Punditry that suggested that Pebble would be roadkill in the face of the Apple Watch and Android Wear is turning out have been somewhat overheated. The smartwatch pioneer has announced the Pebble Round, a thin round watch that merrily goes its own way.
What’s remarkable about Pebble is that it succeeds by doing only a few things well. Its watches are essentially notification devices with long battery life and quick charging — all that lots of people need. When they first came out, they looked a little geeky, but you get over that — especially when you compare them to most other smartwatches.
The Pebble Round is, well, round. It’s also thin, at 7.5mm, and light, at 28 grams. We wouldn’t call it elegant — the bezel is very wide, making the functional watch face kind of small — but it’s attractive enough for a $250 smartwatch. You can reserve one now for delivery in November, and expect to be able to find it at the usual consumer electronics places.
Pebble’s been on something of a shipping tear lately, with the Time, the Time Steel, and the Round coming in rapid succession. The company’s being smart about keeping its customers happy: Kickstarter backers of the Time Steel are being given a chance to change their orders to the Round at a discount, and to try the Round for 30 days. Nice.