As the release for the hugely anticipated successor to the Moto 360 smartwatch nears, more and more buzz is naturally surfacing.  And why shouldn’t it be?  The original 360 blew up with a large fan-base right from the bat.  It set the standard of how a quality smartwatch should be built, look, and feel.  Motorola did it right.

But like typical with first-gen devices, it wasn’t perfect.  The 360 was criticized for its lackluster internals, such as the old TI OMAP 3 SoC running it, probably chosen to cut down on costs. Unfortuntely, it seems like that decision has come back to bite Motorola, because they’ve had to delay the Android Wear 5.1.1 update due to performance issues.

The good news is that Motorola is set to make the needed updates to the 2nd-gen Moto 360 and have us jumping for joy once again.  This is what we know so far:

Improved display

The display on the original 360 received a couple knocks, due to the “flat tire” unusable area on the bottom of the screen (where the ambient light sensor resides) and the low resolution of 320 x 290 (only 205 ppi).

We’ve heard word that the next 360 will boast a 360 x 360 resolution.  To compare, the LG Watch Urbane has a 320 x 320 (245 ppi) display, so the increase coming to the 360 should be welcomed.

Rumors have also said that Motorola has figured out how to fill up that flat tire with their design and utilize the entire 360 degrees for screen.  And with the looming LG round smartwatches that already do this, it would be a smart move.

Smaller size, more customization

One of the first leaks we saw about the new Moto 360 came from the Lenovo CEO, Yang Yuanqing, funny enough.  He showed off a revealing pic centered around the magnitude of customization the 2nd-gen 360 will have:

360_ceo_leak

What we saw here was two different sizes and various colors for metal and leather straps and frames.  Seems like Moto Maker is going to go full-fledged with this one.

It is also known that Motorola’s SVP of Global Marketing and Communication stated that the next 360 will be smaller than the first version.  Although it hasn’t been clarified if that meant a smaller variant or thinner device.

Our most recent visual leak was a bit of a curve ball, because the design portrayed differs from what Yang Yuanqing displayed for us.

Moto-360-2015-leak-792x446

Here we don’t see the straps lugs sticking out of the frame.  This image hints at a sleek and thin watch with easily swappable bands.  I’m left hoping that the devices in Yang Yuanqing’s teaser were only early prototypes.

Release date

It was unfortunate that we didn’t get to see the new Moto 360 at Google I/O this year.  If you recall, it was unveiled in the event last year.  But we do have a couple tidbits suggesting that a launch is imminent.

In a talk with the Telegraph, Yang Yuanqing said “…you may see in summer us launching some very exciting products, including phones and watches.”  Also, the Bluetooth SIG for a “Motorola Android Device” was recently spotted, with a model number of BTMW03 (the original 360 had a model number of BTMW01).

Furthermore, price drops (like the Moto 360 $100 reduction) typically imply that a refresh is nearby.

Are you anxiously waiting as I am for the next Moto 360 to drop, or are you satisfied enough with the original?

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I bought one from Argos in the UK yesterday and they have deliveries booked in for 1st gen right through until September which the guy thinks suggests nothing new will be out before then. But who knows?!

  2. But does it have a speaker this time? I tried the 1st gen, but lack of speaker for Google Now ruined it for me

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