The original Pebble watch was arguably the first device in what is now a rapidly growing smartwatch segment of the wearables market. Since its release, the software of the Pebble has steadily improved, and Pebble has introduced various new color options as well as more premium version of the Pebble called the Pebble Steel. But even with all those changes, the fundemental hardware of the Pebble remained the same. Today Pebble has announced a brand new smartwatch called the Pebble Time, and it is what one could call a true successor to the original Pebble.

The Pebble Time retains many of the software features that users enjoy from the original Pebble. It's compatible with every existing Pebble application and watchface, and it has the same battery life of up to seven days. But the hardware of the Pebble Time is significantly improved from the original Pebble. The area that most users will notice first is the new display. While the original Pebble used a black and white memory LCD, the Pebble Time uses a color e-paper display. The design and size of the watch is also improved, with the thickness of the case having been reduced to 9.5mm, which is 20% thinner than the original Pebble. The bottom of the case is also curved to fit more comfortably on the user's wrist. 

On the software side of things, the Pebble Time uses a new interface that Pebble are calling Timeline. Essentially, the interface is a sequential list of the events that you have planned throughout the day, and the three buttons on the right side of the watch allow you to move to the past, present, or future of your daily timeline. Like the original Pebble, the Pebble Time works with both Android and iOS devices, but features like sending voice replies to incoming notifications are more limited on iOS.

The Pebble Time will intiially come in black, white, and red. For their initial sales run Pebble has gone back to Kickstarter, the website where they originally began. The Pebble Time will retail for $199 when the Kickstarter campaign is over, but users who want to purchase one now can get it for $179 on Pebble's Kickstarter campaign below.

Source: Pebble Time Kickstarter

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  • Brandon Chester - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    The pebble uses a Sharp memory LCD which is considered a type of e-paper display. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    You're confusing e-paper (an LCD-based technology) and e-ink.

    e-ink displays only use power to change state. Meaning, it takes power to display a page of text initially. Once it's displayed, there's 0 power usage. When you flip pages on an e-reader, it uses power to update the pixels ... and then uses 0 power to continue displaying the new page. However, it takes a bit of time to update pixels, so it's not good for animations. Don't know the specifics of how each pixel works, but there's basically a tiny droplet of "ink" that moves from the front of the pixel to the back to flip between "black" and "white" (or "on" and "off").

    e-paper displays are a variant of LCD where each pixel has a tiny bit of "memory" that holds the contents of the pixel. Instead of refreshing the entire display multiple times per second (Hz), it only needs a tiny little bit of power to keep the memory covered. You get a much smoother/faster refresh than e-ink, but nowhere near the power usage of a full-blown LCD. It's kind of in the middle, best of both worlds.
    Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    According to Wikipedia e-paper and e-ink are synonyms but you might certainly be right.

    I'm still confused as to why Brendan claims the old one uses memory LCD (when the homepage clearly states e-paper) while the new one uses color e-paper.

    The display of the Pebble can only be refreshed row-wise so the behaviour is not too far away from an ereader.
    Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    Because the old one is a Sharp memory LCD, this has been confirmed through teardowns. There is no information about the display manufacturer for the Pebble Time and so I just classified it as e-paper. If Wikipedia states that e-ink and e-paper are synonyms it is incorrect. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Sunday, March 1, 2015 - link

    The problem is that neither term (e-paper or e-ink) has a technical, defined-by-a-standards-body definition. So any company can use the terms to mean anything they want.

    To the layman, the two terms are synonymous. However, most companies use e-ink exclusively to refer to the "only uses power when changing" technology that is not at all based on LCD, while Sharp uses e-paper to refer to their memory LCD.

    If you go by the definition "a reflective display technology that uses extremely low power compared to other display technologies," then both qualify.
    Reply
  • xerandin - Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - link

    CharonPDX said:

    "The problem is that neither term...has a technical, defined-by-a-standards-body definition."

    DING DING DING. This man is the winner.
    Reply
  • sascha - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    Doubt it will sell well, doesn't look appealing enough for $199. Reply
  • sonicmerlin - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    Lol it's currently at $10 million. Reply
  • Vinny DePaul - Sunday, March 1, 2015 - link

    Hmm, the phone doesn't look good. It looks like a toy. Reply

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