Motorola puts smartwatch on sale, upgrades phones

Posted at 09/06/14 12:08 AM

WASHINGTON - Motorola kicked off sales of its new smartwatch Friday, in a series of product launches which could be the last before the Google-owned electronics firm is sold to China's Lenovo.

The company said its Moto 360 watch, which uses the Android Wear platform from Google for wearable technology, was going on sale starting at $249 for US customers.

Motorola also unveiled upgraded versions of its flagship Moto X smartphone and lower-priced Moto G.

The Moto 360, which features a round face design similar to a classic wristwatch, "keeps you on time and up to date without taking you out of the moment or distracting you, telling you what you need to know before you know you need it through subtle alerts and notifications," the company said in a statement.

"Moto 360 also responds to your voice. Just say 'Ok Google' to ask questions like who won the Stanford vs. New Mexico game or what time your flight leaves, or to get stuff done like scheduling an appointment, sending a text, setting an alarm or taking a note."

The next-generation Moto X boosts its screen display to 5.2 inches and keeps the existing design options and voice controls of the phone unveiled last year.

The device will sell for $499 off-contract and as low as $99 through some carriers with a two-year contract. It will be offered later this month in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America,

The Moto G, which also gets a boost in size, will be sold starting at $179 starting Friday in the US, Britain, India, France, Brazil, Spain and Germany.

By end of year, the upgraded Moto G will be available in "more than a dozen countries and through several carrier partners around the world," Motorola said.

The launch comes just days ahead of a highly anticipated event by Apple, which is expected to unveil larger versions of its iconic iPhone, and possibly its own smartwatch.

Google announced earlier this year it signed a deal to sell the struggling smartphone maker to Chinese tech giant Lenovo for $2.91 billion. It is not known when the deal will be finalized.

Motorola has failed to gain traction in a rapidly evolving smartphone market now dominated by South Korea's Samsung and US-based Apple.

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