Moto Watch 100 looks to rival Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 with cheap pricetag and bespoke OS

Moto Watch 100
(Image credit: eBuyNow)

Rumors of a new Motorola smartwatch seem to be true, as the Moto Watch 100 has been spotted out in the open on an official product page showing it in a silver or black case. Preorders are live, and the watch is expected to ship starting December 10.

The Moto Watch 100 can be considered a follow-up to the last Moto360 smartwatch, as it isn’t built by Motorola itself but by eBuyNow, which licenses the brand and logo. But while the Moto360 launched at an eye-watering $399 / £299 (roughly AU$550), the new Moto Watch 100 has a much cheaper $99 (around £75 / AU$135) pricetag.

One way the smartwatch might have gotten to that low price is by using its own proprietary operating system, ‘Moto Watch OS,’ instead of Wear OS. It allegedly enables some smartphone basics, like notification mirroring, health tracking, battery life up to two weeks, and an always-on display, pointed out XDA Developers. The watch supposedly has an Android app, with an iOS version coming in December.

Analysis: Another one dodges Wear OS?

Most non-Apple smartwatches have opted to run Wear OS in previous years, and Samsung quietly retired its Tizen watch operating system to integrate its best parts into Google’s Wear OS 3 (which the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 runs). This has essentially boiled the smartwatch software race down to Wear OS 3 and watchOS, making the Moto Watch 100 an anomaly.

But the Moto Watch 100 isn’t alone – the OnePlus Watch launched earlier this year with its own bespoke smartwatch OS. As a consequence, though, the OnePlus wearable’s software was limited and its smartphone connectivity was spotty, especially in sending notifications to the paired phone. Thus, we’re curious if the Moto Watch OS may have the same growing pains as a new OS – but we’ll have to wait for a review unit to know for sure.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.