A Motorola Android Wear device codenamed ‘Smelt’ could be a Moto 360 followup


Moto 360 DSC06958

Even though the Moto 360 was late out the gate compared to Android Wear devices like the Samsung Gear Live or LG G Watch, it’s still considered a first gen Android Wear device. While there’s a lot that we loved about the Moto 360 — as mentioned in our review — it did come with its fair share of shortcomings and thus, there was still plenty of room for improvement in a followup.

With OEMs introducing quality watch designs with solid aluminum builds, the Moto 360 is no longer the only fashionable — or most durable — Android Wear device on the market. We got a sneak peek at what Motorola could have planned for a Moto 360 followup after a Lenovo CEO posted an image to social media of what appeared to be an all new smartwatch housed inside a soft briefcase (Lenovo bought Motorola last year for $2.91 billion). Other than that brief look, not much else is known. That is, until today.

We received a tip from a popular app developer who recently noticed a mysterious Motorola-built Android Wear device pinging his Android developer console from Mundelein, a city not too far from Motorola’s HQ in Chicago, Illinois. The device is carrying the codename “Smelt” and is reportedly running Android 5.1. On the hardware front, it carries a screen resolution of 360 x 360 and is powered by an “armeabi-v7a.”

While we’re not too familiar with the word “smelt” outside the context “whoever smelt it, dealt it,” Webster’s also defines it as a “small silvery fish.” Makes sense given the original Moto 360 went by the codename “Minnow.”

Currently, Motorola’s only Android Wear device is the Moto 360 and only makes sense that this mysterious “Smelt” could be their replacement/sequel/followup for 2015. If that previous leak is anything to go by, we could be looking at a device that’s even more premium or luxurious than last year’s Moto 360.

At the very least, we’re hoping it’ll be better built as the plastic back on ours has already begun cracking. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for details.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 4 now receiving Android 5.0 Lollipop

Previous article

LG shows off the new 5.5-inch QHD display for the LG G4

Next article

You may also like


  1. So I guess Motorola was the one who dealt it?

  2. Smelt: Smelts are a family of small fish, Osmeridae, found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They are also known as freshwater smelts or typical smelts to distinguish them from the related Argentinidae, Bathylagidae, and Retropinnidae.

    via wikipedia

    Edit: so the code name is somewhat inline with other moto code names. Smelt isn’t quite as badass as stingray and orca, but I think the lack of badass naming is due to the new owners, Lenovo.

    1. Because minnow was so badass…

      1. Lol

    2. Or, more likely, they’re using names of smaller fish as codenames since watches are small devices, and it has nothing to do with Lenovo owning them.

    3. Neeeeeeeeerd!

  3. They need to fix the flat tire, and the CPU needs to be a late model. And the battery life needs to improve.

  4. the resolution of 360×360 basically confirms no flat tire time to throw my money at motorola

    1. Take my money now!

    2. Interesting that it’s 360×360 while the new Huawei watch is 400×400, 286ppi. Of course we need to know so much more about specs. As a former Mot employee I still prefer Mot products, but I’m willing to try something better/new if the price is right.

  5. “the plastic back on ours has already begun cracking”

    What? I’ve scratched my screen protector thus far, but the bottom (where the heart sensor is) is pristine. Do you guys slam it onto chargers?

    My bracelet did break a bit within the first week where it meets the case. But it’s fine.

    1. It’s an issue with the band and how you wear it – the back is a bit too likely to crack, especially if you wear the band in a way that puts a lot of pressure on where the band presses against the watch back.

      1. Ah OK. I wear mine loose.

    2. I know a lot of people have cracked theirs when attaching another band. Moto claims that it will work with lots of standard sized bands, but the way it’s designed, if the band is too thick, it will easily crack the plastic back.

      1. fyi Moto has always recommended having the band replaced by a jeweler and has always recommended ONLY using an official metal band if you are going to use a metal band. I know many people have had a Pebble Steel band crack their watch’s back.

  6. Could also be like Smelting ore. So maybe the next version will have nice precious metal bands?

    1. Let’s not forget that Moto has been using fish species as codenames for a while now. Since the original 360 was codenamed Minnow, the follow up being codenamed Smelt is most likely referring to the fish. Plus, smelt fishing has had a very dedicated following in Chicago for many, many years.

  7. For all the Moto 360 haters/whiners out there that seem to pop up every single time an article is published that mentions it… I’ve had the 360 since launch day and forgot the “flat tire” is even there. Also, as far as battery goes, mine has yet to die on me a single time, and that is with me being out of the house for sometimes up to 16 hours straight, having it constantly buzz with tons of notifications for personal and work use, and also having a weather forecast face that updates every hour and has fancy pictures. I also bang the hell out of mine on random metal and other hard surfaces and have yet to damage it. What on earth are people doing to these things to break them? I just don’t get why people keep complaining about the battery and “flat tire.”

    Anyways… I most likely will pick up the new one. I’m assuming it might be a little thinner and lighter, and just look a little bit sexier too. Good show on the 360, Motorola. I can’t wait for the next one!

    1. Dude.. 16 hours!!

      1. He didn’t say that the battery only last 16 hours, just that the watch gets through a 16 hour day. Personally, I usually have about 40% battery remaining after wearing mine for 17-18 hours, so battery life isn’t so much of an issue. At least charging it just means taking it off and setting it on the dock. And it charges from 50% to full in about 10 minutes.

    2. That’s the trouble with hype. I’m sure more people would have loved it if it was just released without teaser shots of full round displays or the name 360.

      Non-OLED and Ti OMAP also left people as deflated as the 360’s screen shape.

      That’s why I settled on the GWatch R.
      Full round screen and 2+ days with similar usage.

      Gen 1 devices were never going to be the best… Looking forward to gen2!

      1. Once again. Motorola NEVER released shots without the black area at the bottom. Not in the beginning, not now, not ever. Just because you didn’t notice it because you didn’t have someone point it it to you, so you could then whine about it, doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. It was. Additionally, the body of the watch IS round, which makes “360” a perfectly appropriate name. (Is it named “Moto 360 Display”)???? Lastly, anyone who “settled” on the G Watch R, is not particularly in a position to trash the gorgeous Moto 360.

        1. Blood pressure dude, lower it.

          But there was plenty of hype about it being round – the face art on the screen and the ‘not exactly’ obvious press shots that didn’t exactly show it clearly.
          By that ‘logic’ it be appropriate to name a device with any shape screen on a round watch 360 too.
          Look, you prefer style over substance and that’s fine. I prefer the GWR with it’s modern faster internals, POLED screen, tiny charging puck for easy travel, 3.5 day battery life with a dark watch face that uses naff all power, the raised bezel also protects the screen.

          1. LOL. I love how “dudes” like you think anyone who points out inaccuracies of what they’re saying and presents a differing opinion has their “blood pressure, ” raised. Nothing you said worked me up, nor did my pointing out your incorrect statement invoke any agitation in me. The fact remains that Motorola’s photos have always shown the black bar and you just didn’t notice it. And your analogy is just plain dumb, again, its a round watch, so they called it 360, and it was a great choice of a name. Finally, as has been stated by those of us who actually own and use the Moto 360, its functionality and internals have proven to provide a fantastic experience, and YES, when it comes to a device that is WORN on my person as an accessory, I DO prefer style to ugly, and would be silly not too.I don’t wear ugly fashion accessories.

          2. sure.

    3. Ditto. And Bravo.

    4. Didn’t even know the term “flat tire” was being applied to the black bezel. Bone-headed haters could have at least come up with a better name than that even if their exaggerated complaints are BS.

  8. Silly question,

    Is it too early in the smartwatch game for Google to go with a Nexus?
    They could call it like the Nexus round or something.

    Just thinking out loud.

    1. That would be pretty cool! Two reasons I doubt Google would, though. First is that smartwatch manufacturers probably wouldn’t be happy with Google competing against them. With Nexus phones, Google doesn’t market them to the average consumer, and manufacturers are able to add their own versions of Android and bloat to the devices they sell.

      The other thing is that one of the primary purposes of Nexus is to provide a “pure” stock Android phone – pretty much all Android phone manufacturers have their own altered version of the Android OS. Since Android Wear is more controlled by Google, and is more or less the same across Wear devices, there’s less incentive for Google to make a Nexus Wear device. But still, I think it’s a cool idea and I wouldn’t mind seeing what Google would do.

    2. Basically all AW watches are Nexus or at least have Nexus experience because of pure vanilla Android UI, timely updates all watches update in 2-3 weeks time and no custom customization from OEM side.So yeah :)

    3. Don’t see that coming. Google’s flagship watch has already been announced to be a Tag Heuer.

  9. Besides upgrading my phone later this year, I may as well start looking at replacement watches for my G Watch. Although I’m kinda less in a hurry to upgrade my watch than my phone.

  10. Look up smelting, the metallurgical term. To smelt something is to extract metal from its ore. It’s a clue that this is a metal device.

    1. Probably not. Since the original 360 was codenamed Minnow, the follow up being codenamed Smelt is likely referring to the fish. Plus, smelt fishing has had a very dedicated following in Chicago for many, many years.

      1. They should have named it after Regina in Canada. It smells like it sounds.

  11. I convinced myself to hold off on these until the second gen devices with better battery and built in gps. If this has both, I’ll be on board.

  12. Hopefully this will be announced soon as I’m seriously considering an LG Urbane. No word on when that will come out in the States but it’s looking like the end of April. If the “smelt” is shown off before then it will be very interesting to see which looks better.

    1. I’m with you….the price is a bit high on the Urbane. I think if Moto comes out with something competitive but cheaper, it would draw me over

  13. Smelt the fish is actually quite tasty, surprisingly. Smelt is also a process of refining iron ore.

  14. I love my Moto 360, so this makes me wants to put on my dancing pants and jump up and down out of excitement. Can’t wait to see what the second gen will do.

  15. It’s obviously the next wave in wearables. Everyone will soon be clambering for a smart belt.

    1. I want a smart button or zipper.

    2. Everyone has been clamoring for that since Batman 1st debuted. Where have you been?

    3. No, just no.

  16. Two words :D

  17. Great news Chris

  18. Be glad when this fad fades. 3,2,1

    1. Said someone about the telephone and automobile and aeroplane.

      1. And movies with sound and television.

        1. And indoor bathrooms.

    2. All things become irrelevant to some degree at some point. Get with the program or be a self-righteous hipster. Your choice.

  19. 360 x 360…. sounds like the “Flat Tire” is gone. :)

    1. how do you know?

      1. Because the moto 360 is 360 x 340

        1. Point proved but it’s 320×290

          1. Ah yes. Sorry I was confused. I just know that it was missing some pixels somewhere. Tbh I pulled that resolution out of my ass hah.

  20. I caught 2 mermaids and one smelt so I threw her back…

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Wearables