixels and a 263ppi pixel density), and 1.56-inch (of screen resolution 360x330 pixels and a 233ppi pixel density). The device is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, which comes paired with Adreno 306 with 450MHz GPU. The smartwatch has 4GB of internal storage, and 512MB of RAM. The 42mm variant comes with 300mAh battery, which as the company claims could last up to 1.5 days of mixed use with Ambient off. The 46mm variant comes with 400mAh battery, which could last up to 2 days with ambient off, and a full day with ambient kept on. It supports both Bluetooth 4.0 LE and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g. Among the sensors, it comes loaded with an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and a gyroscope, apart from a vibration and haptics engine. It also has an optical heart rate monitor (PPG).
Motorola has also introduced several new interesting features to the new Moto 360 to make it more useful to users. One such feature is Live Dial, which lets users get information at a glance, and also let them use shortcuts to quickly access their most frequently used apps. "Set up the smaller dials on your watch to display the battery level, current weather, or your latest fitness stats," the company noted. For instance, user can use this feature with Shazam app to quickly discover the music playing around them.
"The original Moto 360 is the most successful Android Wear watch ever launched. It was the first true smartwatch to feature a traditional round face, and it established the bar in design, craftsmanship and style," the company said. Notably, it still features the infamous 'flat tire' UI.
The company is also letting users customise the smartwatch, leveraging its signature Moto Maker feature in the US, Mexico, the UK, France, and Germany, with more markets possible in the future.
The Moto 360 Sport on the other hand is aimed at athletes and fitness enthusiasts, and features an 'AnyLight' hybrid display, making it better at sunlight legibility, apart from built-in GPS, and a waterproof silicone body.
Following the announcement by Google earlier this week, the Android Wear-based smartwatch is compatible with smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher, or an iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus with iOS 8.2 or higher.