At 10AM Eastern today, Pebble’s countdown timer hit zero, telling viewers that “It’s time”. Time for what? Well, nearly two years after its release, the Pebble smartwatch has a successor. It’s called Pebble Time, and it brings with it a new OS, which will eventually reach the original Pebble and Pebble Steel as well. The Pebble Time stands out from its predecessors in a number of ways. It’s thinner, feaures a color e-ink display, has a microphone for voice replies and memos, and it still has a 7 day battery life. The Pebble Time will be a bit more expensive than the current Pebble, even at launch, however it’s still cheaper than most other smartwatches on the market. When the Pebble Time is released, it’ll cost $199. When it’ll be released is up to you, but the Pebble team thinks they can reach the market by May of this year.
The original Pebble smartwatch was one of the most successful Kickstarter projects ever. Eager consumers were willing to buy the product, sight unseen, and as such, contributed heavily to the Kickstarter project to reap the reward: a new Pebble smartwatch when it would be released. Now, the Pebble team is at it again, launching a new Kickstarter project that is already one for the record books. As of this writing, no more than 15 minutes after the launch of the Kickstarter page, over 2,365 people have already backed the project, and at this rate, the project will have reached its goal of $500,000 by the time I finish this article. Imagine raising half a million dollars in under 20 minutes. Pebble just did that.
When the Pebble Time is released, it will come in three colors. There’s black, white, and red. Right now, the first 5,000 backers will have an opportunity to get a Pebble Time of their choosing for $159, $40 off the retail value. After that, the next 20,000 backers will be able to pitch in $179 for the reward of a Pebble Time in any color. There are also a few options for buying the Pebble Time in bulk, in case you’re planning on reselling the smartwatches.
The Pebble is, without a doubt, the best smartwatch you can buy right now. It’s simple and versatile, not to mention far less expensive than other options. It works on both iOS and Android, which means most smartphone owners can use one. The Pebble Time will keep everything that makes the Pebble great, simplicity, versatility, customizability, and battery life, and improve upon it with a color screen, new OS, 20% thinner design (very welcome), more ergonomic design to help it fit on smaller wrists (also very welcome), Gorilla Glass to make it more durable, a stainless steel bezel, and a microphone, which makes recording vioce memos as easy as lifting your wrist to your mouth, and voice replies to messages and phone calls that simple as well. The Pebble Time won’t just be an incredible smartwatch, at $199, it’ll be a fantastic value.
The Pebble Time will compete with various fitness trackers, Android Wear devices, as well as the Apple Watch. However, the Pebble Time will cost as much as many fitness trackers, while providing features that those devices do not. On top of that, it’ll prove more versatile than the Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatches, by working on multiple platforms, and also featuring Android Wear notifications. Basically, thanks to the Pebble Time, most smartwatches are obsolete. The Apple Watch will undoubetly be popular with iOS users, but by being limited to iOS users, and with a possible price over $500, it’s likely that the Pebble Time will actually prove to be more popular.
The first Pebble needed Kickstarter to get off the ground, and pledges went towards research and development. This time, the Kickstarter project is more to help ramp up production and distribution. According to the founder of Pebble, Eric Migicovsky, the Pebble team has just about finished the Pebble Time, and they’re almost ready to release it to you. They just need a little help to launch the Pebble time in May of 2015. Although, not too much help. Now that I’m wrapping this article up, there are over 5,000 backers, and the project has raised over $900,000. In less than a half of an hour, Pebble nearly a million dollars. It’s safe to say that the Pebble Time will be just as popular as its predecessor, likely more popular than any smartwatch has ever been. Will you be getting one? Head over the the Kickstarter project before they run out!