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Motorola confirms smartwatch in the works, Moto Maker coming to Europe

Tom Morgan
26 Feb 2014
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Motorola has confirmed it is working on a smartwatch, with an aim of releasing later in the year

Motorola used its Mobile World Congress press conference to confirm that it was working on a smartwatch, which would be arriving later this year. Despite the recent announcement that the company had been sold by Google to Lenovo, it seems the company is sticking to its roadmap and will join the likes of Sony and Samsung in the wearable technology market at some point in 2014.

Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Product at Motorola, said the company was looking to "solve some real user problems" with the watch, including battery life but focusing mainly on style. According to Osterloh, "no-one wants to wear" current smart watches, which are "ugly" - a direct shot at Samsung's Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches announced at the show a day earlier.

Motorola has made at least one smartwatch before: the MOTOACTV was launched back in 2011 and was essentially an Android tablet in a watch form factor. It has a 1.6in, 220x176 resolution display and was powered by a 600MHz OMAP3 CPU with 256MB of RAM - it was ahead of its time, perhaps, but sales were slow enough to force the company to make massive price reductions before finally discontinuing it altogether last year.

Prototype motorola smartwatch

Following the announcement, images of a prototype smartwatch being made by Motorola for Google in 2013 surfaced online. The pictures, obtained by Android Police, show a watch with a square LCD display and rubberised wrist strap, complete with integrated USB port. It is believed this isn't the watch being referred to at last night's event.

Although the company wouldn't confirm its smartwatch would run Android, Osterloh did draw a few chuckles from the assembled journalists when he decreed it "definitely won't be running Tizen".

In other news that will please prospective Moto X customers, Motorola will be bringing its Moto Maker to Europe later in the year. Company SVP of Supply Chain & Operations Mark Randall explained that it would first arrive in the UK and Germany, with more countries to follow in the later months.

If you've been thinking about picking up a Moto X, but want to be a bit adventurous with your choice of colours or pattern, we'd suggest waiting it out until the customisation service arrives.

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