My Take on the New Pebble Smart Watch

May 12, 2015 apple, home automation, pebble, 0 Comments
New-Pebble-Watch


There is a new Pebble smart watch on the market and it’s one of the best available. The hype surrounding the Apple Watch has been tremendous while the release of the new Pebble Time has made relatively few ripples in the tech press. This is even true in the mobile tech press, you have to look either for publications that don’t talk about Apple products at all or dig for stories about it. This is mostly because Apple’s press machine is huge and Pebble’s isn’t. It’s definitely not because the Pebble Time doesn’t have anything to crow about. The Pebble Time is a better device in my opinion.

The New Pebble Smart Watch Comes in Two Basic Styles

The new Pebble watch comes in two flavors. The first is the basic Pebble Time with a plastic body in three colors, black, silver, and red. The approximate price for this model is set to be around $200. The Pebble Time Steel comes with a metal body and three color, gunmetal black, and gold anodized with red highlights. The Time Steel also comes with both a metal and a leather band, both of which match the color of the watch bezel. The Time Steel has a suggested price of about $300.

The New Pebble Smart Watch Does Everything You’d Expect

The original Pebble watch is an excellent smartwatch. I thought it was better than the other watches that were available at the time. Even though it’s more than a year old now, it’s still a better piece of wearable technology than many of the current offerings on the market. Their new product, the Pebble Time, is even better.

The Pebble Time has a microphone in the bezel. This allows users to make small voice memos and respond to notifications. Bluetooth 4.0 lets the watch communicate with the phone. There are currently more than 6,500 apps ready for the Pebble Time, including ESPN, CNN, and others. There’s also a calendaring function that counts down the time to configured events. Oh, yeah, it also does a great job of telling you the time.

The Pebble Time Watches Work with More Phones

Every time I look at a tech product that works with Apple, it seems that I have to tell you that it only works with Apple products. That’s one of the main reasons I like Pebble products — I can use it with pretty much any Android device, as well as Apple devices. I just don’t like the idea of having to buy a new watch if somebody besides Apple comes out with the next phone I just can’t live without. If you’re looking at an Apple Watch, you’re going to need an iPhone 5 or newer. There are third party apps available that even let the Pebble work with BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices. Apple pretty much prohibits developers from doing that.

The New Pebble Smart Watch Battery Outlasts the Apple Watch

In the mobile device game, an inferior battery life can kill an otherwise extremely superior product. The Pebble Time watches don’t have to worry about that, however. Although they have a color e-paper display, Pebble says the batteries will last for seven days (ten days for the Pebble Time Steel). Apple says the batteries in the Apple Watch line will only last for 18 hours. Some of us have problems enough remembering to charge our phones every day, how are we going to remember to charge our watches every day?

Pebble Lets You Create Custom Straps to Expand the Watch’s Capabilities

If you buy an Apple Watch, you’re stuck with the sensors and battery the watch is built with. Admittedly, these are superior to what the Pebble Watch has. However, Pebble has given owners the ability to create custom straps that plug into the charging port to expand the capabilities of the watch. You can make a strap to add a GPS tracker to the watch, or add an extra battery, or a heart rate monitor.

Pebble’s Interface Has Less Learning Curve

The Apple Watch has a neat looking and futuristic display/interface. However, it’s confusing and not very easy to use right out of the box. Pebble, on the other hand, has an interface that looks nice and is intuitive, making it a snap to learn and use right out of the box.

Broke the Band on Your Smart Watch?

That’s too bad. If you’ve got the Apple Watch, get ready to buy a new band from Apple, and……Apple and pay at least 50 bucks for it. Pebble watches are designed with standard 22 mm band mounting flanges. This means you can go anywhere and buy pretty much any watchband that strikes your fancy, and spend as little as five bucks for it.

What do you think: Apple Watch or Pebble Time? The Apple watch does have a little more functionality straight out of the box, but it also has a higher price and more limitations. My money is going towards the Pebble Time Steel. Yours?


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Mike is a certified low voltage installer with over 10 years of professional experience in the field, much of it working for Cable TV companies. He also has over a decade of experience in the computer field as a network engineer and support specialist. Mike's hobbies include installing high-end audio and video systems.

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