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Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 add heart sensors, and Pebble Core stands in for your phone

Jason Cipriani | May 25, 2016
Pebble's new watches get serious about fitness, and the Core lets you leave your phone behind when you work out, with 3G, GPS, and storage onboard.

Pebble Time 2 will offer 10 day battery life. Offered in three colors, it’s priced at $169 on Kickstarter (after which it will go to $199), and will begin shipping in November. All in all, both watches look to be solid upgrades to the Pebble lineup.

Pebble Core

And now for something completely different: Pebble Core is a little plastic square with a magnetic latch to attach to your clothing. Its purpose? A little bit of everything. Instead of increasing the size of Pebble watches in order to add storage, cellular connectivity, or GPS capabilities, Migicovsky told me the company opted to instead create an entirely new product that can let you leave your smartphone at home while you work out.

When turned on, the Core can track a workout using built-in GPS, play music from the device’s 4 GB of storage (Spotify Premium support is baked in), and help keep track of your workouts through apps like Runkeeper and Strava.

pebble core solo white
Pebble Core. Credit: Pebble

There’s even a microphone and small speaker should you need to place a phone call in a pinch. Yes, that means Core has 3G connectivity built-in, but you’ll have to furnish your own SIM card to use it.

On the front of the device you’ll find two divots. Each divot acts as a button for carrying out various tasks. Tap the bigger button to activate GPS mode, while the smaller button can be programmed to call an Uber or send an emergency SMS to a loved one should you encounter trouble.

Core runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, and Pebble plans on openly encouraging its community to tinker and alter the behavior or Core.

“Think of it as Amazon’s Dash button, but it’s always on you,” Migicovsky told me as I tried to make sense of the Core. Short-term, Migicovsky sees Core as something that his company’s user base will enjoy altering and customizing.

Long-term, Migicovsky sees Core as a more of a central hub for the various devices we carry around with use daily. Right now, that hub is our phone. But phones aren’t getting any smaller, and despite LTE being added devices such as smartwatches, paying a service fee for each one isn’t feasible.

Core is priced at $69 during the Kickstarter Campaign, with retail pricing expected to be $99. However, you’ll have to wait until January before Core starts shipping.


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