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Now we're getting somewhere.
Paying $250 or more for a watch, even one that's smart -- it's just hard to swallow. That's why I frequently share warts-and-all Pebble deals, because when you get a smartwatch for under $100, it feels like a huge win.
Today's win is especially huge: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the refurbished Motorola Moto 360 smartwatch for $79.99 shipped. That's the lowest price I've seen by far; a year ago, Amazon had it for $169.99, and I thought that was pretty hot stuff.
Two quick things. First, many readers have asked whether Daily Steals is reputable. In years past, it earned a much-deserved reputation for slow shipping and crummy service. But the company has new owners, and I've not heard a single complaint from readers following the last few deals I've shared. I'm satisfied the new Daily Steals is reputable.
Second, the product page lists three variants: dark black leather, light stainless slim fit and light stone leather. However, the accompanying photo for dark black leather shows a metal band. So it's not clear which one you'll get. Personally, I'm a big fan of metal bands (wristbands, that is), so I would choose the stainless one anyway. But I'm trying to get clarification from the company and will update the post if and when I do. (I'm also checking into warranty info, which isn't listed.)
Update: They've corrected the photo discrepancy; it now shows the leather band. Also, although there's no Motorola warranty with this, Daily Steals has a 30-day return policy and 60-day exchange.
The Moto 360 is a really attractive Android Wear-powered watch -- far better looking than the Apple Watch, in my humble opinion. Some folks have griped about the little black bar at the bottom of the display, but to my thinking that's much ado about nothing.
I had the chance to wrist-drive one of these when it first came out and came away with two conclusions. First, forget the heart-monitoring and other fitness features. They're awkwardly implemented, not especially useful and a big drain on the battery.
Second, if you use the Moto for just two things -- to tell time and get notifications on your wrist -- you'll love it. It's also pretty cool to search Google just by talking into your wrist. (iPhone owners can use the Moto 360, but it's much better when paired with an Android phone.)
Want more details? Check out Scott Stein's review. He correctly identified the flaws in the Android Wear software (few of which have been addressed by Google, sigh), but I maintain that if you limit your expectations to time-telling and notification-getting, you'll be a happy camper.
Oh, and as for battery life, I have a similarly battery-challenged watch, and I thought charging it nightly would prove annoying. Nah. It just rests on my nightstand alongside my phone.
I think for $80 out the door, this is one of the best smartwatch deals to date. Your thoughts?
Bonus deal: An LED lightbulb with a built-in Bluetooth speaker? That pushes all my gadget buttons and then some. Staples, for some reason, has the Awox Striimlight LED lightbulb with Bluetooth speaker for $19.99, with free ship-to-store shipping. I've been sorely tempted to try one of these (here's a review that helps illustrate why), but certainly didn't want to spend $80-plus for the privilege. Have you tried one? If so, what did you think?
Bonus deal No. 2: In case you missed it last time around, StackSocial is once again offering a pretty amazing VPN deal. In fact, it's even better now: lifetime subscriptions to VPN Unlimited and To Do Checklist for $41. The latter is a top-rated iOS task manager; the former, a cross-platform virtual private network. What does one have to do with the other? Nothing, really -- it's just a great bundle. (Combined value: $625. For reals.) I should note that last time out, a few folks had trouble getting their VPN Unlimited subscriptions activated. Make sure to follow the instructions to the letter, and ping me if all else fails.