Update – alternatives to the Pebble smartwatch discussed below:
Samsung Gear S2 & S3
ZeTime smartwatch with analogue mechanical hands & screen display
Pebble has been bought out by Fitbit,1 with just enough $ to cover Pebble’s debts. The Pebble name won’t continue.
Fitbit has also acquired Vector smartwatches, which makes a Fitbit branded Pebble clone less likely.
TechCrunch – “Fitbit acquires the Vector smartwatch startup, as the wearable giant continues its roll-up”
Vector – “The Vector Watch software platform & team joined the Fitbit family”
So what does a Pebble owner do?
For now, nothing – my Pebble continues to do what it has always done. Fitbit has undertaken to ensure that Pebble devices will continue to work for the next year.2 I expect core functions3 to continue working for many years after that.
If your Pebble isn’t performing at the end of the Fitbit guarantee, take a careful look at what they have on offer. New wearable(s) with more emphasis on smartwatch capabilities, & longer runtimes than 1 or 2 days seem likely – Fitbit has spent a lot of money acquiring the tech.
If a Fitbit/Pebble/Vector device doesn’t appear, doesn’t appeal, or you just can’t wait, have a look at:
Samsung Gear S2 & S3
Update – Samsung's smartwatches use their proprietary Tizen OS. Check this before you buy:
“Samsung’s Tizen operating system reported to be riddled with security vulnerabilities”
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier & Classic
Android Central – “Samsung Gear S3 vs. Gear S2: Which should you buy?”
PCMag – “Samsung Gear S3”
ZDNet – “Ticwatch 2 hands-on: Forget expensive Apple & Google watches, this $200 smartwatch packs it all in”
Ticwatch 2 Kickstarter project
Buy Ticwatch 2
ZeTime smart watch – analogue hands & switchable digital display with numbers, heart rate monitor & step counter
Credit: MyKronoz Switzerland/ZeTime
ZeTime takes a 22 mm watch band, so you can use any that fit your Pebble.
1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Pebble scooped up by Fitbit”, http://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2016/12/pebble-has-been-scoped-up-by-fitbit.html
2 Pebble: “Pebble’s Next Step”, https://blog.getpebble.com/2016/12/07/fitbit/
3 Core functions
● vibrate/display name/number of caller
● vibrate/display SMS
● vibrate/display start of email
● next appointment
● vibrate/display warning on loss of connection to phone
● count steps with sync to fitness app(s)
● run for over a week on each charge
● even tell the time/ Samsung wearable Gear S3 Frontier Gear S3 Classic Gear S2 Gear S2 Classic viable options lower prices smaller sizes similar functionality software updates viable reasons to choose last year's model smartwatch Samsung new Gear S3 and last year's Gear S2 design size style strong black on black finish large gnarled bezel textured side buttons definitely stands out smooth metal sculpted band flows right into the watch face appearance of a single piece very similar designs two-tone mirrored metal finishes classic design elements simpler bezel understated buttons leather strap exterior design cues size of these watches new Gear S3s significantly larger weight really large by analog watch standards particularly thickness comfortable average wrists software Samsung is updating older watches same software experience Gear S3 speaker GPS full Samsung Pay identical software hardware same processor storage screen resolution IP68 water resistance larger 1.3-inch displays 768MB of RAM 512MB battery much larger 380 mAh battery life specs speaker notifications voice calls cell connected GPS Samsung Pay Gear S3 new MST technology price value buying decision Gear Fit 2 excellent fitness tracking basic smartwatch features Bluetooth smartphone notifications fitness tracking SMS email vibration phone call control music /