Pebble Time 2: Less bezel makes for a better experience

Could the new fancy Pebble be the best yet?
Pebble Time 2 first impressions

It's been a big month for Pebble. The Redwood City based company has revealed not one smartwatch, but two, along with the Pebble Core non-wrist device geared for runners.

Pebble has kept up with the familiar rectangular shape - save for the Pebble Time Round - but Pebble Time 2 is definitely ups the level of class to its circular predecessor.

Read this: Everything you need to know about Pebble Core

Like the Pebble 2, Time 2 isn't a huge diversion from Pebble Time. It's more reminiscent of the Time Steel which isn't far from the facts. Pebble founder and CEO Eric Migicovsky even told me Time 2 is built on the same hardware platform as Steel.

Time 2 is made of steel rather than plain 'ol plastic. The most noticeable change comes in the form of the bezel which is significantly smaller than the Time's. It's certainly an upgrade in materials giving it a weighty feel in the hand. Time 2 is also the same weight as Time Steel, which is a bit heavier than the standard Time watch.

The 50% more viewing area from less bezel allows you to peruse the color display better which is fantastic since the other screen felt so claustrophobic.

Migicovsky says the watch case is the same size, and that it's the display technology that's improved. "We've been working with the display manufacturer to figure out a way of reducing border size which is one of the biggest pieces of feedback we got back from our customers. I think we've been able to crack it and get it down to this state."

Upon closer inspection, you can really see the new higher resolution that shows off 80% more pixels but until we test it out, we won't know how it fares outside in brighter settings.

Like the Pebble 2, the Pebble Time 2 is coated in scratch-resistant glass, has a built-in microphone and includes a new heart rate sensor.

The Time 2 comes in gold, silver and black giving it an air of fancy wristwatch but the band it ships with will be silicone. It's easy enough to replace with the quick release mechanism if you want a leather band.

Since the company has geared itself towards health now, Migicovsky says the silicon band was chosen opposed to the Round's leather because it's better for fitness where the leather isn't. "We're really taking a renewed focus on the health and fitness aspects of the watch. We wanted to make sure it was water resistant up to 30 meters like the rest of our products, but also added a rubber strap so you can work out or swim."

The general layout of buttons on the Time 2 is similar to Time's, complete with a back button on the left and up, down and select buttons on the right of the frame.

A new framework called Actions lets you use the buttons to quickly access actions. For example, pressing the top right button can bring up whatever shortcut you want to assign. The Timeline interface should be one you're used to though there are some additions. Notifications now pop up on the bottom of the home screen instead of taking up the whole screen.

My time with the watch was short but so far, I was pleasantly surprised by the Time 2. It's basically the same package as before, but it looks and feels better all around. Time 2's larger screen real estate puts it closer to its smartwatch brethren and coupled with the new features, heart rate monitoring and software upgrades, this could be the best Pebble yet.

The Pebble Time 2 is selling for $169 on Kickstarter but will be flat a $199 when it goes on sale globally in November as it heads to other retailers later this year into early 2017.

We'll be reviewing the Pebble Time 2 in full when it's available. In the mean time, our guide has everything you need to know about Pebble Time 2.

10 Comments

  • Hops3187 says:

    awesome post!!!  Can't wait to receive my pebble time 2.  I already purchased mine from Kickstarter.  The other day I was watching a video on YouTube about the specs for the Apple Watch 2 and questioned myself again that I'm happy I chose the Time 2 over the Apple Watch 2.  Mainly because of the price tag, but also because of the functionality it will bring.  Where Apple's watchOS is still new.  So there are still question marks.

    • danrknudsen says:

      Since my old Pebble Steel is getting some what flaky and where such a long wait for the new Pebble Time 2 - i bought a Apple Watch. Big mistake. The stupidity of wearing a watch that you have to shake just to turn the screen on. The absurdly short battery time. The much to complex app cluster. It’s a piece of tech where Apple really has gone astray from the less is more-philosophy that has served them so well all these years. And a first time where an Apple-product really has diasapointed me (a side from the 2nd generation iMac;) 

      • JEDW25 says:

        You don't have to shake the Apple Watch to get the display to turn on. I had Series 1 and now a Series 2 and both work the same way. Not sure what you are doing wrong, but all you have to do is lift your wrist towards your face as you would to see any watch you are wearing and it comes on every single time. Drop your wrist and it turns off. Much better than any of the Android Wear watches I have tried.

  • monkeytommo says:

    What I want to know is, can you wear this in the sea?? Can't seem to find an answer to this anywhere.

    • j.stables says:

      You probably can, but Pebble wouldn't approve for sea water because of the extra corrosion, so it's going to be every difficult to find a definitive answer. 

    • kennyboye says:

      Mate I have a pebble time and I wear it everywhere.  Beach, pool, sand, dirt, shower, hot tub, you name it.  The only hassle I have had was the metal band broke when I was rolling down a sand dune...probably not the watch's fault!  The face doesn't even have a scratch.  Perhaps the HRM may be a point of corrosion but seriously I wouldn't worry about it.

      Having owned the original, Pebble steel and the Pebble time, the only negative I have found is that after a few years the older two have developed poor battery life and glitchy screens.  I suspect that is just the nature of the beast and still a pebble lover regardless.

    • Stupidget says:

      I read on the Pebble site that they recommend that you rinse the watch after you've been in the sea.

    • xavitron says:

      My Time just dead after snorkeling at the sea a few weeks ago. All morning swimming and then the screen turned off. I discovered some corrosion at the battery connector and a tiny hole on it. It seems that some water went inside and create corrosion to the circuit board (I opened). The screen it's unreadable now. 

      I love this watch but after this experience I'm not thinking on buying another one.

  • souravsinha says:

    when will be the pebble time 2 available in India?

  • Celanova says:

    Didn't I just read there is some kind of strap for a GPS application is coming out?

    When are the Pebble Time 2's going to start shipping to their kickstarter contributors?

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