Pebble Original Smartwatch Review


So this is what I decided, why this and not the others I had listed?  The iWatch is out of my price range, the Microsoft Band is more fitness only with a couple of features and the Pebble Time?

That was my choice and I really considered getting one but it was released in the US for $199 which works out around £125, yes we get screwed over here in the UK so I’d expect it to sit around £150 not the £179 it came out at!  The Pebble Time Steel will now doubt add another  £80 which starts to put it into iWatch price and in all fairness I’d rather have one of those!

This cost £99.95

Whats in the box?

  • Pebble watch
  • Charging cable
  • Quick start guide

First Impressions.
Its OK, the strap feels good and has a fair amount of adjustment but the main body feels a little cheap, but oddly the buttons feel solid.  The edges of the main body don’t feel finished and have a slight rough feel.  The screen looks clear and easy to read, in part to it being an e-ink screen.

Setup.

This actually worked out of the box which was a step further than the Steel, downloaded the iPhone App and followed the instructions, it creates 2 bluetooth connections, one running 2.1 and one running 4.0 (the latter being the Low Energy connection).  Within a few minutes I had it all setup and receiving notifications.  Then my geek side kicked in when I went searching for watchfaces and found Trekv3, which is of course a Star Trek LCARS based watch face (thats the Next Generation computer screen interface for those that don’t know).

To keep up with my need for data I installed the Misfit App which tracks steps, calories, distance, activity and sleep (although I just use it for steps/calories).  Now here is a little tip, the Misfit App seems to struggle to sync with the watch unless you launch (and keep running in the background) the actual Pebble iOS App, do this and its hassle free syncing.

Use.

So far so good, I’ve had it a week and on the first charge it was at 40% after 7 days (day time only use, backlight on ambient setting, watchface that updates once per minute, Misfit in the background), charging took a couple of hours via the magnetic USB cable and charge socket on the side.

The concept seems odd, notifications on your watch, but oddly it works well – I’m not checking my phone all the time which means the screen isn’t on as much which saves battery, more than is used by having the permanent BT connection.

I’ve also picked up a couple of calls that I may have missed as my phone was on silent, plus being able to read a text or email from the watch means I can ignore it rather than having to open it and see what its about (yes you can have the preview feature on messages and such like, but it looks messy).

Verdict.

I like it, nice piece of wearable tech that helps extend my phones battery life, saves me time, tracks how much I walk around and brings a small geeky smile when I look at the LCARS based watchface.

Maybe one day I’ll get an iWatch, but until then this is a good alternative without costing as much as the Apple offering.

Update – 10/08/2015.

I’m not happy, I managed to scratch the screen 😦  not sure how, but its deep – hasn’t stopped it from working, but I’d recommend looking for a screen protector!

Update – 22/10/2015.

The screen scratches far too easily for my liking, have picked up a few more (but not deep which is good), every few weeks I need to disable the bluetooth and reconnect as notifications just randomly stop, the battery life is solid for 5 days but occasionally needs a charge a day early, but the most annoying thing is the Misfit App – it had an update and it decided I was more active than I was, such a poor update and nothing done about it by Misfit.

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