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Moto 360 circular smartwatch released by Motorola

The Moto 360 is intended to be more fashionable than earlier smartwatches

Moto 360 circular smartwatch released by Motorola
The Moto 360 can display a range of watch face designs as well as app interfaces.

Google's Motorola division has begun selling its circular smartwatch, the Moto 360.

Featuring a 1.5inch LCD touchscreen encircled by a thin metal band, the waterproof device is powered by Google's new Android Wear operating system, designed for small screens, and also features a built-in heart rate monitor and pedometer step counter, but no proprietary sleep monitoring software.

The Moto 360 can display a range of watch face designs as well as app interfaces.

In its official blog, Motorola said: "Moto 360 keeps you on time and up to date without taking you out of the moment or distracting you, telling you what you need to know before you know you need it through subtle alerts and notifications. With just a twist of the wrist you can see who is emailing or calling, what time your next meeting is or a friend's latest social post."

"Moto 360 also responds to your voice. Just say "Ok Google" to ask questions like who won the Stanford vs. New Mexico game or what time your flight leaves, or to get stuff done like scheduling an appointment, sending a text, setting an alarm or taking a note."

According to the BBC, the firm's president, Rick Osterloh, suggested it was a clear improvement on competitors' earlier models.

"I think the first watches that shipped have been really bad," he said, "a number of manufacturers were willing to ship products that I felt were not appropriate for consumers.

"The biggest problem consumers said they had with them was that they really didn't look appealing. The difference in our initial approach has been to focus on that problem and solve it."

He added that he welcomed the prospect of Apple entering the sector, potentially as soon as next week: "I think Apple is going to help grow the category," he said.

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