Samsung and LG might have been first to market with Android Wear smartwatches, but the Moto 360 was the first that really got people excited. Now, after innumerable leaks, Motorola's finally ready to talk about the sequel it's been working on behind closed doors. Say hello to the 2015 Moto 360. Prices for these shiny new models start at $299 and they'll hit store shelves later this month, with pre-orders starting today. In the meantime, let's take a closer look at Motorola's handiwork.
First off, yes, you can still customize the dickens out of them -- just look at all the options shown in the above photo. While the original Moto 360 was a one-size-fits-all sort of affair, we've now got two different dial sizes to fit a broader swath of wrists: 42mm and 46mm. The lugs (better known as "those bits the straps snap into") have been moved to the outside of the watch, making it easier to customize it with different bands. Turns out that also made it easier to design a 360 specifically for women. As it happens, Motorola's been puzzling over that problem since before the first 360 hit shelves, and the design team has finally addressed it here by pushing the lugs together, offering smaller 16mm wrist straps and offering different bezel finishes. If you're a fan of rose gold, you'll find plenty to like here.
Of course, different bezel sizes also mean different screen sizes. The smaller version has a 1.37-inch 360 x 325 display, while the surprisingly comfy 46mm model has a 1.56-inch display with a resolution of 360 x 330. And yes, that tiny black occlusion is still there at the bottom of the screen. Motorola design chief Jim Wicks admitted getting rid of it was possible, but the tradeoffs -- namely, a bigger body -- were too big a price to pay for a perfectly circular screen. It takes more than just a clean new design to make a smartwatch worth wearing, though, and indeed Motorola kitted out its new watch with an upgraded 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage for your music and files.
I spent a little time trying on the new 360, and it's already clear to me that it's a serious contender. Each of the various models I handled is effortlessly classy in a way that premium watches like the LG Watch Urbane never were, and each of the size options has their own charm. I'll admit, when that first batch of leaked photos first started making the rounds, I was instantly attracted to the smaller of the pair; it's a little less ostentatious because of its size and you won't be missing anything with a smaller screen. It turns out that's mostly true. The smaller 300mAh battery is only rated for up to 1.5 days of continued use, compared to two days on the 46mm version. Speaking of that bigger model, it's definitely not too big: It felt really natural on my small wrist, though I wish Motorola could've shaved a few millimeters off its casing. I'm also a fan of Motorola's new "Live Dials" watch faces, which let you launch apps or use their features right without digging through your installed software, so Shazaming that new Weeknd track is finally a one-touch process. We'll hold off on our judgments until we've spent time with an actual, retail-ready version of the watch, but you can start scrimping together your pocket change in the meantime.
Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub.