Prototype Square-Faced Motorola Smartwatch Images Appear

When Google unveiled the Android Wear platform and three new smartwatches at the Google I/O Developer Conference in 2014, two used a square watch face and one used a round watch face. That round faced watch is the original Motorola Moto 360 and of the three, it captured the most attention. Unfortunately, whereas the LG and Samsung Android Wear devices were available at the time of the Google I/O, customers (and developers) had to wait a number of months before the round faced Moto 360 was available. Even despite the delays, customers wanted the round watch faced model over the square devices: a round face makes the device look and feel closer to a normal watch. However, new pictures have surfaced showing the round watch face Moto 360 was not Motorola's only smartwatch: Motorola had been contemplating a square watch model.

The original Motorola Moto 360 was in some respects rather different compared with the other two, squared off Android Wear devices. The Moto 360 used an older, less powerful TI OMAP chipset and rather than a charger port, used a Qi wireless adapter. The less powerful OMAP chipset was originally not as well optimized for the device compared with the Snapdragon 400 chipset used in other Android Wear devices and early customers were disappointed with the Moto 360's battery life. However, the elegant wireless charging solution made life much easier compared with having to manipulate a charger cable, especially on a small device needing a daily recharge. Over time, Moto significantly improved the Moto 360's software.

The device showing in the gallery below is a squared-off watch and shows how things could have been very different. This device dispensed with the Qi charger system in favor of a MicroUSB port, which is covered by a rubber flap and this suggests that the device is at least water resistant. There's a power button on the left hand side of the device whereas the final Moto 360 product has a button on the right hand side. Furthermore, the display screen does not look especially high resolution although this may well be the prototype software used on the device. Given that the source of these images is unknown and we cannot be sure of the date of these pictures, it is possible that this particular Motorola device predates the Google Android Wear platform - or perhaps this interesting little device is a reminder of how close Motorola were to releasing another square-faced smartwatch, much like other companies.

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.