About a week after Pebble unveiled its new smartwatch, the Pebble Time, the company is already announcing another new addition to the Pebble line — the Pebble Time Steel.
The Pebble Time Steel, which will retail for $US300 when it launches and is priced at $US250 for Kickstarter backers, comes with the same software improvements as the Pebble Time. This means it uses the same Timeline user interface that shows you relevant notifications such as calendar alerts, sports scores, and more. It will have the same colour e-paper display as the Pebble Time, too, and also comes with a built-in microphone.
Where the two watches differ, however, is in their design. The Pebble Steel Time, as its name implies, features a stainless steel-encased watchface that’s coated with Gorilla Glass. It also comes with two straps: leather and stainless steel, and will be available in silver, black, and gold finishes.
One model even looks a little bit like the Apple Watch:
But there are two things that really make the Pebble Steel Time stand out: the company claims it can last for 10 days on a single charge, and it’s allowing accessory makers to create their own “smartstraps” for the watch. This means that third party strap makers can create wristbands that add new features to the watch.
One “smartstrap,” for instance, may come with a GPS chip or a heart rate monitor built-in. It’s a cool concept that we haven’t really seen other wearable devices try just yet.
The company didn’t mention an exact release date, but did say that you’ll be able to back the watch on Kickstarter until March 27. If you already backed the regular Pebble Time, you can upgrade to the Steel model without losing your spot in line too.
When the original Pebble launched in 2012, it quickly became the most popular smartwatch. At the time, it was the most-funded project on Kickstarter with $US10 million raised, and the company sold one million watches over the course of two years.
The Pebble’s success is an indicator that there is some interest for a smartwatch that’s actually useful and affordable. But the competition is about to get a lot tougher as Apple is preparing to release its new smartwatch in April, which we’ll hear more about on March 9.
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