The Moto 360 was a thing of beauty, and we fell in love with its minimalist design the second we laid eyes on it.

It wasn't perfect though. Its battery life left a lot to be desired, its internals were old (resulting in occasionally choppy performance), and its strap was a hassle to change.

That was then, this is now. The new Moto 360 has officially arrived, and we've perused a variety of models at IFA to form some first impressions.

Hello beautiful

The 360 is, simply put, beautiful. The original design has been slightly modified to accommodate a traditional dual-strap system, and the variety of brushed metal finishes - ranging from rose gold to silver - all look and feel wonderfully premium, especially when they catch the light.

The chamfered edges are another quality touch, and we can safely say that there'll be nothing remotely embarrassing about using this as your daily timepiece.

Another slight change to the original design is the location of the power button, which has followed the Huwaei Watch's lead by shifting to the two o' clock position. Motorola tells us that this is more comfortable, especially when using the stopwatch function, and we agree. Whether or not a slightly more comfortable position is better than a traditional watch design however, is entirely up to you. 

The rear of the device once again houses a heart rate sensor, and, as before, any Qi charging pad will juice it up.

Regular or large?

Motorola has joined Apple in offering two different sizes of smartwatch to cater for people with daintier wrists.

The new 360 is available in 46mm and 42mm flavours, with a rose gold 42mm option with a thinner strap, aimed at women.

We didn't find the larger version to be overly big for our wrists, but we applaud Motorola for offering the option, and it's a trend we want to see continued by all manufacturers.

Strap in

As with the original Moto 360, there are a variety of strap options available, ranging from full metal links to deliciously soft horween leather.

The straps also have a handy quick-release system for easy customisation, and we're sure that Moto's looking to sell plenty as accessories for 360 owners.

We managed to detach and attach a strap in less than 20 seconds, and it's a massive improvement over the original's finicky strap swapping process.

Speedy specs

The new Moto 360 is powered by the latest version of Android Wear, and it'll play nice with iOS devices too. As with existing iOS-compatible Android Wear devices like the LG G Watch Urbane however, it won't offer the full functionality of Google's wearable experience.

If you're an iPhone owner looking to "OK Google" your wrist, you're going to have to wait for whatever magic needs to happen between Google and Apple to make that possible.

Crack open the 360 (not that you'd want to) and you'll find a much-improved Snapdragon 400 processor along with 512MB RAM and 4GB of storage. Not only should that run Android Wear smoothly (everything ran fine during our time with it), but we're told that the more efficient processor will result in two days of use, for the larger model.

The 46mm version has a 400mAh battery, while the smaller model has a 300mAh battery - a price you'll have to pay for a smaller footprint.

We obviously can't comment on the battery life until we properly put a unit through its paces ourselves, but we'll be sure to show off our findings in our final review.

Flat tyre

Sadly the 'flat tyre' screen returns, nagging away at our OCD tendencies with its lack of a complete circle.

On the plus side, that means that the new 360 retains the ambient light sensor, saving you from having to faff around with the brightness settings each time you enter and leave bright areas.

It also allows Moto to reduce the bezel size as much as possible, resulting in the sleeker design. The cut off screen is a Marmite point for many, but we reckon we could live with it, given how handsome the rest of the watch is.

The display itself is a tad sharper too, and we had no qualms about making anything out beneath the harsh light of the IFA show floor.

But wait, there's more

We also managed to wrangle a brief hands-on with a non-working dummy model of the Moto 360 Sport, to get a few ideas on what to expect from the final product.

Naturally its rubber strap doesn't look or feel anywhere near as nice as the leather and metal build of the standard 360, but it'll definitely hold up to sweat a lot better.

Not only that, but it's got built-in GPS smarts too, freeing you from your phone while you're out pounding the pavement.

The built-in GPS module is presumably the reason why the Sport is only available in the larger 46mm variant, as the larger battery will go some way to help negate the extra power drain during a run.

Initial verdict

From what we've seen so far, the new Moto 360 is the Android Wear watch to wear this year.

It's pretty, premium, and comfortable, and it appears that most of our gripes with the original version have been fixed - bar the flat-edged screen.

Stay tuned for our full review, where we'll put the new 360 through its proper paces.