After two other hits the Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel, the Pebble team felt it had to do something to lure more customers to its line of e-paper display smartwatches, as competition continues to reinvent itself.
Eric Migicovsky, the company’s CEO noted that the smartwatch landscape has changed dramatically since the first Pebble was launched three years ago. In the meantime, tech giants such as Samsung and Sony experimented with the devices, Google also entered the wearable business, while Apple seems to want to turn the Apple Watch into the crown jewel of smartwatches.
Migicovsky said that Google’s smartwatch was not a threat to Pebble sales, while Apple’s smartwatch was targeted to a different kind of buyers. On the other hand, Apple Watch’s popularity benefited Pebble devices, too, because more people learned about smartwatches and wanted to get one. Migicovsky added that the company saw an uptick in sales since Apple Watch was launched.
But as Pebble sales gain momentum, the team thinks that a revamped design would be the next logical step. Pebble Time Round is even thinner than Pebble Time (about 0.29 inches thick) and it is very light. It comes in three models (black, silver, and rose gold) and can work both with Android and Apple devices.
The watch’s case is 38 mm-wide, and the display is made of e-paper. It has an embedded microphone for voice commands, and comes with a couple of watchbands (20 mm and 14 mm). When asked why they made the watchbands so narrow, the team replied that there were wrists that were just not within their reach. The 14 mm-wide watchband was especially designed for women’s wrists.
But Pebble smartwatches caught customers’ attention mostly because of their incredible battery life. Previous models lasted up to seven days, while Android Wear and Apple Watch need to be recharged almost every night.
Pebble team, however, had to ditch that feature in Pebble Time Round because of its more ergonomic and stylish design. The new smartwatch can now last only a couple of days, Pebble designers said.
Migicovsky argued that that means Pebble still offers twice the battery life of competition.
“This is like a real two-days — 48 hours, not like 18 hours,”
The company also announced that the Pebble Time Round will not be funded through Kickstarter as previous models did. It will be available for preorder Nov. 8 for $249.99.
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