Smartwatches ready for a circular revolution, and Motorola is first

We like smartwatches, but we tire of the square. It’s not that squares aren’t sexy, but it’s just that circles are better for time because clocks are circular. Motorola gets that, and is ready with its 360.

We’ve heard about it for some time (no pun intended… okay, maybe some pun intended), and now Motorola is beginning to say more about its 360 watch, releasing some specs, and suggesting what Australians will be seeing when its first smartwatch is released later this year.

For starters, it will include a 1.5 inch 320×290 display which isn’t entirely circular thanks to a small strip of sensors at the bottom, but it’s mostly circular and is the first smartwatch we’ve seen that looks and feels like a conventional circular watch.

The screen will be protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3, scratch resistant but not drop-proof, and sit atop a 320mAh battery, smaller than the 400mAh cell in LG’s square G Watch.

Water resistance is included, and rated for IP67 certification, with 4GB internal storage also here, 512MB RAM, support for Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy), with a pedometer for step tracking and a heart rate monitor included, all of it working with Google’s Android Wear platform.

Move beyond the specs, though, and it’s hard not to comment on its appearance, with Motorola producing what has to be one of the best looking smartwatches to date.

While this is one of those subjective elements, a watch is traditionally circular, and it’s fantastic to see that shape brought to the world of smartwatches.

Motorola’s 360 isn’t the only one to do it, mind you, and LG chimed in ahead of IFA to tell us that it too will have a circular smartwatch coming, with an example shown at the IFA show in Germany.

LG's G Watch R is not the Moto 360, but we can understand why you'd get them confused.

But if you think the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R will signal the end of the square, think again.

If the showing at IFA is anything to go by, more squares and rectangles are coming, with Samsung’s Gear S being a rectangular smartwatch-phone on its own, another square Sony SmartWatch, a newbie from Asus, and countless others we’ve probably missed, as well.

We’re excited for both types — circular and square — and anything else in between, but the circle watches grab our attention more right now because we’ve yet to see one up close and personal, and this more closely resembles the watch for most people who still use them.

As for the release of these new watches, Motorola looks to hit store shelves first, at least internationally, with a retail price of $250 USD when the Moto 360 goes on sale in black leather and limited grey leather in stores across the country, as well as online stores for Motorola and Google Play. A metal band version will also be coming shortly, retailing for $300 USD, too, but that’s scheduled for later in the year.

Australians keen to grab one of these will have to just hold on, though, or ship one in themselves.

We checked with Motorola this week, and representatives for the company have told us that a release of the 360 is on the cards for 2014, but that an actual date and price could not be confirmed at this point.