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Motorola's Moto 360 smartwatch has looks and a $250 price tag

Motorola's Moto 360 smartwatch has looks and a $250 price tag

The first version will come with leather armbands, while metal versions will come later this year

Motorola's Moto 360 smartwatch on show at the IFA electronics expo in Berlin

Motorola's Moto 360 smartwatch on show at the IFA electronics expo in Berlin

Motorola Mobility starts shipping its Android Wear-based Moto 360 smartwatch on Friday for US$250.

The device will be available with a black leather or a limited-edition gray leather armband with a suede finish in the U.S. at noon eastern time on Motorola.com, Google's Play store, as well as through Best Buy. It will arrive in other markets such as the U.K. next month.

Getting here has taken Motorola almost six months. The Moto 360 was announced along with Android Wear in March. At the time, the company promised it would ship in the summer and since it's already September it was high time to fulfill that pledge.

Smartwatch competition is heating up with numerous new models, but what the round Moto 360 has going for it is a good design. The bezel is made from metal and isn't too thick for an understated look compared to many other smartwatches.

Having a design that resonates with consumers will be even more important on smartwatches, because there isn't that much manufacturers can do to differentiate their products from the competition.

The Moto 360 has a 1.5-inch screen with a 320 by 290 pixel resolution. The bottom of the screen has a black band for the display driver and an ambient light meter. It might look a bit strange, but Motorola chose it over making the device bigger.

Still, the water resistant smartwatch isn't exactly dainty; the diameter is 46 millimeters and it's 11 millimeters thick.

It is powered by a Texas Instruments processor, has 4GB of integrated storage and an integrated heart rate monitor. The battery has a 320mAh capacity and should last "all day," according to Motorola.

The Moto 360 will also be available with two metal armbands later this fall for $300. Users who now purchase the smartwatch with a leather armband can get a metal version for $80.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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