What’s the right price for the Moto 360?

by: Bogdan PetrovanMay 23, 2014


Android Wear devices will shake up the wearables landscape come this summer. Google, Motorola, and LG promised us sleek, useful smartwatches that we will actually want to wear. The Moto 360 and the LG G Watch look awesome on paper and in concept videos, and hopefully they’ll be just as impressive when they ship in a few months. And we can wait to see what HTC, Samsung and other partners have in store.

But no matter how cool the first Android Wear watches are, the price has to be right as well. This week, the fine print on a Motorola-ran contest suggested the Moto 360 would retail for $250. Motorola tried to shot down the speculation, but $250 looks like a plausible price tag for a smartwatch.

In this Friday Debate, tell us — would an Android Wear smartwatch be successful at $250? Or is it too expensive? What would be the right price for a device you wear on your wrist as an extension of the device you keep in your pocket? And what kind of features would you expect at that price level?

Join us in the discussion bellow, vote in our poll, and sound off in the comments.

Darcy LaCouvee

I’m excited for Android Wear, and for the rise of a truly great wrist experience. I never hope to have anything except for the ability to get notifications of messages and occurrences that are relevant to me. Google Plus notifications, Facebook messages, Emails, SMS and other stuff should be the main focus. Perhaps some kind of contextual location aware stuff, too.

That being said, I won’t put something on my wrist unless its classy. Moto has gotten things right as of late, and the 360 looks very promising, aesthetically speaking. But, with the power of Google, perhaps one day in the near future we will see legacy watch makers debut watches with Android Wear on board, transparent OLED displays, and with high quality build materials like Sapphire crystal faces and silver, stainless steel, or even gold.

Further, the spherical design of the display/face itself is very appealing. Square displays are so reminiscent of the the Casio calculator ‘smartwatches’ of yesteryear.

I digress.

A smartwatch, if it is to be successful and inherently appealing must be:

– waterproof, scratch and dust resistant
– Under $249 depending on the build, with more premium options available (leather straps, stainless steel, silver, etc)
– have battery life of at least 6 days with relatively frequent usage (how many times a day do you check your phone?)
– Android Wear and all that it will potentially be able to do (it will only get better in time)
– Great bezel to display ratio
– Easy charging
– 8GB + of internal storage, for those times when you can’t stream tunes, will make it more appealing for working out, etc, which I totally never do anyway. But I like to talk about it like I do.

Perhaps even strong customizability, of bezel, etc.

It’s only a matter of time before someone gets it right, and right now, that appears to be Moto. As soon as Apple releases the iWatch, the whole industry is going to explode.

Gary Sims

The potential for wearables is enormous, however there are several obstacles which will need to be overcome before they become mainstream.

One problem is the price, the second is style, the third is building a device that actually meets real life needs.

All three of these are connected. Since this is a new industry, you aren’t going to get all the features and all the style at a low price. And that is a big problem.

Darcy mentioned under $249 price point, and I understand why he said that. However I think the boom in wearable devices will come when the price drops below $75.

You may consider that a bit crazy, but think about it. Some people are happy to spend hundreds of dollars, even thousands of dollars on a watch. That is there choice. Personally I have never spent more than $30 on a watch. Why would I? It just needs to tell me the time.

So a $249 smartwatch would need to do something radical for me to want to part with my money, and at the moment they don’t. Sure they have neat features, stuff that makes you want to say words like “cool”, “neat”, “awesome.” But after the engineer in me stops swooning over the technology, what difference will the device make to my day to day life?

It wasn’t that way with smartphones. The PDA market was already booming and PDAs solved real world problems. When the PDA merged with the phone the smartphone was born.

Here is the truth, I don’t care if I can read SMS messages on my watch. It doesn’t help me in any way whatsoever. I don’t care about all the connectivity options. So what if my phone is connected to my watch? If I am carrying my phone then I don’t need my watch to beep to tell me to look at my phone.

OK, maybe I am over simplifying things, but I hope you get the idea. The wearable designers need to come up with a killer feature, something that makes me want a wearable device, because it helps me somehow.

That doesn’t mean the killer feature isn’t just around the corner, it just isn’t here today.

Bottom line: I might be tempted to part with $75 for a watch that is clever, water resistant, has a good battery and reasonable storage (maybe 4GB). For more money than that then it needs to be able to do a whole load more, and not just features, but something that actually makes my life easier.

Robert Triggs

Who still wears a watch these days? I stopped wearing one as soon as I bought my first phone.

My biggest issue with the whole market, as it stands, is that I can’t find much use for one. Features like fitness tracking are a big too gimmicky for me, and I can reach into my pocket to check the time, read a text, and check my emails. Like Gary, I’m struggling to see where a smartwatch fits in with my needs, they just seem like an expensive accessory at the moment.

Although smartwatch technology is getting better, we’re still waiting on that killer feature to make the technology really useful. Perhaps, if I really stretch my imagination, I can maybe see smartwatches eventually replacing smartphones when it comes to messaging, calls, and perhaps even audio, if you paired one up with some wireless headphones. But we’re nowhere near that stage yet. Once smartwatches can stand alone, and if they prove to actually be useful on their own, I’ll be much more interested in them.

Then there’s the other half of the argument – features like water resistance, scratch resistance, and, of course, style. I’d want them all. The Moto 360 is heading in the right direction, the geeky Samsung look doesn’t cut it for me compared with more traditional premium designs, especially if you’re going to charge a high price for them. I’d say $250, or even higher, is fair for something of quality, but I don’t see that sort of value in anything being offered right now.

For now, the price of smartwatches would have to come down substantially to grab my interest.

Lanh Nguyen

I don’t think a price of $250 to $300 is unreasonable if it has the build of a normal watch but with smart functions obviously. Normal watches can be expensive so we shouldn’t expect a smartwatch to be cheaper when it has extra functionality unless the watch just has cheap build quality. What I really want a watch to do, that would make me go out and buy one, is allow me to input on it. Text people, tweet, etc., something we still can’t do and I think that would drastically change how useful a smartwatch can be because to me glancing at info is not enough. I understand we’re working with a limited amount of space here but this is where OEMs need to get creative.

The biggest problem with smartwatches right now is people don’t feel the need for them so until they can do things that make us feel like we need them I won’t be going out and buying one anytime soon. Hopefully Android Wear is the answer.

[poll id=”592″]

  • Dee Norbert

    100 to 150$ no more.Its a watch for Gods sake.

    • Jayfeather787

      It is not a watch. It is a super awesome kick ass smart device. $250 is perfect.

      • likemystory

        I have a sony smartwatch 2 it gives me all the notifications I could ask for to the point I had to remove some as my arm was constantly vibrating, I can return or send a simple text, make a call if I’ve got my headset or headphones on, play simple games, turn on a voice recorder on my phone, take pictures using my phones camera, control the music on my phone, change or modify my phones profiles, turn on bluetooth or nfc exs. You get the Idea so now to price… $130 so what would you pay for a 360 that at this moment in time has only been shown doing less than that?

      • jvader2012

        for you not me ……69.99 is gooddddd

      • Mark Washington

        Agree but to be fair $229 two hundred and twenty nine dollars

      • K2

        but a tiny screen to do all those smart things.

      • Stan

        But it’s much less functional than smartphone.
        With a $300 smartphone, a $150 smartwatch is more logical.

    • MasterMuffin

      Do you know how expensive watched can be? And this isn’t a normal watch, it’s a watch in steroids

      This distinguished Finnish guy, Kari Voutilainen, makes watched that can cost over $820 000 without taxes. So yeah. :)

      • gk1984

        Not that I am justifying the nearly $1 million watch, but fashion watches are different than a smart watch in that they are mechanical masterpieces with high craftsmanship.

        Any smart device is going to have a significantly limited lifespan by comparison. If I buy a $25 watch, I won’t care if it lasts me 6 months or 15 years. It wasn’t a big investment anyway. A piece of technology like this might be replaced every 6 months to couple of years. I’m not going to spend that much money on an accessory that I’ll replace this often. I get it’s still a technological feat to create, but let’s call it what it is – an accessory. $250 would be the high end of acceptable for me, but I think an ideal target should be closer to $100, give or take.

        • MasterMuffin

          I just had to throw a ridiculous example as always!

          • jvader2012

            i know

      • My watch costs less than $15. So… yeah. :D

    • jvader2012

      its a watch that s what IVerson said. A watch were talking about a Watch not house not a phone a Watch. Please

  • AndroidBoss

    $150 no more. You could buy a phone or a tablet with $200-$250.

  • dogulas

    Really, unless smartwatches become bundled with smartphones and thus have their price drastically reduced, I don’t think I would buy one. If a watch, perhaps paired with other wearables, can totally replace a smartphone, then I’ll ditch the phone and pay whatever for the smartwatch.

  • Anfronie

    The better release the true price soon or the internet will depict it for them :o

    • likemystory

      What do you think these posts are all about? I wouldn’t be surprised if the conversation was initiated by Motorola mobility indirectly of course so they can get a feel for how high they can push the price!

    • jvader2012

      yes 69.99

      • Skya

        lol no, come on $69.99 for a smartwatch is too brutal :D at least for the time being

  • truth_cutz

    $150-$200 considering that it’s only a phone accessory, not an actual phone.

  • wat

    Well $250 is £150 which would be fine but it won’t be, it will be £250 ($400) in England.

    • likemystory

      Yep they do like to rip of those of us in the UK, Personally I just import all my stuff and then hunt out a 3 pin charger for it. Thats why manufacturers don’t like the micro usb theres no hunting for a charger and they can’t overcharge certain parts of the world regardless. Why do you think Samsung started reagan locking devices?

  • Luka Mlinar

    150? really? You know it’s complicated to make. That’s why all the other smart watches suck compared ti this. Anyhoo 250$ seams fair to me. But if they end up asking more I won’t hold it against them. They really broke the mold with this one.

    • likemystory

      So from your comment I take it you have tried all other smart watches, and compared it to a yet unreleased device?
      The Sony Smartwatch 2 only costs $130 (£109 on expansys) is water resistant does all I described in a comment above and looks pretty dam nice with a decent strap on it.
      So tell me when your friend turns up with a device that at this moment in time does more and costs less than half the price and still manages to look good how ripped of will you feel?

      • Luka Mlinar

        If there was a penny for every time i herd “have you tried every device?” argument i could get buy you an ice cream. Samsung watch looks like something you win from a big plastic box after putting two quarters in and turning a big knob twice. It has a strap like the one you get on a cheap Casio yet you are paying a few handy right? Motorola brings a practically bezeless watch with a circular display and what looks to be a colorful and well designed UI un like the the plain pastel one you get with the gear. Gear has a digital watch vs Moto’s perfectly designed dails. The difference is a watch that makes you look like a immature child vs a watch that makes you stand out in a crowd. But i guess i am preaching to the wrong person looking as how you liked your own status :)

        • likemystory

          To be honest anyone who is stupid enough to state I quote “That’s why all the other smart watches suck compared ti this” for starters struggles to spell a simple two letter word, then in your second comment only mention one device out of a multitude. When for one there is no way on earth you’re even capable of making an educated statement as you couldn’t possibly have even seen the moto 360 in the flesh let alone use one! Secondly thats a little bit of a worrying comment offering to buy me an Ice Cream especially as your a stranger!

          • Luka Mlinar

            Well, English is not my native language. Croatian is. I also speak Serbian, Bosnian, Slovenian and a few other languages fluently. I’m sorry my English is not up to par to a skilful linguist as yourself. I’ll try better next time.

          • maharbert

            “your a stranger” should be “you’re a stranger”, at least his mistake was an obvious typo. So maybe before attacking people with Ad Hominem arguments, you should re-read what you write and/or learn proper grammar.

          • likemystory

            Got anything constructive to say keyboard warrior? preferably pertaining to the actual conversation, or just venting a weeks worth of bog washes at school? or just hoping your “proper” grammar gets overlooked!

          • houplahoup

            That was extremely pertaining to the actual conversation.
            likemystory wrote:
            “To be honest anyone who is stupid enough to state I quote “That’s why all the other smart watches suck compared ti this” for starters struggles to spell a simple two letter word”

            Second, you accuse people of talking out of their ass about the Moto 360, and then you talk out of your ass about other commentators and how they are at school. Hello Kettle, meet Pot.

          • likemystory

            “you” still haven’t actually stated how this pertains to the smartwatch conversation to which we were conversing over (until others became childish)! You are little more than a sad little keyboard warrior!

        • Jayfeather787

          ICE CREAM!!!
          I know this is a late comment. But I saw ice cream, and I had to.

          • Luka Mlinar

            Never late for ice cream ;D

  • dandroid13

    Whoever pays more than $200 for a watch with just notifications + (not very useful) Google Now needs to be bitchslapped.

    • jvader2012

      by whom

    • T.J.

      Not very useful to you?

      • dandroid13

        You americans are funny, it’s like all the world is dominated by Google and your shitty carriers. Google Now is very limited outside the US.

  • Shark Bait

    I think $250 is about right, think what people pay for a normal watch afterall.

    • likemystory

      £50 for my last designer watch (police)

  • jvader2012

    for some 249 sounds good for others 500 , while others dont mind 2000. I on the other hand i don’t mind 69.99.

  • Guest

    using smart watch to control Google self driving car will be cool http://j.mp/1hhGVQh

  • Oli72

    If its priced between $100-$200 it will sell like hot cakes.

  • NTD

    I find myself willing to pay as much for the Moto 360, if it meets my expectations, as I did for my Moto X. Maybe it is a generational thing where having a nice watch is worth something. But it is clear only a small a fraction of the potential market. So these watches will have to drop in price or add enough functionality to appeal to a broader market judging from the comments.

  • adriantorres187

    Anyone who said less that $250 is full of it. The Samsung gear is $300 and that watch is garbage and looks awful. The Pebble steel is stylish but lacks functionality and cost $250. Moto 360 has function and form, $250-350 is more than fair for this watch.

    • mikeymike

      The Gear 2 Neo is $200, looses the camera and metal straps, all else is the same even Gorilla Glass 3 and IP 67. Since I’ve purchased it, I’ve used it daily. It looks better in person and Im constantly getting compliments and questions about how it functions. I think it’s a convenient little device that has a built in speakerphone that works rather well (especially while driving) and when receiving a call, can be used completely hands free with voice commands. No, you don’t have to hold it up to your mouth like Dick Tracy. It uses S Voice, quick response texts (customizable), and even emoticon as input selections for txt and email responses as well as initiating a new messages. The Home button double tap can be configured to open any app, Settings, recent apps or S Voice. S Voice works much better on the watch than the phone BTW. The contacts app can be all or favorites, the dialer searches your contacts as you dial, Home screens can be added to, deleted, and are completely customizable as far as apps and placement is concerned. Any image you have in your gallery or can download to your gallery can be used as wall paper or a watch face. There are custom watch building apps that you can get to create your own or choose premade from what’s currently available. Bluetooth connection has been bullet proof even at pretty good distances and once lost never fails to reconnect once the devices return to the acceptable distance. 2 days of HEAVY USE battery life is realistic (I’m a service tech I’m on it ALOT). There are timers, alarms, stop watch, IR blaster, heartbeat sensors, exercise, voice memos, device finders for both the phone and watch, Hopefully they continue to design apps for it now that Moto 360 and Google have their own design and android based UI. Other than the fact it’s Samsung only it’s the most complete smart watch I’ve seen. So try it before you knock it. Not saying it’s perfect, just saying it’s not bad at all AND UNDER $250.

      • T.J.

        For an extra $50 the Moto 360 has hardware and a ui that looks infinitely better? Deal!

  • yellowperil

    I find it absolutely bizarre that anyone could justify a price above 100$,
    If it costs so much to make, and the price cannot come down, then the market is not ready for them.
    Being cool tech and nice looking does not mean its a premium item. Have the watch set at a normal realistic price for what your getting, and then let people buy expensive bevels, straps, etc to up its status to premium.
    The question I would like to pose is, are the manufacturer missing out on mass sales at a realistic price, or fewer sales at a premium price, for something that in the end is going to be bumped, knocked and broken pretty easily. Its a watch, and its gonna get knocked about. How many people are going to rebuy a watch in the 250$ range.

  • Florian Schütze

    250 ist absolutely ok!

    • OreoGoPogo

      Not in my country

  • averymlewis

    Well I spent about $900 on my watch. So I think 300 or less is a good price. Would like a much better band though.

  • Will S.

    Nothing more than $50.

  • steelew

    99-150, it’s and accessory. Yes it’s pretty but it’s an accessory. If you want LOTS of people to buy it, price it to sell.

  • Carol Oddy

    I do not own a watch at all, would like to own a smart watch but no money for that!!