Whether by accident or by design, the features and price of Motorola’s new Moto 360 smart watch were revealed over the weekend with the debut of a Best Buy product page -- weeks before the product’s debut. According to the Best Buy product page, the Moto 360 will be equipped with a 1.5-inch back-lit LCD touch screen running at a 320x290 resolution (205 pixels per inch). The face of the smart watch will be protected by Gorilla Glass 3.
The page showed that the smart watch will be priced at $250, more than the two currently leading currently available Android Wear smart watches. The Samsung Gear Live costs $200 and the LG G Watch is $229.
Jan Dawson, chief analyst for Jackdaw Research, told us he was not surprised the Moto 360 would likely be the more-expensive option.
"The price was a little higher than the other Android Wear watches out there, but it's always been assumed to be a nicer device," Dawson said.
The face of the Moto 360 is circular, thus more resembling a conventional watch than the rectangular smart watches that are currently available.
According to the Best Buy page, the Moto 360 will support Bluetooth 4.0 and will work with most devices running Android 4.3 or later. A built-in microphone will take voice commands that activate several of the watch's functions. The watch also includes a heart-rate monitor and pedometer, and is waterproof, at least for limited stretches of swimming time.
The watch will be powered by a Texas Instruments processor, although it is uncertain which one. It will come with 512 MB of memory, wireless-N connectivity and an ambient light sensor, but no GPS.
One small red flag for observers is that there has been no indication of the device’s battery life or how it is charged -- only that it will pack a lithium-ion battery.
"Those are some of the more interesting things we still don't know about the 360 at this point," Dawson said.
When will the Moto 360 actually arrive? The product page lists its availability as "coming soon." The consensus is that it will debut before the summer is out, and Motorola reportedly has a press conference scheduled Sept. 4. On the iOS side, Apple's iWatch is expected to be released Sept. 9.
Dawson recently evaluated the current crop of smart watches.
"I'm bearish on the prospects for smart watches unless something changes dramatically," he said.
"From what we know about the 360 at this point, it looks like more of the same rather than a radical improvement," he added. "The 360 looks like it's innovating on design, but it suffers from a lot of the same problems as other smart watches in that it's bulky, limited in functionality and the battery doesn't last long."