Pebble, the startup that makes some of the most popular smartwatches in the world, announced a new model this week with a slimmer build and round face.
Pebble’s CEO Eric Migicovsky gave Tech Insider an early look at the watches, saying that the Round had women’s smaller wrists and design preferences in mind.
“We needed to have some variance that would allow Pebble to get onto women’s wrists,” he said.
The new Time Round is the lightest and slimmest smartwatch we’ve seen yet, but Pebble needed to compromise on battery life and water-proofing for the new design.
It uses the an e-paper display that’s easy to see even in direct sunlight and helps gives the Round such a long battery life in such a slim and light body. If the Apple Watch was this slim and light, it would probably only last a couple hours.
On its screen, you can view notifications from your iPhone or Android smartphone (it works with both) and keep track of your day with the Pebble Timeline interface, which shows you your entire day’s agenda. You can download apps from the Pebble app store, where you’ll find thousands of apps and watch faces. But for the most part, the Round works almost exactly the same way as the rectangular Pebble Time, which launched earlier this year.
In a way, Pebble defined the modern smartwatch era. The company started on Kickstarter in 2012 and raised over $US10 million, proving there was a hunger for a unique take on computerised watches. Since then, just about every major tech company from Apple to Samsung has released a smartwatch.
The Round will be available for preorder starting Wednesday directly from the company’s website, or from BestBuy and Target for $US249. The Round will start shipping and be available at retail locations on November 8.
Check out what it looks like below.
The Round has women's design preferences in mind. This model has a shiny gold-coloured body and a thin 14mm white strap.
The original Pebble Time and Time Steel were a little chunky. This model is slimmer and designed with women in mind.
But the Round looks equally good equally on a man's wrist. This model has a matte aluminium body with a thicker 20mm brown leather strap.
It's also extremely light weight, lighter than any smartwatch we've tried. 'It's the lightest smartwatch in the world' according to Migicovsky.
Pebble has added some design elements into the bezels, like stepped circular designs or time-related numbers. It helps fill in the unused space from the relatively large bezels.
With a round display, Pebble had to redesign the Pebble OS operating system so it would show you information across the entire screen. It's still compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
The original Pebble OS is designed for the rectangular screens on previous Pebble smartwatches, and it wouldn't use the edges of the Round's screen.
To make the Round so slim and lightweight, Pebble had to sacrifice the battery life from seven days to two. But Pebble added quick-charging, which will charge the Round for a full day's worth of battery life after 15 minutes of charging.
And it's not as water-resistant as previous Pebble models. It will sustain splashes from rain and washing hands, but it's not completely waterproof.
There's a small notch on the strap that lets you easily release the current strap and swap it out with a different one.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.