Pebble Smartwatch Review!

The Pebble smart-watch is probably one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of all time, raising more than $10 million from 85,000 backers. The company announced back in July that it had over 190,000 pre-orders on its website, meaning that more than 275,000 orders were placed since last April.

 

 

 

Pebble Smartwatch - Orange (Image Credit: SRADesigns)

Pebble Smartwatch – Orange (Image Credit: SRADesigns)

Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by Sebastian Abbruzzese from SRA Designs.

I backed the Orange Pebble smart watch on Kickstarter within a few days after seeing it on Kickstarter’s front page on May 2013 and it arrived round August 20th. For the last 3 months, I’ve used my Pebble frequently. I actually couldn’t take it off; literally I haven’t taken it off since the day I got it (true story) when showering and sleeping. The reason is because the watch comes in handy for me so much that I can’t take it off; also it’s one of the only alarms in the world, which I can hear.

Specs and Basic Features

The Pebble sells for $149.99 and features a 1.26-inch e-paper display. It’s not a touch device sadly; instead its controlled by four buttons, 1 on the left above the charging port and 3 on the right. The watch connects to your smart phone via Bluetooth. The Pebble is waterproof as I said I still have it on even when I shower and it’s rated 5 star at the moment, so you can use it while swimming, surfing or diving; though apparently it’s not suitable for diving.

The face is a e-paper display which means the device looks really strong in bright light, better than you would imagine (trust me) you can see the watch display in bright sunlight like it wasn’t light outside (if that makes sense). The Pebble display includes a backlight to view in the dark. The pebble watch has also a “accelerometer” inside which make the user use gestures to activate the backlight by flicking your wrist, pretty awesome feature if you ask me. The battery life for this watch is pretty great, on a full charge for myself and when used constantly (and getting over maybe let’s say 1000 whatsapp messages) the watch lasts for about seven to ten days.

Also the great thing about the watch is that you can remove the terrible rubbery band and replace with any 22mm watchband; I personally changed it with an Armani band. To use the watch, you need to download the Pebble app for iOS & Android, which is free on both platforms. For other platforms it is not yet supported but may do in the future, some developers have been trying to make the watch work for Blackberry 10 and windows phones.

Downloading new phone faces is easier than making toast, you simply go on your phone browser and go to http://www.mypebblefaces.com and from there you simply find one which you like and click download, the installer finds the pebble app on your device and instantly installs it onto your Pebble watch without you having to do it yourself, updates for the Pebble firmware are also available through the mobile app.

After connecting your watch with your device, the application walks you through the installations and functions of the watch.

The pebble works with:

  • Incoming caller ID (the persons who’s calling you there name/number will appear on the what display)
  • SMS/iMessage/Whatsapp
  • Email (IMAP or Gmail etc.)
  • Music Controls
  • Alarm

The music-control function is a useful feature, but I don’t personally use it much because I don’t use my phone to listen to music. But I’ve tried it out and it comes in handy when you’re on a bus or train and don’t want to bother to get your phone out to change the song you can simply change it from your wrist and the name of the song playing with be displayed.

The SMS/Whatsapp function is one of my favorite features. It’s one of the only features on the watch I use constantly every second. If I’m walking round, on a bus or anything else when I get a message I never need to get my phone out my pocket to see who it is. Only downside is that I cannot reply from the watch itself. However you can reply to messages using another application called Glance.

Pebble Smartwatch Orange (Image Credit: SRADesigns)

Pebble Smartwatch Orange (Image Credit: SRADesigns)

Additional third-party apps can be downloaded such as Glance. Glance is probably one of my favorite apps on the Pebble watch. The features it has are exactly what you need. For example; it shows you any missed calls, text messages or Whatsapp messages (this can be changed to the text application you use more often like ChatOn etc) and you have the function to be able to reply back to those messages with Preset messages which you create on the phone or have the ability to call that person back.

Pebble Smartwatch Orange (Image Credit: SRADesigns)

Pebble Smartwatch Orange (Image Credit: SRADesigns)

One of my favorite watch faces is called Futura Weather, a watch face that also shows the weather. It uses a free app called HttpPebble (available for both Android and iOS Devices), the watch face updates the weather condition and temperature every 15 to 30 minutes depending on the setting you put in the app on your phone device.

My Experience

Now for my experience using the Pebble, I have to say “Its bloody brilliant”. Notifications come through quickly without any delay and  I believe its even faster than receiving the messages on the pebble then the phone itself. One time I received a message on Whatsapp but my phone vibrated after the watch did. Anything that your phone is doing you will not miss it, unless the Pebble doesn’t alert you of course. The Bluetooth connection stays paired up to 30 feet but I found that it can you could go further away and my watch still got the notifications. It also works through walls believe it or not, I was in a meeting at work and I left my phone in the office next door and I still got messages alert on my watch and the wall is pretty thick. For my own experience it feels like second nature looking at my wrist then grabbing my phone from my pocket, every time I get a message or phone call I just quickly even instantly look at my watch to see who it is.

Pebble Smartwatch Orange showing incoming SMS (Image Credit: SRADesigns)

Pebble Smartwatch Orange showing incoming SMS (Image Credit: SRADesigns)

Finally my personally good and bad thoughts about the pebble smart watch

Good:

  • Works on Android & iOS Devices
  • Only £93
  • Frequent Updates on Pebble Device
  • Excellent Battery Life
  • Sexy Design

Bad:

  • App-Notifications kinda limited, only text messages and beta mode for Whatsapp messages
  • Not many great third-party apps which truly take advantage of the device

Round Up

So the bottom line is, if you want a device which tells you whos calling you or messages you without taking you phone out your pocket or want to control your music without even looking at your phone, I believe the pebble is a great deal for £93 and probably will be the cheapest smart watch on the market believe me.

Pebble Smartwatch Orange with Giorgio Armani watchband. (Image Credit: SRADesigns)

Pebble Smartwatch Orange with Giorgio Armani watchband. (Image Credit: SRADesigns)

Pebble Smartwatch Orange (Image Credit: SRADesigns)

Pebble Smartwatch Orange (Image Credit: SRADesigns)


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So what do you guys think of the Pebble Smartwatch? Let us know in the comment section below.

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I’m a 23 year old Maths Graduate, who has a great passion for technology and in my spare time I make videos on YouTube to show my passion. I'm also co-admin here at TeckComesFirst and I joined this site back in January 2012.
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  • Rbert Cper

    Very good review of the Pebble Smartwatch, I have to agree since I got one in July it has been one of my favourite tech purchases – very useful especially as I can now keep my iPhone permanently on silent without the worry of missing a call or message. The 2.0 SDK adds much improved functionality, so while agree it is limited at the moment 2.0 will be out of beta by the end of the year and already amazing watch apps like Pebble Cards set a new level of functionality where you can have a split screen with date and time at the top, and scroll through on the lower portion weather, stocks, rss feeds etc.

  • Kumaran Ganesh

    Great review guys! Was surprised to know WhatsApp could work with the watch!