Moto 360 2 could solve Android Wear’s size problem

The next Android Wear smartwatch from Motorola may include small and large variants, though the “flat tire” circular screen probably isn’t going away.


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Motorola might answer prayers for a smaller Android Wear smartwatch with the second-generation Moto 360.

In filings with Brazil’s Anatel telecommunications agency, Motorola refers to a “360S” and “360L,” suggesting that the Moto 360 2 will come in two sizes. The documents were first spotted by 9to5Google, which notes that a similar Anatel filing preceded the original Moto 360 launch last year.

The filing also references a 270 mAh battery in the 360S, and a 375 mAh battery in the 360L. The original Moto 360 split the difference with a 320 mAh battery, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the smaller model will have weaker battery life. Motorola used a four-year-old Texas Instruments processor in its first smartwatch; hopefully Moto will switch to a more efficient and modern chip this time around.

While the filing doesn’t provide any other noteworthy details, a recent Motorola promotional video (since removed) shows a smartwatch with a circular design like the original Moto 360, but with a set of lugs that connects to the watch band. This seems to corroborate an earlier image that Lenovo CEO Yang Yuangqing posted (and quickly deleted) on Chinese social network Weibo, showing a bundle of watch cases in a couple of sizes.

The inclusion of lugs on the watch case should be an improvement over the first-generation Moto 360, which lacked a certain cohesiveness between the body and the watch strap. Unfortunately, it looks like Motorola’s watch will have the “flat tire” effect in which the round display doesn’t extend all the way to the bottom. This is a necessary sacrifice when you have a circular screen with virtually no bezel.

Why this matters: So far, Android Wear watches have catered exclusively to larger wrists, even as the Apple Watch and Pebble Time have managed to slim down. With so many contributing hardware partners, Android Wear should have the advantage of running the full size gamut, and it looks like Motorola will help Google’s smartwatch platform get there. Expect to hear more about the next Moto 360 at the IFA trade show in early September.

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