Pebble’s smartwatches were among the first to hit the market, and in addition to letting you view notifications from your phone and run third-party apps, every model released to date has had some very basic fitness-tracking features: they could measure your step count.
Now Pebble is adding a bit more health-tracking capability to its smartwatch lineup. The Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 smartwatches are expected to ship this fall, and they’re up for pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign. The big new feature for both models? A heart rate monitor.
The addition is interesting, because Pebble had previously taken a different approach toward features that might not appeal to all smartwatch users: let third party developers create smartstraps that add things like NFC chips (for contactless payments) or GPS (for running and other outdoor activities).
But at a time when most other big-name smartwatches have health tracking features, Pebble seems to have decided that a heart rate sensor is a must-have feature.
Other changes include a Corning Gorilla Glass cover for the screen (instead of plastic) for both the Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2, and a microphone for the Pebble 2 (the original Pebble did not have one, but the Pebble Time did).
The Pebble 2 is also thinner and lighter than its predecessor.
The Pebble Time 2, meanwhile, will replace both the original Pebble Time and the Pebble Time Steel. The new watch has a steel frame and a smaller screen bezel.
Pebble says the Pebble 2 should get up to a week of battery life, while the Pebble Time 2 should last for 10 days. Both watches have always-on displays (black and white for the Pebble 2 and color for the Pebble Time 2), water resistance up to 30 meters, and support for thousands of apps and custom watch faces.
The Pebble 2 is expected to have a retail price of $129, while the Pebble Time 2 is priced at $199. But they’re available to backers of the Kickstarter campaign for prices starting at $99 and $169, respectively.