Last week's announcement of the second-gen Moto 360 was no surprise: we'd been hearing leaks and rumours for months, after all. But the higher price was a bit startling, with even the smaller model commanding a premium over last year's single option.
Now we have a glimpse into what could've been: the Moto 360 Value Tier, which was conceptualized by a Motorola industrial designer earlier this year. Imaan Naeem posted her work yesterday in a blog post about the design, although it's since been pulled - assumedly because Motorola didn't want it muddling the conversation around its new watches.
According to the post, the Moto 360 Value Tier concept was targeted at a younger market, with bright colours, lower-end components, and more flexibility with bands. It featured special spring-loaded lug bars that allowed NATO bands to loop through, or you could remove it to pop in traditional bands.
And instead of the wireless charging seen on the original and new Moto 360 models, this one would have an exposed charging contact on the back that would come in direct contact with a charging cable or dock. Otherwise, the big, circular screen remains intact here - and surely with the "flat tyre" display design, although the concept images don't make that obvious - albeit with more bezel around the screen.
True, the concept looks cheaper in build than the actual Moto 360 models, but that's the point: at a lower cost, it would've provided the core 360 experience at a potentially much lower buy-in cost. Instead, it seems, Moto opted to go for the Moto 360 Sport as its secondary model, and the company plans to unveil pricing and availability details on that model soon.
Maybe we'll see the Moto 360 Value Tier idea pop up again down the line - but given the recent move towards an even pricier base model, we're not holding our breath.