With the price of the LG G Watch R to be a rather steep 299 EUR, the question arises: just how much is too much to pay for a smartwatch? Even if one looks as good as the G Watch R or the Moto 360 – which will be 249 EUR in comparison – is the cost of smartwatch that's close to the price of a Nexus device too much for the average consumer to justify?
Watches are a multi-billion dollar industry (50 billion to give you an idea), so if manufacturers like Motorola and LG can produce stylish smartwatches that actually look as good as regular watches, then a higher price tag doesn't seem so bad. While the prices mentioned above may seem a bit too steep to the average Android junkie, if you start thinking of smartwatches as watches more than little Android devices then pricing judgments start to change.
When HTC, Apple, Omate and Asus reveal their smartwatch efforts in the days and weeks to come, we'll have a wide variety of excellent smartwatches to choose from, and there will be a wide sweep of price points. So who will earn that price tag and how will they do it? It's a sure bet that HTC will earn themselves a place amongst the stylish designs we've already seen from Omate, LG and Motorola, Apple's price price will be high (because: Apple) and with the Omate X costing just 129 USD, we're also expecting the Asus ZenWatch to compete with a lower price tag.
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With almost all smartwatches entering the field now running on a relatively identical Android Wear platform, design and hardware become the focus of attention. This is great news for consumers who were previously lured into a false sense of differentiation based on interfaces alone. Having half a dozen great looking smartwatches that can all deliver the same core functionality and interface makes standing out a much harder task. Added use cases, standalone potential like Samsung's Gear S on the Tizen platform, and longer battery life and water-proofness are the next big hurdles.
With relatively ugly and limited smartwatches like the LG G Watch and Gear Live, not to mention the Pebble and other pre-Android Wear smartwatches, priced at around 200 EUR, the jump to devices like the Moto 360 and G Watch R at fifty or a hundred dollars more doesn't seem so bad. Especially if they are considered something other than smaller smartphones for your wrist. So with new functionality, better designs and hardware on the horizon, you tell me: how much is too much to pay for a smartwatch?
Do you own a smartwatch? Which smartwatch catches your eye the most?