2015 is living up to expectations as an exciting time for smartwatch fans. We’re seeing Android Wear smartwatches hit their stride, the Apple Watch is due out in a matter of weeks and now Pebble—the company that really helped kick off the whole thing—is back with an exciting new model. Pebble Time was just announced, offering everything we love about the original Pebble and Pebble Steel (including that amazing battery life), while adding a colour display!
For the past week or so, Pebble’s website displayed a countdown clock that hinted at a new product.
Today the countdown finally hit zero and the Pebble Time was revealed.
The Pebble team has been keeping a close eye on developments in the rapidly evolving smartwatch industry, and one of the most popular features with consumers is a colour display. Smartwatches like the Moto 360 prove that colour adds visual interest and allows software to display more information.
Pebble has incorporated a new e-paper colour display in the Pebble Time. It’s capable of producing 64 different colours.
It’s become clear with time that notifications and interaction with smartphones are one of the killer features of a smartwatch.
To stay on top of this functionality, the Pebble Time incorporates a microphone, for sending voice replies to notifications and dictating voice notes. That’s two-way interaction, not just receiving notifications. Pebble says this works with hundreds of Android apps, and Gmail for iOS (with more iOS app compatibility coming).
The Pebble team has switched up the user interface on the Pebble Time.
Timeline takes the focus away from individual apps and instead bases organization on the wearer’s timeline: past, present and future. Information is stored chronologically, making it easier to find notifications, news and reminders. You scroll forward and back in time to access information.
Don’t worry, you can still access apps directly and the customizable watchfaces that have proved so popular are still a big part of the Pebble Time—only now they are in colour!
Although still recognizably a Pebble, the Pebble Time has slimmed down. It’s 20 percent thinner than the original. the stainless steel case is slightly curved and equipped with tactile buttons for eyes-free operation.
It’s currently available in black (with black stainless steel bezel), white (with silver stainless steel bezel) and red (with black stainless steel bezel).
Still Has Everything You Love About Pebble
Despite all the new features, the Pebble Time still remains true to what we love about the Pebble smartwatch. In particular, because that colour display uses e-paper technology, battery life remains in the 7-day range. Here’s what else you can count on:
- Water resistant
- Compatible with standard 22 mm watch bands
- Always on display with backlight
- Silent vibration alerts
- Fully compatible with all 6,500 Pebble apps and watchfaces
- Integration with fitness trackers including Misfit and Jawbone
The Pebble Time is currently compatible with all smartpohones running Android 4.0 and up, and iPhones from the 4s and up running iOS 8.
Like the original Pebble, the Pebble Time will be available on Kickstarter first. Pebble says the first of the new smartwatches will begin shipping in May. Based on past history, I expect we should see the Pebble Time showing up in stores well in advance of the holiday shopping season—but stay tuned for updates.