The much-anticipated Pebble Time Round is hitting stores on Sunday, more than a month after the smartwatch became available for pre-order. Yet, tech reviews suggest that the gadget may have given too much of its functionality for the sake of size and design.
It is the first time, Pebble launches a round smartwatch. Plus, the watch was not funded through a Kickstarter campaign as other Pebble Time siblings were. But just like Pebble Time and Steel models, Pebble Time Round would still feature LED-backlit e-paper display, tactile navigational features, wireless charging, and a microphone.
This time the company touts Pebble Time Round as the lightest and thinnest smartwatch on the planet. Yet that comes at a price, tech experts say.
The piece of hardware became available for pre-order on Sept. 23, at a $250 price, with the promise that it would be shipped at some moment in November. The company recently announced that the smartwatch would be shipped Nov. 8, the same day it will be available in Target and Best Buy stores.
You can now choose between rose gold, black and silver versions, and the 20mm leather band or the 14 mm band that was designed for female customers. The watch can run both Android and iOS.
The new Pebble smartwatch is indeed smaller than anything on the market with 38.5 mm in diameter and 7.5 mm thick. Models from other brands are slightly wider and thicker. For instance, Moto 360 is 46 mm across and 11.5 thick.
But further reducing size of a smartwatch comes with some drawbacks. For example, Pebble Time Round’s battery life is no longer what we were used to in other Pebble Time watches. Tests showed that the new smartwatch can last up to two days on a single charge, while older models provided battery life for five to ten straight days.
Nevertheless, battery life made Pebble so special. Apple and Android Wear smartwatches can only last up to one day. Now, Pebble promises that the shorter battery life is offset by the fast charging time. According to the company, in just 15 minutes you can get a day’s worth battery power. Independent tests showed that in 15 minutes the battery was charged to a 30 percent.
Another drawback of the smaller case is the screen size since the display doesn’t cover the entire watchface. The display is not larger than one inch or 25.4 mm and there is a bezel around it solely for design purposes.
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