Google’s pricey Clips ‘smart camera’ gets a $50 discount

There’s nothing altogether unusual about a holiday-related sale, but Google’s decision to drop its Clips camera by $50 through May 13 does leave one wondering if the company’s had some trouble moving the first-generation product.

Announced alongside the new Pixel phones back in October, Clips finally hit the market at the end of February. Google hasn’t discussed sales figures, but it seems likely the product didn’t catch the world on fire. The messaging around the device has been a bit confusing from the consumer perspective, and the $249 price point drew a fair bit of criticism, including our own review.

Google insisted that the price was a steal, given all of the advanced AI, ML and on-board processing that makes the magic happen. But that’s a pretty high barrier of entry for a new product category — especially since everyone basically carriers a phone around on their person at all times, these days.

As I put it in the review, “Clips certainly delivers as a GIF delivery service, but $249 is a steep price to pay for such novelty in an era when we’ve all got a camera within arm’s reach 24 hours a day.”

$199 isn’t exactly cheap, as far as Mother’s Day gifts go, but Google’s no doubt hoping to kickstart sales and interest in the product now that it’s finally nice outside in most of the country. As a “smart camera,” Clips’ own best advertisement are the images and videos that make it to social media — but word of mouth can only take the product so far.