In the past, the smartwatch market was too premium for its own good, possibly why the highly acclaimed Pebble lineup stood as the perfect entry point for consumers willing to forgo bells and whistles for a smartwatch that was simple, fast, functional, beautiful and, best of all, cheap.
Since its first successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, Pebble has released a number of smartwatch iterations, none of which were enough to save the company from dwindling profits or help them stake the smartwatch market.
Luckily, Fitbit's timely acquisition of Pebble has rerouted it away from a straight trajectory to failure. This means, however, that the beloved Pebble products will stop roaming the smartwatch pantheon, which is a colossal disappointment for most. Finding alternatives to Pebble's excellent feature-flanked lineup is not easy, but here are the best alternatives people can turn to.
Moto 360 Sport
Even if Motorola has confirmed its hiatus from releasing smartwatches, its Moto 360 Sport is still a pretty good alternative, featuring a lot of things one loves in the Pebble lineup. It features a hybrid display for optimum readability during outdoor scenarios, similar to Pebble. It's also very inexpensive for a feature-rich smartwatch, going as low as $130 on Amazon. The downside with the Moto 360 Sport is its abysmal battery life and the lack of automatic sleep tracking, a staple feature of Pebble.
Samsung Gear S3
Samsung's third smartwatch iteration might not be a huge upgrade over its predecessor, the Gear S2, but it still packs features that make it a worthy smartwatch to own. The Gear S3 comes in two models — Frontier, designed for rugged use, and Classic, the more aesthetic-focused of the pair. The $350 smartwatch comes with the excellent Tizen-based OS, the rotating bezel, built-in GPS and a heart rate monitor.
Huawei's Android Wear-powered wearable debut sports all bells and whistles, except for a stellar battery life and a GPS. It's premium-looking build makes it looks like an actual watch instead of a bulky klude on one's wrist. It's price, however, is a bit too steep, costing near $300 and up at Amazon.
The waterproof Polar M600 is the prime smartwatch for runners or any fitness junkie. It syncs directly with Polar Flow, the company's fitness stats service, alongside being able to push all a person's stats onto a paired smartphone or better yet, into the cloud. The Android Wear-powered Polar M600 costs $329.95 on Amazon. It comes with a heart rate monitor, GPS and a feature Polar calls "smart coaching," which are dedicated guides to help the user improve fitness levels.
Apple Watch Series 2
For iPhone users, the most obvious option is Apple Watch Series 2. Apple's second iteration of its proprietary smartwatch has recently shifted itself to being a worthy fitness-focused smartwatch. The Apple Watch Series 2 is waterproof, sports a built-in GPS and a heart rate monitor. Prices start at a steep $369, which can go as high as $1,099 for units outfitted with fancier straps.
Know any alternatives to Pebble not in this list? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!