Pebble 2, A budget smartwatch that focuses on fitness
Pebble 2, A budget smartwatch that focuses on fitness. Image credit: PC Advisor.

Set to launch in late October, the Pebble 2’s biggest addition is the heart rate sensor as Pebble Technology Corporation has finally focused on fitness. The smartwatch will be the first Pebble to have such a feature.

The Pebble 2 will succeed the first-generation Pebble Smartwatch, also known as the Pebble Classic. A Kickstarter campaign raised $10.3 million between April and May 2012 for the development of the original Pebble.

Pebble also launched the Pebble Time, the second generation Pebble smartwatch, with Kickstarter and collected over $20 million from more than 75,000 backers. Both figures became records on the public-benefit corporation.

The company followed suit with its third generation Pebble 2 product line which features the Pebble Time 2 and the Pebble Core as well. The latest campaign offered the trio at a discount price during the first 36 days.

Pebble 2 features a simple and retro design

Taking a nod to the first Pebble, the sequel smartwatch features a simple plastic design. However, the strap feels softer and more flexible than its predecessor. It also sports a retro black-and-white screen.

While the display still measures 1.26 inches, the Pebble 2 is slimmer than previous models with a 39.5 x 30.2 x 9.8mm chassis. Additionally, the more durable Corning Gorilla glass now covers the screen.

Even though it lacks GPS, the Pebble 2 makes up with other notable enhancements. It has long battery life with up to seven days on a single charge, a water-resistant body that withstands up to 30 meters, and a new Timeline interface that works much better than the one in the original Pebble.

The star of the Pebble 2 is its heart rate sensor

When announcing its new products, the company made clear it wanted to focus on fitness. Smartwatch specialists Fitbit and high-end rivals like Apple Watch and Android Wear all had heart rate sensors for fitness tracking.

The sensor in the Pebble 2 is always on and taking the user’s pulse. The data gets logged into Pebble’s improved Health app, similar to the Apple Health app. It has simple graphics for users to see it when they want with only two button presses.

Meanwhile, the workout section of the app includes three modes: walk, run, and workout. The Pebble tracks duration and shows a live reading of their heart rate in each mode. It also tracks average pace and distance in run mode and counts steps in walk mode.

Pebble 2 price and release date

The Apple Watches or the Moto 360 Sport are way ahead in high-end specs. So the Pebble 2’s price tag is more affordable. The smartwatch costs $129 while the others range between $200 and $369.

Market leaders Fitbits are less expensive but still above the Pebble. They do have GPS, though, with the Fitbit Charge 2 and the Fitbit Blaze priced at $150 and $200, respectively. However, the Pebble Core will address the GPS issue and also include a 3G modem and Spotify integration.

The Pebble 2 recently appeared on Best Buy for pre-order with an October 15 release date. The Time 2 and the Core should ship sometime in November.

Source: Engadget‎