Pebble has announced its first round-faced smartwatch in the form of the Pebble Time Round. The start-up joins the growing number of companies opting to shift from square to circular smartwatches in 2015. It’ll battle the likes of Samsung’s Gear S2, the Moto 360 2 and the Huawei Watch for the right to add smarts to your wrist.
How does the new wearable match up with Pebble’s other offerings and the new range of smartwatches from the likes of Samsung and Moto? Here’s a look at all of the new features.
That round watch face
Right from the offset, it seems Pebble’s chosen design has split opinion. It’s certainly more elegant than the square siblings, and Pebble boldly claims its team has created the “first smartwatch that looks like a beautiful classic wristwatch.”
However, the Time Round features what can only be described as a whopping bezel around the always-on 2.5D Gorilla Glass display.
It only seems like around half of the 38mm diameter is taken up by screen real estate, which is apparently due to Pebble apps only displaying correctly on a 1.25-inch screen.
There’s colour options in black, silver and rose gold, two band sizes (14mm and 20mm) as well as a host of band colours that can be switched out in a matter of seconds. In terms of materials, it features a ‘military grade’ stainless steel chassis and bezel, in line with the Time Steel.
It’s super slim
Pebble is billing the Pebble Time
Round as the world’s thinnest and lightest smartwatch. It’s just 7.5mm
thick and 28g in weight. That shaves quite a chunk off the 9.5mm/42g
Pebble Time. Meanwhile the round-faced Samsung Gear S2 is 11.4mm/47g.
Battery life takes a back seat
Pebble hasn’t announced the size of
the battery within the Time Round yet but, in order to
keep the watch as thin and light, sacrifices have been made. Whereas the
Pebble Time offers a 7-day battery life, the Time Round only offers 2
days. That’s more Apple Watch territory and lags behind the Time Steel’s 10 days. A 15-minute recharge will provide enough juice for an entire
24-hour period. Pebble says that’ll be perfect for charging during your
Keep it out of the pool
More sacrifices here. Where the Pebble Time offered water resistance to 30m, the Time Round is only splashproof. Not good news for swimmers. If you’re looking to swim then maybe you’re better off with the Withings Activité range or the square Pebbles.
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Timeline still on board
Naturally, the new Time Round features the Timeline OS that shipped with the Pebble Time/Steel, which makes it easy to view a full summary of the day’s activity with a few easy swipes. Pebble Time features like voice reply are also on board, along with all of the personalisation options and ability to hook up to iOS and Android devices.
The Timeline OS has simplicity at its heart and always starts with the clock. The Calendar-like Timeline feature works well, but the childish animations haven’t been universally acclaimed.
if you’re looking for something a little more polished and smartphone-esque then the Android Wear watches, Apple Watch and Tizen-based Samsung Gear S2 will be more up your street.
In conjunction with the launch of the Round, Pebble is also releasing an SDK that’ll make it easier for developers to bring their apps to the new round screen. The likes of Misfit, Uber, ESPN and The Weather channel have already been optimised.
When can you get a Pebble Time Round?
Time Round begins shipping in November 2015 in the US and UK and will cost £229/$249. That’s more expensive than the Pebble Time (£179/$199), but in line with the Pebble Time Steel. It can be pre-ordered now from Pebble.com and will available from Amazon and many of the big box electronics stores. It’ll hit the rest of the EU in early 2016.
Pebble Time Steel exchange plan
Pebble is acknowledging that launching a round option so soon after offering the Time and Time Steel to Kickstarter backers could disappoint some customers who would have preferred the Round. As such, the company is giving Time Steel owners the chance to buy the Round at a discounted rate, compare the two and keep the one they like the most. Details are here.