Pebble Time Round: What to expect from Pebble’s first circular smartwatch

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.

The Pebble Time Round is the company’s fifth smartwatch and arrives just months after the launch of the Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel colour e-paper watches.

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.

Related: The 4 best smartwatches you can buy right now

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. We’ll reserve full judgement until seeing the watch in the flesh, but it looks like there’s a lot of wasted space.

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

morning/evening shower.

Pebble Time Round

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.

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.

Pebble Time Round

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.

Naturally, it’s a lot cheaper than the Apple Watch, while it also comes in below the Moto 360 2 ($299/£229), while the fancy Huawei Watch starts at $350 and ranges all the way up to $800!

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.