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Second-gen Pebble watch expected out next week with key hardware upgrades

Technically, it’d be the third member of the wearable family, but the Pebble Steel was more a rehash than a sequel.

Pebble Steel

Many thought the OG Pebble lacked that certain je ne sais quoi to be remembered as anything other but an awkward pioneer. Yes, it was one of the first of its kind, possibly the first semi-successful smartwatch in history.

But surely, Samsung’s countless fancier Gears, Motorola’s striking Moto 360 and LG’s handsome G Watches have what it takes to make Pebbles feel like ancient history. Not so fast, Android Wear aficionados and Tizen enthusiasts, as reports now peg total Pebble sales at over a million.

That’s a mere drop in Apple Watch’s approaching ocean, but more than all Android Wear timepieces combined. Clearly, the somewhat rudimentary-looking gizmo and its slightly more charming Steel cousin haven’t lost all their appeal yet.

And now rumor is they have backup on the way to help them… well, graciously lose to the “iWatch”. A countdown clock on Pebble’s official website suggests something big will happen next Tuesday, at 10 AM EST.

Pebble

Can you say Pebble 2 announcement? 9to5Mac has the scoop on the new watch, said to gain a “slightly wider, color, e-paper-like display encased in an overall thinner design.” Whoa, that’s exactly what I wished for Christmas.

Also, a steady as always battery, voice recognition-supporting microphone, “improved backlight” on the non-touch screen, and “dramatically different” operating system. Still proprietary, still basic compared to Android Wear, but probably prettier, smoother and richer in app compatibility and features than previous Pebble OS iterations.

Naturally, both Android and iOS support will be on deck, alongside a mysterious new Cortex M4 processor. Which doesn’t sound like a Snapdragon 400 match in raw speed, but it should be good for energy efficiency.

Tipped to cost around $200 in an “entry-level” configuration, the Pebble 2 won’t be able to monitor your heart rate, but optional “smart bands” with additional sensors are expected out a little down the line. Remember, Tuesday, February 24 is D-Day.

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