The Pebble. You’d think a watch with the Pebble’s tech specs and open forum/platform for developers would be a fantastic piece of technology. Unfortunately, I was not so amazed by the Pebble, one of the first smart-watch brands to become available to consumers. Tested with the white-banded Pebble paired to an IPhone 5; here are the good and bad attributes to the Pebble smart-watch:
- The Pebble was one of the most comfortable and lightweight watches I have ever worn. The standard silicone band, included in purchasing the Pebble, had a very comfortable feel to it. This watch was surprisingly light weight. Considering Apple’s first IPhone weighed 4.8 ounces, the first Pebble had a surprising weight of 1.34 ounces. (Information obtained from Apple.com and GetPebble.com)
- Solid battery life. Most electronics used throughout the day need to be charged every night to be used the next day, the Pebble lasted for 4-6 days (depending on use). Additionally, the Bluetooth connection did not drain the IPhone battery as predicted.
- The function of displaying notifications on the user’s wrist was the best part of the Pebble. Texts, Emails, Facebook, Twitter, and Phone Call notifications greatly aided the user. The function of these notifications offered the greatest attribute to the Pebble, but only acted as notifications.
- The pebble received, but rarely sent information. Being able to view texts and other worded notifications on the wrist was great, but the Pebble failed to offer a method of response. The only information sending application to the Pebble’s initially installed software was the music controller (which was pretty damn cool).
- Four (mushy) Buttons and general appearance. Contrary to other reviews, the Pebble was not an attractive watch. While some individuals indicated interest in the technological aspects of the Pebble, the majority of others indicated the watches poor visual appearance. Additionally, the four buttons had a mushy feel and should be replaced by functions of the 3D Accelerometer.
- The $150 watch didn’t work when I opened it. There are only a few things as satisfying as taking the shrink-wrap off a new toy. Similarly, there are only a few things as annoying as opening that toy and finding it doesn’t work. Upon opening the Pebble from the shipping container (purchased online), I found myself stuck in a constant loop of charging the watch, updating the watch to the most recent software, and finding the watch crash back to recovery mode (requiring the Pebble to be updated). After spending an hour or so searching through the public forum page, I found the current fix of this bug (which MANY other people had) was to downgrade the software to the previous version. It has been 20 days now, problem hasn’t changed…
In the end, I would not suggest spending $150 on the Pebble price tag. The juvenile nature of the watch and the technology behind it indicate more time and effort is needed for the Pebble to be a good consumer electronic. That being said, I would conclude that the Pebble is a fun watch for developers to begin playing with in order to generate future ideas and functions for the upcoming decade of wearable technology.
Independent Information Technology Contractor