Best Smartwatches 2014 - Motorola Moto 360
The original Moto 360 could see its replacement arrive at Google I/O in late-MayIBTimes UK

As Apple prepares to launch its Watch, rivals Samsung and Motorola are both busy with their next generation of smartwatches, with their focus on round faces and premium design.

Samsung is working on the Gear A, also known as the Orbis, which will be the company's first smartwatch with a round face. Reports claim the Gear A will come in two versions - one with Bluetooth to use your phone's internet connection, and another with 3G, meaning it can handle calls and texts without a phone. Both models are expected to have Wi-Fi.

The company has given a smartwatch 3G connectivity before, with the Gear S, but with a price tag of over £300 it makes sense for Samsung to offer a cheaper version of the Gear A without 3G - especially given the Apple Watch Sport starts at £299 (and does not have 3G either).

SamMobile has obtained a list of model numbers for the various versions of Samsung Gear A. In all, there are 10 models, with four intended for the major US mobile networks - AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile - a model for South Korea, and others for the rest of the world, hopefully including the UK and Europe, although this isn't yet confirmed.

Samsung is currently on a high, having received positive reviews from the technology press for its upcoming Galaxy S6 and S6 edge smartphones, so it's vital that the Gear A follows a similar path, and doesn't disappear into obscurity, as its Gear smartwatches to date have all done.

Meanwhile, Motorola is busy preparing the second generation of its Moto 360 smartwatch - and it too will feature a completely round screen. Renders published on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, show the upcoming 360 and its new strap design. Codenamed Smelt, the smartwatch will have a resolution of 360 x 360. The images appear to show a new system for easily swapping the 360's straps, although it doesn't look like the watch will be compatible with the lug system used by traditional watches.

We expect to see more from the 360 2 at Google's I/O developer conference, which starts on 28 May and will mark one year after the original Moto 360 was announced.