Motorola unveils new and improved Moto 360 smartwatch

Motorola's Moto 360 remains one of the most interesting Android Wear devices, despite being introduced a year ago. Its elegant design has been unmatched so far by most competitors and the user experience continues to be solid.

However, when compared to some newer rivals, like Apple Watch, the device is showing its age, being designed with a different market in mind. A successor is much-awaited.

Today, Motorola takes the wraps off its new Moto 360, revealing a smartwatch that will appeal to a wider range of consumers, including iPhone users. The new device features a similar design to its predecessor, but improves upon the original formula by adding more powerful internals, more customisation options, and a wider range of models, similar to what Apple has done with its offering.

Moto 360 will be offered in two different sizes, just like Apple Watch. The biggest model is 46mm large in diameter, and is mainly addressed to men, while the smaller 42mm version is meant for both men and women. Apple Watch is offered in smaller versions, 42mm and 38mm, in case you are wondering. The coincidences do not stop there, as Motorola will be offering Moto 360 in a Sport trim, which is suited for fitness users.

Those who wish to have a custom Moto 360, can turn to Moto Maker to choose the colour of the bezel and quick-release bands, the latter of which are offered in leather and metal. The Sport model gets plastic bands, which are better suited for fitness use.

There are three case/bezel colours for the men's version, namely black, gold and silver, while the ladies' model comes in gold, rose gold and silver. There are matching band colours, different treatments for the bezel, which lead up to 180 different configurations for the men's version, and 108 different configurations for the women's model, without taking into account band material options and the Sport model.

Moto 360 new Motorola combinations

The only news are not just on the outside, as Motorola has added plenty of new things to be excited about to both the software and internal hardware. Android Wear on the new Moto 360 comes with Live Dials, which give users the option to add shortcuts or useful information to the watch face. For example, they can show the battery level, temperature or allow the user to unlock doors with Kevo.

In typical smartwatch fashion, it also gives us lots of information about health and fitness, based on data pulled from various sensors. This is called Moto Body, and is one of the main things that Motorola is counting on to attract fitness enthusiasts to the new Moto 360.

Motorola claims its new Moto 360 has the largest screen to case ratio of any smartwatch, helped by a 1.37-inch display in the 42mm case and 1.56-inch panel in the 46mm version. Bezels are obviously, very thin, just like with its predecessor. Pixel density is 263 pixels per inch and 233 ppi, respectively. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

The new Moto 360 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, a quad-core solution clocked at 1.2 GHz, with 512 MB of RAM, coupled with Adreno 305 graphics. Battery life is said to be up to a day with Ambient mode on, which keeps the display on when the user is not looking at it; without it, battery life can increase by up to a day, depending on the model.

New Moto 360 Motorola wireless charging

Here are other things you need to know about the new Moto 360: it comes with 4 GB of internal storage, supports Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, is water and dust-resistant, but not waterproof, can charge wirelessly, and can be used with any iPhone as old as iPhone 5, running iOS 8.2.

The support for iPhones is a recent addition to Android Wear, and it does not bring users the same feature set available to those using Android smartphones.

Motorola says that Moto 360 will be available in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, with prices ranging from $299.99 to $429.99.

It will be available to pre-order online as early as today, from Motorola's own store, Google Play and Best Buy, and generally available in US later this month, from Nordstrom, Best Buy and Verizon. The Sport model will be offered later down the road.