Motorola’s Android Wear smartwatch, which led sales of Android Wear devices during their first year of availability, is now part of Moto Maker, the custom hardware design platform that lets shoppers build their own looks for Moto devices. Moto 360 customization options include three different finishes, nine separate band styles and a number of different pre-installed watch face options. And no, it’s not possible that the timing of this is purely coincidental with the big Watch event Apple hosted Monday.
The customization options on Motorola’s device include a dark or light metal finish, or a rose gold option (for a $30 premium), as well as three leather strap options, plus three different types of metal link bracelets in various colors (metal is $50 more expensive than leather). Face options are, of course, software features, but your watch will come sporting the design of you choice right out of the box.
Motorola is clearly looking to take advantage of the Moto 360’s popularity by extending the personalization of the product, given potential shoppers an ability to create something in line with their own tastes. It’s a strategy that pretty closely resembles Apple’s own approach with the sales of the Apple Watch, which will come in three different collections “curated” by the company to mix and match both case finish and case size, as well as a variety of band options.
Apple’s approach still offers more in the way of customization, but Motorola’s play is a clever, and fairly easy-to-implement way to add a range of personalization to an existing product, in a way that Android Wear competitors probably can’t match quite as easily.
I’m still a little sore about the fact that the Moto 360’s initial concepts presented a fully circular display, which gained a black bar across the bottom to mar the roundness when it eventually shipped, owing to design limitations related to sensors and hardware engineering. But this customization tool is a smart, timely shift in their market strategy, and should help the company keep a lead on their Android Wear peers.