Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch has been demanding a lot of patience out of a lot of consumers, but it seems that a Moto 360 retailer is ready for the watch to go primetime. Best Buy listed the Moto 360 smartwatch at the retail price of $249.99 before pulling the listing. You won’t find it there now if you go search for it.
This retail price is the same as what we discovered earlier with the Moto 360 design contest where the price of the Moto 360 was $250. Motorola said at the time that the retail price for the design winners may not match the actual retail price available at the time of sale. Well, it seems that, if the Best Buy listing can be trusted, then the Moto 360 will retail for $250.
There’s been a great deal of excitement over Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch and the fact that it’s a round display as opposed to the square displays of other smartwatches. At the end of the day, however, the shape of a watch is in the eye of its beholder; some individuals choose round watches, others don’t. We sure hope that this one single fact (plus the leather wrist strap) isn’t the only reason you purchase a $250 smartwatch.
There are some other things to admire about the Moto 360, one being that it does have a 320 x 290 screen resolution on a 1.8-inch display. It looks similar to the watches of old, before watches turned “smart,” and some people find it to have good looks and be an attractive piece of “eye candy.”
While we respect Motorola’s efforts, we do have to say that releasing the Moto 360 on September 4th (the new announcement date listed for the Moto 360, Moto G2, and Moto X+1) doesn’t technically qualify as “summer.” After all, most children start back to school this month in the US, at least, so September is considered to be a “fall” release – not later this summer as Motorola announced at Google I/O 2014. Summer doesn’t officially end until September 21, however, so Motorola is technically right but didn’t execute a summer unveil for many Moto 360 fans.
The Moto 360 smartwatch also comes with IP67 water and dust resistance, as well as heart rate monitor, ambient light sensor, and in-built pedometer. Keep in mind that both the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live cost $229 and $199, respectively, and the Gear Live also has a heart rate monitor and pedometer. With the Moto 360 bearing a $250 price tag, some buyers are sure to be turned off by the additional pricing – even if it is only $20 more than an LG G Watch and $50 more than a Samsung Gear Live.
When it comes to the Moto 360, some are attracted to the round shape of the watchface and the leather band, but you can buy the same look on any watch in a number of stores (and pay half of the $250 to get it). When you’re looking for a smartwatch, you should discriminate regarding what you want in a smartwatch. There’s more to the book than its cover, more to a person than his or her physique and more to a smartphone and smartwatch than its front display and back cover.
So, what justifies the $250 price tag? If Android Wear is in its infancy, and the leather wristband and round face are all that’s left, we can’t recommend the product in good faith to our readers. Motorola is making the same mistake with the Moto 360 that it made with the Moto X. When the Moto X was unveiled with its $600 off-contract price, a number of consumers were turned off from buying the device – and Motorola’s doing it again.
Sadly, a number of consumers complained about Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch that was priced at $299, but if you can afford a $249 Moto 360, how will another $50 hurt? To make matters worse, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and Gear 2 smartwatches offer more functionality than the Moto 360; so, between the Moto 360 and the Gear 2, the Gear 2 (or even the cheaper first-generation Galaxy Gear) is, a better choice for the price.
With that said, the Moto 360 may prove to be an excellent smartwatch for some, but it still runs Android Wear – a platform that’s in its infancy. As of now, there are only 20 apps available for download on Android Wear, and most of those require Google Now voice activation (with no texting capabilities in sight). It seems as though, despite the attractive look of the Moto 360, when you peel away the physique, the Moto 360 is still somewhat paralyzed in what we’ve come to expect from a smartwatch.
As for Motorola, the former Google-owned company will announce not only its Moto 360 smartwatch, but also the Moto X+1 and the Moto G2 on the same day. The scene is ripe, however, for Samsung’s Gear Solo launch on September 3rd.