The ever-growing smartwatch market just got a bit larger.
Kickstarter darlings Pebble have revealed two new smartwatches to roll out later this year, along with a third device that will allow you to track your run and listen to Spotify without having to lug around your smartphone.
The Pebble story is well documented. Last year the company broke two records on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter, including fastest project to raise $1 million (49 minutes) and most-funded campaign ($20.34 million).
Here is a look at the company’s latest devices, the Pebble 2, the Pebble Time 2 and the Pebble Core.
Pebble 2: More of What Works
The Pebble 2 smartwatch makes a number of natural improvements over last year’s original model. The device is available in black, white, aqua, flame and lime, and this time around it features a scratchproof display.
The biggest addition is the watch’s built-in heart monitor, which the company believes is the third component of smartwatch functionality. This will be a delight to fitness-minded Pebble owners, who can now be more productive and track their workouts without having to switch devices.
This year’s edition has a black and white E-Paper display like the original, which helps contribute to its attractive seven-day battery life. It’s also water resistant up to 30 meters.
Pebble Time 2: Flair of Color
The Pebble Time 2 is a little larger than its sibling, and it’s also about twice as heavy. But size is only one difference between the two new smartwatches.
Like the original Pebble Time, the new model features a color E-Paper display, which can make it easier to read messages and notifications on the screen. It also has a slightly higher resolution than the Pebble 2, making reading messages a breeze.
Most of the Pebble Time 2’s features are the same as the Pebble 2: 30-meter water resistance, Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, music control, iPhone or Android compatibility and the ability to track sleep, steps and heart rate.
The more expensive Pebble Time 2 uses an ARM Cortex M7 chip, which is faster than the M4 processor housed by the Pebble 2. That contributes to 10-day battery life, considered excellent for a smartwatch.
Pebble Core: Low-Hassle Workouts
Pebble’s third new device isn’t a watch, but rather a tiny box that’s barely larger than the size of a quarter.
The Core can be used in a number of ways, although one of its main goals is to boost workout productivity by tracking your workout and providing music with the ability to leave your smartphone at home.
It has 4GB of storage and supports the music service Spotify, meaning users can download their playlists and listen to them while the workout. Streaming is also supported with by way of either Wi-Fi or a 3G SIM card.
The Core can be used as a clip-on workout companion that connects to your fitness app and tracks your location via GPS. Or it could double as a fancy keychain, a tiny Android-powered computer that’s with you wherever you go.
One of the Core’s big selling points is its two “hackable” buttons, which are programmable to fit the user’s needs. The combination of programmable buttons, Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity and GPS tracking mean it could be used to unlock your car, track your pet or call Uber with one click.
Availability and Pricing
Pebble has detailed its pricing and timing on its Kickstarter page, but here are the basics.
The Pebble 2 starts at $99 and will ship in September. The Pebble Time 2 starts at $169 and will ship in November. The pebble Core starts at $69, but won’t ship until January, missing the key holiday period.
Pebble also has a number of bundles available for those looking to purchase multiple devices.
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