I was interested in the Pebble smart watch since it’s beginning. It started as a kickstarter project requiring an initial funding of $100,000 in one month. But, they reached that goal in just two hours. It got a funding of over $10 Million in a month making it the most successful kickstarter ever.
Usually, every time we receive a notification we reach for our phone in our pocket and look at it. We never like to miss any notification. For someone like me, I receive about 1000 notifications every day. Having to do this every time makes me go crazy. I had to put the phone on Do Not Disturb mode every time I wanted to get any work done. I finally got a Pebble for this Christmas and it was definitely worth every penny.
Now, every time I receive a notification, I just glance at it on my watch which takes a fraction of a second and reach for my phone only if it has to be addressed immediately which is just 10% of the times.
Pebble is not really a smart watch. It just changes the way we receive and interact with our notifications which can make a huge difference.
This is no where close to the Galaxy Gear. But this is more usable than that. Pebble works with almost every iOS and Android phone which supports Bluetooth 4.0.
Coming to the watch, it is made out of plastic and the watch strap is made up of rubber. But, the watch straps are the ones present on a normal watch so that you can always change them.
The screen is 1.26 inch 144×168 pixel black and white transflective LCD display manufactured by Sharp. This is an e-paper display and not the e-ink display of the Kindles. But, there is no problem while viewing it under direct sunlight.
It weighs around 45 grams with the default watch strap. It has a vibrating motor, magnetometer, an ambient light sensor and an accelerometer. It has both Bluetooth 2.1 and 4.0. It has a waterproof rating of 5 atm, meaning it can be submerged 40 metres into the water.
Connecting the phone is really simple. You’ll have to go to the settings and connect in the available devices under Bluetooth where it is listed as Pebble Watch. The Pebble App is needed to use the watch.
There are three buttons on the right and one on the left. The ones on the right are up, select and down. The one on the left is to go back and also to turn the backlight on.
The first thing you notice about the watch is the thousands of the watch faces available for it. Customizing your watch has never been more fun. It comes with three default watch faces and you can install seven more. They are installed using the Pebble watch and once they are installed you can with between them on the watch easily. You can also play a few games like Chess, Tetris and Space Invaders. There is also a calculator you can use on the watch which you can install.
The real deal of the watch is receiving information. When someone calls you, the watch vibrates along with the caller information on the watch screen with options to accept and reject the call. Once accepted, you can see the number of minutes you have been on the call. But, there is just no way to talk on the watch since there is no speaker or microphone on it.
When you receive a notification, the watch vibrates once and displays the notification. You can dismiss it instantly or it disappears in a couple of minutes.
Coming to the third-party applications, there in not much on the App Store right now. But that is about to change with the kind of support the Pebble team provides for the developer community. Right now, you can use apps like RunKeeper on iOS.
It comes with an accelerometer which right now can be used to activate the backlight with a flick of your wrist.
You can also use the watch to control music on your phone. You can play/pause the music and also skip songs. You get to see the name of the song currently playing along with the artist. Also, this works with third-party applications like Spotify or Pandora.
You can also set multiple alarms which makes the watch vibrate on the set time.There is also a do not disturb mode which will the watch stop receiving any kind of notifications which is really useful during nights.
Coming to the battery, it is charged using a special magnetic charger which is similar to the MagSafe on Macs which is definitely good.
The battery life of the device is really solid. It lasts for four days with my usage. An average person should easily be able to get this for at least six days. Also, since it uses Bluetooth 4.0 for connectivity, there is no battery drain on the phone. Probably a max of 5% every day. For a device which is aiming to replace an everyday watch, the Battery is the biggest deal and it sure does a decent job.
The company recently announced Pebble OS 2.0 which opens up a lot of possibilities for the developers. With that, the watch has a potential to get a lot smarter. Also, they have teamed up with big names like Foursquare and Yelp.
The only disadvantage is that, like I mentioned earlier, there is just no way to interact with the notifications. You just receive them.
Overall, I am extremely impressed with the watch. If you are looking into wearable technology, this is something you should have. With Pebble OS 2.0 around, it opens up a lot of possibilities.
This is just the dawn of wearable technology. A lot more is yet to come and we are definitely excited. 2014 will be the year of wearable technology.
- Amazing Battery
- Easy to Use
- Bluetooth connection is unreliable
- Cheap Plastic
- Only receives information