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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Gadgets

Get a Pebble Time smartwatch for $72.79

From the Cheapskate: That's your post-rebate price. But even the pre-rebate price is pretty sweet. Or grab the Steel for $118.30. Both versions are refurbished.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


Today's deal is a bit of a rerun, but when the price is lower than last time, can you really argue?

Here's why a smartwatch is essential. Suppose your daughter's soccer practice ended early. Your phone is out of sight -- on the charger, maybe -- where you can't hear it buzzing with text messages and/or phone calls. Now your precious baby is standing out in the rain for lord-knows-how-long while you sip Mai Tais on the patio! (It's, er, a covered patio.)

pebble-time-red-front-and-side.jpg
Pebble

A smartwatch solves that problem by vibrating on your wrist, an alert you can't miss. When a call, text or calendar notification comes in, you'll know about it. Yes, even if your phone's in a pocket or purse and you're in a noisy environment.

The downside is the greatly increased occurrence of you glancing at your wrist, which can come across as rude if you're with other people. So you have to constantly explain, "Sorry, I'm getting a call."

I think the pros greatly outweigh the cons, which is why I frequently share this product. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Groupon has the refurbished Pebble Time smartwatch for $79.99 shipped. It's available with a red or white band. You can also get the Pebble Time Steel for $129.99 or the Round (which I don't recommend) for $119.99.

Now to make it an even better deal: Ebates is currently offering 9 percent cashback on Groupon purchases, which would drop your final Time price to $72.79 or the Steel to $118.30.

Not familiar with Ebates or cashback services? Read my primer: Revisiting cashback services: Do they really work? (Spoiler alert: they do.) If you're new to them, please do your homework. Ebates is very easy to use, but only if you use it correctly.

As for the Pebble Time itself, it's a terrific Android accessory and a pretty good one for iPhone. I say that because I always had problems keeping my various Pebbles paired with my various iPhones, but I seem to be in the minority on that. Your mileage may vary. Read CNET's review to learn more.

But holy handy wristwatches, Batman -- a sophisticated smartwatch for under $75? One that lets you choose from hundreds of faces or even design your own (unlike certain other high-profile smartwatches, cough, Apple, cough)? Totally, totally worth it.

Also, you get a 90-day Pebble warranty, and Groupon offers a free 14-day return policy if there's anything about the Time you don't like.

A year from now, you'll probably be able to score the same kind of deal on a Pebble Time 2. This will keep your wrist informed until then.

Bonus deal: If you missed "The Big Short" in theaters, you missed a seriously great film about a seriously boring subject: the housing crisis. Here's your chance to rent it in HD for just $1, the current price on Amazon, iTunes and Vudu. Normally it would cost you $3.99. "The Big Short" is funny, informative and infuriating, well worth two hours of your time. But be warned: I'm not kidding about the "infuriating" part. Your blood will boil.