BERLIN -- Motorola last year looked as though it was going to be the king of smartwatch manufacturers when it launched what was then the world's first circular smartwatch -- only to be let down by terrible battery life and Android Wear software that was simply not good enough.
At IFA 2015 in Berlin, the company is back with the updated version of the Moto 360, which now comes in four distinct versions: two men's models (46mm and 42mm), one women's model (42mm with narrower 16mm straps) and a Moto 360 Sport which is more fitness tracker than smartwatch, featuring a silicone strap, built-in GPS and a new display that is easier to read in direct sunlight.
Addressing the main gripe from the original Moto 360, the company said the battery in the new 46mm model will power the watch for up to two days, while the smaller 42mm model will get you one and a half days of battery life. This is mainly down to the new Qualcomm 400 chip powering the new smartwatch.
The men's and women's version of the Moto 360 are already available to preorder from Motorola 's website today with the Sport coming later this year. The price of the Moto 360 Sport has yet to be announced, but the rest of the range will cost from $299 to $429, depending on price and size, which is a slight increase over last year's model.
The new Moto 360 collection, as Motorola calls the range, will be available to customize through the company's online Moto Maker system, which will offer up to 300 combinations of straps, cases and finishes.
Despite the continued use of the cutout at the 6 o'clock position on the circular face, Motorola boasts that it has a 71 percent screen-to-case ratio, which is by far the largest of any major smartwatch on the market. The company has slightly repositioned the button on the Moto 360 to the 2 o'clock position.
It is hard to tell if the improvements Motorola has made on the Moto 360 will significantly improve its chances of challenging Apple Watch's lead in this market. One key issue is whether the new Moto 360 can live up to the company's battery claims. With competitors like Asus and Huawei showing off their smartwatches this week at IFA -- the huge Berlin-based trade show for consumer electronics -- it's clear that manufacturers believe the market is up from grabs.