The Apple Watch Ultra represents the biggest design change in Apple’s wearable lineup since the first Apple Watch in 2015, but imitators are already coming up with disturbingly similar-looking knockoffs.
One of the best, based on renders at least, is Pebble’s Cosmos Engage, spotted by MacRumors.
Before long-term wearable tech fans get excited, this Pebble has nothing to do with popular Kickstarter brand Pebble, whose intellectual property was bought by Fitbit after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2016.
This Pebble is an Indian clothing brand that sells a bunch of models resembling existing watches. The Pebble Venus is a superficial alternative to Garmin Lily, the Pebble Cosmos Max looks a lot like a standard Apple Watch. But the Cosmos Engage is perhaps the most shameless copycat the company has made to date.
Almost all of the exterior designs appear to have been replicated. The knurled crown, 10-hole speaker grille, and contoured orange side button are just some of the parts that make the Apple Watch Ultra very distinctive, and Pebble seems to have “borrowed” the lot.
The Pebble Cosmos Engage costs ₹3,999, or about $48 in direct currency conversion.
While it might appeal to those who only want an Apple Watch as a status symbol and aren’t planning on letting anyone get any closer, the Cosmos Engage also offers basic fitness tracking. Pebble claims it’s water and dust resistant to IP67, and its screen can reach 600 nits and has an “always on” mode.
Some of his stats are sure to raise eyebrows. The listing seems to suggest the case is zinc, not the aluminum of the average affordable metal watch, or the titanium of the Apple Watch Ultra. Zinc is a relatively heavy metal, but it seems safe to assume that it is some form of zinc-aluminum alloy.
Pebble claims the Cosmos Engage has a “blood pressure monitor” feature. You won’t find this in affordable trackers from major brands because of the stakes involved in estimating someone’s blood pressure, and that efforts to accurately track blood pressure only using tracking hardware heart rate optics are ongoing.
The IPS display technology is also not suitable for the Cosmos Engage’s optional “always on” mode. With this type of LCD panel, the entire screen is illuminated when there is one, where OLED panels have pixels with individual light sources.
My first impression was that these website renders might not be a good representation of how the watch actually looks. However, Indian YouTubers are already posting previews of the watch online, and aside from an inconsistent screen border width that looks amateurish next to Apple’s design, the Cosmo Engage would fool a lot of people into thinking that you bought the real thing.
What are the chances of Pebble Cosmos Engage going to the US or Europe in an official capacity? None, in my estimation.