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Circuit Breaker

Google’s Clips camera is already on sale for 20 percent off

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Google’s Clips camera is on sale right now for $199, a $50 markdown just two months after the camera’s launch. That’s far from fire sale territory, but Google’s willingness to mark the product down so soon might speak to a lack of immediate success for the first-gen product.

Clips launched at the end of February for $249. The tiny camera is supposed to sit around a room and quietly record short, silent videos whenever it detects action. It’s a neat idea, but in his review of it, my colleague Dan Seifert found it to be altogether less useful than just recording things on his phone.

At $249, it’s also pretty expensive for a product that just doesn’t do that much. (There are GoPros that sell for less.) At $199, it’s getting closer to something that feels like the right price for an experimental camera, but it’s likely still going to be a reach for anyone who wasn't already interested.

Android Police says the sale runs through May 13th, which is Mother’s Day in the US, suggesting Google is hoping people will pick this up as a gift. The camera is very much targeted at parents of young kids, but until Google addresses some of this first model’s shortcomings, phones will probably do just fine.

It isn’t unusual for Google to mark down a product so quickly after launch. The company frequently runs Black Friday sales in November on products it launched in October. But those typically aren’t high-selling devices either — the Pixel, for example, is still a small piece of the overall smartphone market — so it may just be that Google is very willing to play to holiday shoppers.