Pebble updated two of its popular smartwatches on Tuesday.
The Pebble 2 and the Pebble Time 2 now include two new highly requested features: built-in heart-rate monitoring and fitness tracking.
The company also announced its first non-smartwatch device called the Core, a fitness device that tracks your distance using GPS and 3G data and lets you listen to your Spotify Premium music, all without the need for your smartphone.
We were able to get a hands-on with the new Pebble 2, Pebble Time 2, and the Core. Check it out.
Pebble just announced two new smartwatches called the Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2. They're updates of the original Pebble and the more recent Pebble Time.
The Pebble 2 is a throwback to the original Pebble. But if the original's small screen and large borders were a turn-off, you'll be pleased with the Pebble 2's larger display and narrower bezels, which gives it a sleeker look and makes the information on the display easier to read.
Of course, it runs Pebble's signature Timeline operating system, which gives you a glance of your day by showing you quick bits of information like weather and your calendar events. It can even call an Uber.
You'll get seven days of battery life, up to 30 meters of water resistance, and an e-ink display that's easily viewable even in bright sunlight. There's also 13,000+ Pebble apps and hundreds of watch face designs to choose from.
For the Time 2, Pebble is only offering a metal version, like the Time Steel model that came before it. The Time 2 has a larger screen with a colour e-ink display.
Time 2 also runs on Pebble's Timeline OS and works up to 30 meters underwater, but it has a whopping 10 days of battery life. Of course, you'll also be able to run thousands of Pebble apps and hundreds of watch faces.
And Pebble also announced its first fitness device called the Core, which is designed so you can leave your smartphone at home if you want distance GPS tracking and music for your workout.
The Core has 4GB of integrated storage for your Spotify Premium music, which you sync into the Core with the Pebble app. You can either plug your headphones into the headphone jack or use Bluetooth for wireless headphones.
The Core also tracks your running distance with integrated GPS. It syncs with apps like Runkeeper, Strava, MapMyRun, Google Fit, and Under Armour Record.
It also has a 3G data connection so you can use basic functions from certain apps with the press of the small button on the top right. For example, you could call an Uber to your GPS location.
Or you can just keep it in your pocket because it's small enough, and it's much lighter than your keys.
Pebble is using Kickstarter again to handle the launch and pre-orders. The Pebble 2 will cost $99 and will begin shipping in September, and the Pebble Time 2 will cost $169 for shipping in November. The Core will cost $69 and will start shipping in January.
Pebble smartwatches have always been great. They have thousands of apps and hundreds of watch faces to choose from. However, their small displays and large borders were never as attractive as the Apple Watch or Android Wear smartwatches. And the previous models lacked fitness tracking functionality, too.
The new Pebble 2 and Time 2 are still designed with function over form, but the larger screen and narrower borders on the Pebble smartwatches make them much more attractive.
Combined with the incredible value, battery life, and water-resistance, heart-rate monitoring, and fitness tracking, Pebble's new smartwatches make a very strong case for your wrist.
The Core is a promising solution to a common problem among the fitness folk, where carrying around a relatively bulky and heavy smartphone to listen to music and track workouts posed an uncomfortable problem. Just try going for a run with the iPhone 6s Plus strapped to your arm to see what I mean.
The Pebble smartwatches and the Core will all eventually be sold on pebble.com later in 2016 and early 2017.