Pebble Smartwatch – update

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Marrakech - very sunny!
Marrakech – very sunny!

Back in January I ordered a Pebble Steel smart watch (or more accurately my wife did for my Birthday). It took a while to arrive, but when it did I loved it, the question is after 6 months do I still love it (and is there anything yet I would swap it for)?

Firstly as a wearable watch it has at least a 5 day battery life, and because it has a black and white screen it is very easy to see it bright sunlight (it also has a back light which can be switched on with a ‘flick of the wrist’). I can also change watch faces to suite my mood – it can be traditional or more ‘random’ – and can include weather information, my next appointment – almost anything!

A more 'trad' face - with weather
A more ‘trad’ face – with weather

I do find the ability to see who is calling me or who an email or text is from without having to pull out my iPhone incredibly useful. Yes, I still have to grab my phone to speak to a caller (although I can drop a call from the watch) and I can’t speak to people via the watch – but it allows me to screen calls. Emails and texts can be screened in a similar way. It is great if I am in a meeting, I can look briefly at my watch and see what has hit my phone without picking it up. Much less intrusive on the meeting and not as rude! Plus the look on people’s faces when they realise ‘the watch’ is showing emails or callers details is priceless!

When I am on site and have my hands full of a clipboard, tape measure and camera it fulfils a similar role, if I am in a large empty factory it is often a pain to have to put everything on the floor to get my phone out – when I may not actually need to!

Next bus near me...
Next bus near me…

And then there are the ‘apps’ that can be installed on the watch. The most used one I have is Smartwatch+, this can do a variety of things, but I use it to put my appointments on the watch, my task list, the weather and the stock market (specific share prices).

I also have an app called PebbGPS, it uses the iPhone to provide turn by turn directions to my wrist – surprisingly useful when walking across London or a similar sized city. It can also link to RunKeeper and provides times, distances etc to the watch.

Using UK Transport I can find out when the next bus or tube is due (it finds where you are and provides the closest stops). I also have been using a World Cup app that gave me up to the minute scores in the big games, and an App for the cricket (similar to the World Cup one). So the main points are…

The good things;

  • I can ‘screen’ emails, calls, texts when otherwise engaged
  • It is clear to see in the brightest sun
  • I can swap to different watch faces
  • Using apps it can provide various information without pulling out my iPhone
  • It’s waterproof – handy for an electrical item!
  • 5 day battery life
  • It can control my iPod music

The less good things;

  • B&W display (not actually a big issue)
  • It works best with iOS rather than Android (not a problem for me..)
  • not much else

In a nutshell I am still as taken with it as when I goy it, it is still a source of interest / amusement from colleagues and clients, but it does I think add something to my life. It will be interesting to see how Apples iWatch compares when it appears but at the moment I wouldn’t replace it with anything else….

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5 thoughts on “Pebble Smartwatch – update

    amitsbajaj said:
    July 14, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Great post here Simon – I’ve been really interested in the Pebble but because we’re apparently so close to the iWatch, I’m holding out to see what’s in store with that, though if History repeats itself, the first generation won’t be amazing and so I might just head out for a Pebble.

      Simon Dare responded:
      July 14, 2014 at 9:51 am

      I was in the same boat – but am glad I went for the Pebble as iWatch is still not here. Also if the rumours are anything to go by iWatch will be more health oriented which wouldn’t be my thing.

        amitsbajaj said:
        July 14, 2014 at 9:55 am

        That’s true and although health would be nice, I suspect it wouldn’t be a core feature of a product I’d want to get. My brother bought the pebble and I saw it on him last week including the incoming notifications and I have to say I was really impressed, so I just might have to go down this route!

    […] my Pebble Steel smart watch! It is now almost 12 months old and gives me all the  notifications from my iPhone really well. The software is constantly being […]

    Apple Watch – or not? | Simon Dare's Blog said:
    March 16, 2015 at 8:49 am

    […] I am obviously a definite candidate for the Apple Watch – but I have been using a Pebble Steel for the last 15 months and have grown used to its way of doing things and really rather like it. […]

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