2If You Want It, Go to Kickstarter
Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding service, is again playing host to Pebble’s smartwatch. The company made a splash on Kickstarter in 2012 when it raised over $10 million and is now well on its way to breaking that record. As of this writing, Pebble has more than 32,000 backers, but still has several donor levels available for those who want to get Pebble Time when the company releases it in May.
3The Price Delivers a Solid Value
It’s hard to take issue with Pebble Time’s value. Although the Early Bird option is now gone, Pebble was offering its smartwatch at that level for $159. Early backers will be able to get the device for $179. The regular retail price on Pebble Time will be $199, making it a solid value for both early backers and those who will wait until it’s available to buy one via retail.
4Pebble Is Offering Exclusive Color Options for Kickstarter Backers
5The Color E-Paper Screen Has Garnered Attention
6Pebble’s Battery Life Claim Is Impressive
Thanks in large part to the e-paper integration, Pebble is able to get a staggering seven-day battery life out of Pebble Time. That stands in stark contrast to reports that the Apple Watch will need to be recharged each day. In addition, Pebble says that Pebble Time will be water resistant, so users can get it wet without fear of bricking the smartwatch.
7Customizability Plays an Important Role
Customizability is a key component in Pebble Time. The company says that all standard 22mm watch bands will fit the device, giving users an endless stream of customizable options. In addition, it will make its 3D printing data available to the developer community, so users can create everything from straps to device covers to docks that can to add to the device.
8The Three Side Buttons Are Crucial to the Experience
Although Pebble is touting the sheer number of apps available for Pebble Time, the company acknowledged that sifting through them all to get to, say, an email or the score of a game can be a pain. So it has built a three-button feature on the right of the screen that represents the past, the present and the future. The past button’s menu will show things like emails and notifications, while the future will display what’s coming up on the calendar. The present button will show the current time. It’s a neat idea that could make using the smartwatch far more user-friendly.
9Yes, a Microphone Matters Again
Who knew that a microphone would be so important? Pebble Time comes with a built-in microphone designed to handle dictation. So, if a user receives a text message or email on a Bluetooth-connected device, that user will be able to respond by talking into the smartwatch. It seems rather simple, but it’s an important addition that is surprisingly lacking across the smartwatch market.
10Pebble’s Launch Date Puts It Head-to-Head With Apple Watch
Pebble is pegging its Time launch for May, which puts it in direct competition with Apple Watch. Apple hasn’t disclosed an official release date for its smartwatch, besides saying it will be available in “early 2015.” But recent news reports now say Apple will deliver it in the spring. Since Pebble Time will likely be much cheaper than Apple Watch, it should be interesting to see whether buyers will choose the lower-cost alternative.