Just a day after Apple finally revealed the Apple Watch release date, Motorola is adding some online customization to the smartwatch craze. This morning the company opened its Moto Maker online store up to shoppers looking to purchase a customized Moto 360.
Motorola began taking Moto 360 orders this morning shortly after announcing the new feature on its official company blog. To be clear, Moto 360 coming to Moto Maker wasn’t a complete surprise. A piece in Wired magazine hinted at the coming online release.
What matters here is the customization. Moto 360 buyers have had access to leather and metal bands for a while, but this is the first time picking up either has been available easily. The process starts with choosing a finish for the metal casing that holds all of the Moto 360 internals. There are now three colors to choose from: Gold, Metal and Dark Metal. The next step involves choosing a wrist band that compliments the device. Moto Maker now offers nine different types of Moto 360 brands. Included in that are the classic leather and metal options. Also included is a new modern metal design that Motorola showed off when it originally announced the Moto 360.
Changing watch faces isn’t something you can do with a normal watch, but you can change the Moto 360’s watch face at your leisure. Through Moto Maker, customers choose from one of 11 different watch faces to compliment their out-of-box experience. Users can customize their Moto 360 watch face later if they want.
To be clear, all the Moto 360 design upgrades don’t come free. Today, purchasing a silver Moto 360 with leather armband costs $249. On Moto Maker something as simple as switching the color of the watch core adds up. That new gold finish costs an extra $30. Getting a silver or black finish doesn’t cost any extra. Purchasing any of the new metal armband options costs an additional $50. Already, the new Mono Link armband that Motorola describes as “modern” is sold out. Choosing the Moto Link band right now results in a serious delay in getting your Motorola 360.
Showcasing some new customization options is just about the only thing Motorola can do to steal the spotlight back from the Apple Watch at this point. Announced yesterday, the Apple Watch’s only weak points are its disappointing support for customization and its price.
On customization, there’s very little the Moto 360 offers that the Apple Watch doesn’t. There are some third-party companies that offer bands for the Moto 360. That being said, it’s not like users can pick up any watch band off the shelf. Apple plans to sell dozens of Apple Watch bands for between $40 and $450. So far, no third-party companies have committed to producing Apple Watch bands of their own. Both the Apple Watch and the Moto 360 allow users to customize their watch face for added flair.
The Motorola 360 starts at $249 with a leather back. By comparison the Apple Watch starts at a whopping $349. When compared to a high-end watch, that might not necessarily seem high. Compared to other smartwatches it’s at the higher-end of the scale. What’s more, users who need a bigger wrist band can look forward to paying even more.
The Apple Watch isn’t cross platform. It runs iOS and needs to be paired with the Apple Watch companion app on the iPhone 5 and up. To be fair, Android Wear powers the Moto 360. That software is built perfectly for paring with Google’s Android operating system. It too isn’t cross-platform. To use the Moto 360 users need to have a smartphone running Android 4.1 or higher.