02
Jul
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After taking Kickstarter by storm, the Pebble smartwatch went on to become a real product. Hey, that's more than you can say for some Kickstarter campaigns. The backers have had their devices for a while now, and the time has come for Pebble to expand. First stop: Best Buy. The Pebble is going to be exclusive to Best Buy, at least for the time being.

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You're probably aware, but the Pebble is a slick (kind of) smartwatch with an e-paper display. It pairs with Android and iOS devices over Bluetooth to enable notifications and remote control features. The jet black version will be in store on July 7th, and is already listed online. Pebble's press release says the black watch is available online now, but orders aren't going through as of yet. Check back throughout the day. It should start working at some point.

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Backers got a good deal on the Pebble, too. Earl birds got it for $99, while late bloomers paid $115 (black only). The other colors were $125. The red Pebble will hit stores in August (also at $149.99), but the orange, grey, and white are still pre-order only on Pebble's site. Save your pennies, folks. Full PR below.

July 02, 2013 12:00 ET

Pebble Brings Its Wearable Tech Exclusively to Best Buy

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - July 02, 2013) -

Pebble Technology proudly announces the exclusive launch of its record-breaking smart watch in Best Buy stores this summer. Jet Black versions of the programmable, waterproof, app-enabled smart watch are available online now at bestbuy.com/pebble and in all US Best Buy stores on Sunday, July 7 (MSRP $149.99). Pebble's expansion into retail distribution is a key step in meeting the tremendous public demand for its crowd-supported e-paper watch for iOS and Android.

"It's been so rewarding to see and share the great things our early backers and development partners have done with Pebble already," says CEO Eric Migicovsky. "Their work and our evolving app ecosystem has kept demand very high. Best Buy's partnership with us is a big step towards meeting that demand."

Pebble's black-and-white e-paper display is sharp and clear, with animated graphics that are fully readable in bright daylight. The watch pairs with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth, allowing for wrist-top notifications like text messages, emails, and incoming calls as well as remote control features for music and other media playing from the phone. Pebble's watch band is fully customizable as well, compatible with any standard 22mm strap.

While offering a full-featured out-of-box experience, Pebble also gives those who are eager to build and tinker the tools they need to expand the watch's usability. Pebble's evolving, open development platform allows people to create and share watch apps -- from custom watchfaces and stopwatches to fitness trackers and games -- making a wide range of designs and utilities available for all. Pebble users can also enjoy existing integrations with popular sports apps RunKeeper and FreeCaddie, with more apps to come in the future.

"The outpouring of support from our Kickstarter backers was the first signal to our team that Pebble's approach to smart, wearable technology was something the world was ready for," recalls Migicovsky. "We've learned that people want their Pebbles. Thanks to Best Buy, we're giving folks more ways to make that happen."

Jet Black Pebbles are available now on bestbuy.com/pebble and in stores on July 7, with Cherry Red Pebbles to follow in August. Pebble's three other colors -- Orange, Grey, and Arctic White -- remain available for pre-order on getpebble.com.

[Best Buy, Pebble]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • daniel sutton

    Are the feature sets the same across iOS and Android?

    • Rick Fisher

      I believe so, for the most part.

      Because of intents, Android has the ability to push more notifications to the Pebble and more third party apps work with it. On iOS I believe (unless jailbroken) the only notifications are email, sms, and phone calls, and the only apps it works with are FreeCaddie and RunKeeper. Supposedly iOS 7 has eased up a bit on restrictions and should make it easier, but that's so far unproven.

    • Daniel

      No. Watch Pocketnows video on the pebble. He kind of explains it in a good way.

  • Jonathan

    And I literally just got my preorder Pebble yesterday. Ha.

  • hickmanje2

    One second not available, next second sold out online. Didn't even have a chance

    • hickmanje2

      Wait back to coming soon.. maybe a chance?

  • Albert Charles

    I love my pebbled I have had it for months. To bad it didn't come in a nice looking box like that

    • Cherokee4Life

      I hate that the most when you get you Kickstarter product in a box and then the full release one looks a whole lot nicer

  • Chris

    I've had my pebble for a while now. It's pretty damn awesome, and I especially love it when using RunKeeper, but it's cheap plastic screen is already scratched up and chipped. If I was to know what I know now and want one, I'd probably wait until the next generation or until they fixed this. But maybe some of you are in a better position, financially, than me. If so, go for it!

    • Philip Kahn

      Skinomi!

  • Cherokee4Life

    Christmas present for me?

  • Amer Khaznadar

    "The backers have had their devices for a while now, and the time has come for Pebble to expand."

    Nope. There are still Kickstarter backers that haven't received their black Pebbles after 14 months.

    • Cherokee4Life

      Compared to OUYA that's pretty good.....

      • Daniel

        How so? Ouya made an entire console and shipped it in under 10 months. The issue with kickstarter backers getting theirs came about because of the shipping company...

        • Cherokee4Life

          Honestly I was just making a joke. I got my Ouya before it launched so it's not the exact same but same concept of the backers not getting their product as early as they were promised or hoped.

    • Philip Kahn

      All the kickstarter blacks have shipped, and if they haven't it's an issue:

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android/posts/527205

      "If you backed a black, red or orange Pebble on Kickstarter and your order status is not yet at Stage 3 "Processing Shipment", please email us with the subject of 'KS Still Waiting' so that we can look into it and make sure your Pebble gets to you. Any information you can provide regarding your order will help us investigate more quickly."

      • Amer Khaznadar

        I know, but check the comments and their forums and you'll see that it's not really the case.

  • tekmonkey

    I have a Fitibit One. Can the Pebble do everything the Fitbit does?

    • aNYthing6

      Not yet.

    • Josh Flowers

      I think they're two different categories; one is geared towards fitness, the other as an expanded notification device. Fitbit doesn't have a screen but tracks your physical activity; PebbleWatch displays notifications/controls phone/etc. really two different ballparks.

      • Philip Kahn

        Pebble does integrate with RunKeeper, fwiw.

  • Matthew Fry

    Oooooh! I'll be waiting for these to go on clearance.

  • Andrea

    Is it really worth 150 bucks?

    • Philip Kahn

      An unabashed YES. I love my pebble, and it's totally changed the way I interact with my phone.

    • Aleksey_US

      No, definitely not at this point... just wait for Sony, Samsung, Google and Apple.

      Had my pebble since beginning of April (paid $115 on Kickstarter) just sold it to a coworker for 70$ and happily awaiting the Fall Wave of smart watches.

      As of a month ago.. it was still a little buggy, it would loose bluetooth on occasion. Still can't develop under Windows, which is a personal pain... Yes I did mess with it on a VM with Ubuntu for a bit. Wish they had Gorilla Glass as in my opinion it should be one of the top watch features. Face scratches up quite easily. Overall not a bad toy for a couple of months, but with what's on the horizon I wouldn't spend the money at this point. Once the big boys start playing this thing will go the way of webOS... no real future.

    • no

      No.

  • q

    Cool features. Too bad its an ugly watch.