Pebble 2 and Time 2 debut on Kickstarter, focus on Health
Pebble has launched two new Smartwatches today, The Pebble 2 and Time 2! This time, both of them come with Heart Rate monitor and Pebble has made some huge changes to improve the two.
Long before Google’s Android Wear and Apple’s Watch OS, Pebble had debuted on Kickstarter back in 2012. It received huge support from the tech enthusiast community and become one of the best selling product on Kickstarter breaking multiple records. Even though the first Pebble was very simple, it was loved by many. Pebble since the beginning has always focused on practicality rather than unwanted fancy gimmicks. Better battery life, a practical display and heavy customisability rocketed Pebble’s sale.
Last year, the company was back to Kickstarter with the Pebble Time, soon followed by Pebble Round. This year, Pebble has focused heavily on Health. The two watches feature full time Heart Rate trackers and are have independent fitness sensors. Until now, Pebble’s were always categorised as smartwatches and not fitness bands.
Activity tracking, says Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky, is the second most popular usecase of the Pebble, right next to communications. It’s why the company added more functionality to its Health app and it’s also why it just introduced the Pebble Core, a standalone connected wearable designed for runners. It’s all part of a renewed effort by Migicovsky and team to target the health market, but with a something that’s more sophisticated than a simple Fitbit. “It’s the best of the smartwatch world combined with an amazing fitness tracker,” he says.
Pebble 2 is similar in design to the original Pebble, and it now has a scratch-resistant display, a built-in microphone for voice commands and note-taking, a water resistance level of up to 30 meters, and a built-in AMS optical heart rate monitor on its underside.
With the Pebble Time 2, the company listened to its customers and fixed one of the biggest complaints about the first iteration. Pebble shrunk the bezel around the display, so while the new device has the same dimensions as the Time Steel, its display is 53 percent larger. It’s the most high-end Pebble device you can get with gold, silver, and black finishes and leather band options, but it also has the same built-in heart rate monitor as the Pebble 2. Like its predecessor, the Pebble Time 2 is slightly thicker than the Pebble 2, but that’s because it has a larger battery that’s capable of powering the device for up to 10 days.
In addition to introducing new hardware, Pebble is also updating its software. If you’ll recall, one of the benefits of the chronological Timeline interface it introduced last year was that you could easily see what was coming up just by hitting one of the buttons on the side. You could basically “peek” what’s coming up next without having to open an app on your watch. Now, the company is making that process one step easier with a new setting that’ll automatically surface that “peek” 5 to 10 minutes before an event. It’s basically like a calendar notification, except it doesn’t take over the entire watch screen. Instead, it just takes up a small sliver on the bottom of the watchface, which resizes automatically based on the size of the “peek.”
The Pebble 2 is available for $99 (Early Bird), $109 (Kickstarter rate) and $129 (Retail rate) while the Time 2 is available for $169 (Early Bird), $179 (Kickstarter rate) and $199 (Retail rate).