Pebble 2 Time Smartwatch Core Fitness Wearable GPS 3G Kickstarter

Pebble has announce a new Kickstarter campaign that includes refreshes to almost all of the company’s product lineup and a brand new wearable device. Both the 2012 Pebble smartwatch and 2015 Pebble Time are being updated to version “2.” The biggest headline feature for both: a heart rate monitor; both the Pebble and Pebble Time now include an integrated optical heart rate sensor. The inclusion of the sensor also means an improved Health App. Similar to Google Calendar’s new Goal feature, the Pebble app will look for available pockets of time in your schedule and encourage you to work out during those breaks. The watch will also monitor your activity and customize activity goals to fit you – not too challenging but not too easy. The heart rate data is also being integrated into activity tracking (which also is tracking steps, calories, distance, and sleep) and graphs (which shows heart rate zones, average wake up times, and more with daily, weekly, and monthly breakdowns). All of this health data, including heart rate, can also be fed to Apple HealthKit or Google Fit.  

Physically the Pebble 2 looks largely the same as its predecessor except for some new colors and a reduced bezel (the screen size is the same 1.26″). The Pebble Time 2 has received a larger makeover. The company has decided to do away with the plastic and metal variations of the device and only offer it with a metal surround. The new Pebble Time 2 also addresses one of the biggest complaints about the original’s design – the giant bezel. The smartwatch has a 53% larger color e-paper display compared to the previous version. The screen / bezel ratio now feels much more balanced than the original, which results in a much more elegant looking device. Speaking of the screen, the resolution has also seen a bump with an 80% denser pixel count. The updated Pebble is selling for $99 (with a projected list price of $129) and will ship in September. The Pebble Time 2 currently costs $179 (with a projected list price of $199) and will ship in November.

Pebble 2 Pebble Time 2 Kickstarter Smartwatch Heart Rate Monitor Sensor

While the updated smartwatches are nice (honestly, adding a heart rate sensor was long overdue), the big news is the company’s entirely new wearable, the Pebble Core. Think of it as an updated iPod shuffle. The screen-less 3G / WiFi enabled device is about 1.5″ square and can be clipped to your clothing. Designed mainly for working out, the device features integrated GPS and the ability to share your runs with 3rd party apps such as Runkeeper, MapMyRun, and Strava. While the Core has 4GB of onboard storage for your music (synced via WiFi), it is designed to stream music directly from Spotify (a Spotify Premium account is required). Pebble Core Fitness Tracker GPS Spotify 3G WiFi KickstarterUnfortunately, streaming Spotify means you need to enable the 3G cellular connection, so in addition to paying for Spotify Premium you will also have the additional expense of a new device added to your cellular plan. The Core has a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack and is also compatible with Bluetooth headphone. It features two mappable buttons that can be configured to do things such as summon an Uber or call a loved one with a touch. While the device is designed to be used alongside a Pebble smartwatch, it can be used without one – but the experience appears to be less than ideal. Without the company’s watch you will not be able to monitor your running stats or interact with your music (all music control will have to be done via buttons on your headphones). This means that if you are going out for a run, for the ideal experience you will need to be wearing your Pebble watch and the Core. It is too bad that Pebble didn’t decide to introduce an all-in-one premium watch that integrated Core’s functionality into one device; the company probably decided that R + D money was better spent on an add on product for all existing customers. While you can currently purchase the Core on Kickstarter for $79 (it will list for $99), Pebble does not plan on shipping the device until January, 2017…8 months from now!