Pebble's latest wearable has no fancy apps or customisable bands. In fact, it doesn't even have a screen. But you're wrong if you think you won't love it...
Pebble is hitting us with another wearable, but it’s not just another smartwatch. Currently raking in millions of dollars worth of funding over on Kickstarter, the Pebble Core is actually a tiny keyring-sized clip-on gizmo without a screen. But what does this mysteriously screenless cube do, and why are we telling you about it? Time to quit waffling and give the lowdown…
What is it?
It’s a lightweight clip with 3G, GPS and built-in Spotify. At a miniature 40x40mm in size, 20mm in depth and weighing only 50g, you won’t even feel like it’s there when you’re wearing it. It can live on your keychain or clip onto your clothes, and is splash-resistant.
Pebble Core has the grand ambition to completely replace your smartphone or watch while you’re out for a run. That GPS tracking function? It will log your pace, distance and location and sync your stats with apps on your phone like RunKeeper, MapMyRun and Google Fit.
Core also has its very own feedback system to spur you on while you’re hitting it hard, peppering your run with real-time audio cues to motivate you and let you know your progress. If you usually run with your phone for this very purpose, you can finally ditch the cumbersome bulk and enjoy a more hands-free, lightweight workout with personal coaching. Plus, phone screen + sweat = gross…
That Spotify player? It lets you stream all of your playlists and tunes directly, or you can simply download tracks to the Core’s 4GB memory.
Core’s own SIM and 3G connection gives it tons more hands-free possibilities that mean you can leave your phone at home. With a single-touch button that you can customise to do your bidding, you can issue an emergency SOS to a friend if you hit trouble, or even hail an Uber in one tap if you get caught in a storm or run out of steam.
It’s important to mention that you will have to pay for a separate 3G connection through the Core’s own SIM card, though.
Can I talk to it?
Perfectly reasonable question. You can! Pebble Core claims to be the first independent 3G wearable that integrates Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, letting you check weather and traffic updates and tap into Alexa’s vast bag of tricks. Like this:
You can also use the Core as a handy voice-note taker. If you’re struck with inspiration for your next novel while you’re on your morning jog (or just remember you need to put carrots on your shopping list), just spill your thoughts to Core.
Battery life…break it to me
Actually, Pebble Core has pulled off quite an impressive feat of battery longevity. Without music the Pebble Core will put in a decent 20 hour shift running on GPS alone, which goes down to 9 hours if you opt for internal playback of your onboard tracks, and 4 hours if you’re streaming Spotify over 3G. That’s a good few days of jogging before it needs a juice up.
To charge Core, you have two options. You can either charge it through the headphone jack, or bag an optional wireless charging kit.
When can I buy it?
Pebble Core is live on Kickstarter now, and is taking pre-orders at just $79 (£55). That’s an absolute steal considering it will eventually retail for $99 (£70). Its release date is set for January 2017.