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First things first: Don't forget to enter my last contest of 2015, the Cheapskate Mega Goodie-Bag. And thanks to those of you who wrote to express your love of contests! (And for those of you who prefer deal posts, don't worry. The deals won't stop.)
Second things second: a rerun of the best kind! I'm talking about today's deal, which I first shared back in October, but is now even better.
When themade its debut earlier this year, many reviewers swooned over its gorgeous styling and dazzling display.
Of course, it's a premium watch, so it comes at a premium price. The Urbane sold for $349, and has recently dropped to $279. But today, and for a limited time, Beach Camera (via Rakuten) has the LG Watch Urbane for $199.99 shipped. That's $25 less than last time around! The price will appear once you mouse over either of the color options: silver or gold.
Just to clarify, this is the original Urbane, not thethat was announced a couple months back.
I spent some time with the watch earlier this year, and one thing is certain: it's a beauty. Love the silver bezel, love the black leather strap, love the eye-popping 1.3-inch color screen. And, as noted above, you can also opt for a gold version. That said, in case it's not obvious from the photo, the design definitely skews toward men's wrists. And so does the size. Sorry, ladies. (Actually, it's LG that should be apologizing.)
Although the watch runs on Android Wear, that software is. The good news is that it works. The bad news: it works in a very limited way. You can get notifications from your phone, but you can't respond to most of them. And you can't install third-party apps or watchfaces, either.
Even so, if notifications are your main driver -- and they're certainly the main reason I wear a smartwatch -- the Urbane makes a decent enough iPhone companion. It offers lots of fitness features, too.
But I must say, I really dislike Android Wear. It's frequently confusing and often frustrating. Of course, I suspect someowners would say the same about Watch OS. Can you live with it? Sure. Will you want to? That, I can't answer.
But others can. Over 300 Amazon buyers rated the Urbane 4.3 stars out of 5, and CNET's Scott Stein scored it a -- though one of his dings was price. At $349, the Urbane feels too dear. At $200 out the door, it's awfully tempting.
Update: Just discovered Amazon also has the silver and gold models on sale for $199.69, but it's a lightning deal that's due to expire in three hours -- and will probably sell out before then. No worries: the Rakuten option is better anyway, as it includes 2,000 "points" (with coupon code SAVEGREEN) good for $20 in Rakuten credit!
Bonus deal: Most name-your-own price bundles are for books or games; this one is all about security. Over at StackSocial, you can pay what you want for the VPN Lifetime Subscription Bundle, which includes lifetime subscriptions (natch) to AnonVPN and disposable-email service Nonkly. OK, two products barely qualifies as a bundle, but we can let that slide. To get both, you need to pay at least the average price, which is $15.97 at the time of writing. If you pay less, you get just one year of AnonVPN, which normally costs $69. The two lifetime subscriptions would normally cost you $298(!), so it's still a steal, whatever tier you choose.
Bonus deal 2: Freebie time! If you're a fan of men in tights (the concept, not the Mel Brooks movie), iTunes has "Galavant: Season 1" in HD for free. This eight-episode miniseries, which returns for a second season early next year, wasn't my cup of comedy tea. But it earned high marks from critics and viewers alike. Normally the entire season would cost you $20, so at $0, there's zero downside to giving it a try.