Pebble goes circular with ultra-thin Time Round smartwatch

Pebble logoDays after a mysterious timer appeared on smartwatch maker Pebble's website, we now know what the company was counting down. Pebble announced its first circular smartwatch, the Pebble Time Round.

After its edgeless design, the first notable characteristic of the new Pebble smartwatch is how thin it is. It's just 7.5mm thick, making it much more svelte compared to previous Pebble devices and even the Apple Watch (10.5mm). Its round face measures 38.5mm, and in another first, Pebble will sell a women's model, which has a 14mm band. The Pebble time Round will also support standard 20mm watch bands. The watch will be available in black, white, and the infamous rose gold color that many love to hate.

Pebble Time Round

But with its thinness comes some sacrifice—according to Fortune, the Time Round will only last about two days on a single charge. Pebble watches are known for their long battery life; the Pebble Time Steel, for instance, is built to last as long as 10 days before needing a charge. Considering the Time Round will sport Pebble's newest interface—which breaks down your day into past, present, and future events—many who rely on their smartwatch for regular schedule updates may find the shorter battery life a nuisance. Pebble did throw users a bone by adding quick-charging to the Time Round, which is said to provide a day's worth of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging.

Along with the Pebble Time Round, the company announced a new SDK for the watch that will let developers create and modify apps to support the new circular display. The SDK also covers both the black and color displays on different Pebble models, so new apps will work on any model.

Pebble products have always sported squarish watch faces, as the company's focus has always been more on the features of its smartwatches than the design. But now design has become an increasingly important factor, with the Apple Watch coming in multiple models with even more compatible bands and OEM-specific Android Wear watches fighting to set themselves apart by being the most stylish.

Pebble already proved that it understands the value of elegant hardware. Back in February, it launched the Pebble Time Steel, an all-metal version of its smartwatch that now joins the Time Round as one of the company's more luxurious models.

There will be no Kickstarter campaign for the Pebble Time Round, which is yet another deviation from the company's previous business model. Rather, the Pebble Time Round will cost $249, and preorders begin today on Pebble's website, Best Buy, and Target. It's estimated to ship on November 8.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Pebble, smartwatch

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