The rumors were true – that timer on Pebble’s website was indeed counting down towards the unveiling of a circular smartwatch.
The Pebble Time Round was revealed today, and just 7mm in thickness with a weight of 28 grams it is probably the worlds lightest smartwatch. Apparently the new wearable was designed with women in mind, that’s not to say all women like slim watches as there’s a rather petite lady at my gym who loves her rather massive Fitbit Surge.
The Pebble Time Round has a marine grade stainless steel chassis and bezel. It will be available in a variety of finishes: silver, black or rose gold. Unlike previous Pebbles which used 22mm straps the new round model has the option of 20mm or 14 mm.
The new round smartwatch has the same OS as the Pebble Time and includes the popular Timeline feature which has been kind of replicated in WatchOS 2 for the Apple Watch in the form of its Time Travel feature. A SDK is also being released so app and watch-face developers can adapt their software to accommodate for the round display.
The Pebble Time Round features an always-on color e-paper Gorilla Glass display with an LED backlight like its right-angled predecessors. It will deliver text messages, incoming calls, calendar alerts and has a voice reply feature.
One of the factors that separates the original Pebble and Pebble Time/Steel from other smartwatches is the battery that gives you over a week’s worth of power, but trimming down the new round model to 7mm has also trimmed the battery life down to 2 days. The fact that the Pebble could run for a week between charges was one of its USP’s and gave it an advantage over other smartwatches – there will be no such advantage with the round model. Kind of making up for the shortened battery life is the fact that it can be fully charged in just 15 minutes.
Pebble Time Round is compatible with iOS 8, and Android 4.3 and above.
Pebble smartwatches have earned the homage of many fans over the last few years (one of the reasons being battery life). The Pebble Time was released just a couple of months ago with the support of 78,471 crowdfunding backers, but I’ve been seeing on social media that some of them feel as if they were left in the dark as there was no mention of a round model.
However, it seems that existing Pebble Time Steel customers have the option to buy a Pebble Time Round with a discount of $50. They can keep both smartwatches, or use the Pebble Time Round on a trial basis, returning one of them at the end of 30 days for a full refund.
The new Pebble Time Round smartwatch is available to preorder now. It costs $249 and is set to land at U.S and Canadian retailers in early November. Availability in the UK will start before the end of 2015, and the rest of Europe in early 2016.
• Now Available