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Get a Pebble smartwatch for $79.99

And if you're a qualifying student, you can have it for $20 less. Quick, somebody get me a college kid! Plus: a seriously sweet Xbox freebie.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

White is arguably the snazziest color for the original Pebble. Pebble

Words to live by: Cheap things come to those who wait.

The original Pebble smartwatch, for example, was already a pretty decent deal at $150, especially in light of recently announced Apple Watch prices (barf). Then the company dropped it to $99, making it arguably the single best smartwatch buy on the planet.

Now it's even better: For a limited time and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Pebble smartwatch for $79.99, shipped (plus tax). And it's available in your choice of colors: black, white or red.

Here's where it really gets sexy: Anyone with a qualifying .edu e-mail address (students and educators alike) can get a coupon code for $20 off, bringing the price to an all-time-low $59.99.

Even at $79.99, this is a steal for anyone who's been on the smartwatch fence. I like the Pebble for a variety of reasons, the first being that it's compatible with both Android and iOS devices. In your face, Apple Watch, Moto 360 and most others!

The Pebble offers a huge array of nifty watchfaces, of course, but for me it's all about the notifications. When a call or text message comes in, the watch vibrates, thus alerting you even if your phone is out of earshot, eyeshot or "feelshot" (meaning you can't feel it vibrate). Then it displays pertinent information on its screen.

People don't understand the value of this until they try it for themselves. Trust me; once you stop missing important calls and messages, you'll never go watch-less again.

All this is not to say the Pebble is perfect. In my experience with both the original and the Pebble Steel, I rarely got anywhere near the promised week of battery life. Instead, it always needed recharging by the end of day four. Also, it occasionally (and inexplicably) lost its connection with my iPhone, and re-pairing was a major hassle. YMMV.

At this price, though, you can forgive a lot. There's a newer Pebble on the way, of course, but there's not a thing wrong with this model. Grab one before they're gone.

Bonus deal: Game time! If you're an Xbox owner, you won't want to miss this: Microsoft is offering BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360) for free. The only requirement is that you be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber. The game, which normally sells for $29.99, was widely regarded as one of the best of 2013, and I'll add my two cents in saying it was a fantastic continuation of a fantastic series.