Pebble Smart Watch
As a fan of the watch, something that seems to be in less and less use these days with people using smart phones to check the time, the idea of one that links to a phone, can change watch faces, control music playback, and last longer than a day was very existing.
Much has been written about the origin of the Pebble, so I’ll skip past how it was developed and report back on my experience as a user, from ordering to the first days use.
Being hotly anticipated I wasn’t able to order this until several months after it had launched. I registered my interest on the Pebble website (www.getpebble.com) and patiently waited.
28th August 2013 – Received the email I’d been waiting for, I could finally order and pay for my new Pebble watch!
26th Autgust 2013 – Confirmation the Pebble watch had been shipped, along with tracking information.
29th August 2013 – Tracking information informs me my Pebble Watch is on the way to the UK.
6th September 2013 – Pebble Watch arrives in UK.
9th September 2013 – Pebble arrives!
Delivery is signed for, being out at work meant I had to pick up the package from the post office, but there were no additional import charges.
The Pebble Watch arrives in a simple, but effective, cardboard box. Opening it you find your watch and the charge cable, which has a standard USB plug on one end and a magnetic set of contact points at the other end. There are no packaged instructions, you need to download the Pebble App to get started.
It looks very cool. The packaging is simple, when you open it the watch is the first thing you see (makes a nice change from manuals and plastic bags!). The only thing I couldn’t see was how to turn the watch on. There are 4 buttons on the watch, on on the left hand side and 3 on the right. The middle right button (select) also doubles as the power button.
Once turned on the setup process was very easy, just fire up the app, discover the Pebble and pair them. Within minutes I was up and running, testing out the notification features and learning how to change the watch faces.
Putting on the Pebble I was immediately struck by how light it is, although this will mostly be due to my regular watch being a nice heavy Citizen watch.
Although light the watch itself is large, so large it’s a little awkward to wear with a shirt. This made it fairly noticeable, gaining me many positive comments around the office. This is a cool watch, and the watch face looks so different to anything else people can’t help but want to know more.
It takes a little getting use to the vibration notification, but after it’s happened a few times you realise just how brilliant it is, it’s far more effective than having the phone vibrating in your pocket/bag.
Notifications were a little hit and miss (Facebook was fine, Go SMS Pro didn’t seem to work), but a quick check on the website and a download of Pebble Notifier, soon sorted this out.
Music controls work well, if using tracks on your handset then the track information will be displayed on your Pebble, and you can use it to skip forward or back a track. The Pebble doesn’t current display track information when using Deezer, but did allow me to skip tracks, very handy when out and about.
I was called a couple of times and it was very handy to see who was calling without taking the phone out of my pocket, helped me quickly and easily dodge a couple of sales calls.
So far so good! Changing the watch face is really easy, and there are loads available for free. I really like the standard Pebble watch face, it’s crisp, clean and simple.
Battery life has been excellent so far, I’ve avoided watch faces with loads of animations to conserve power. I’ve also found my phone battery lasting longer. Why? Because I’m not activating the screen all the time to check for notifications.
There are loads of smart watches coming out, Sony have been doing them for years, but there is something brilliant and special about the Pebble. It doesn’t try to be a phone on your arm, it is a brilliantly design extension to your phone. It gives you the notifications you need without a battery draining touch screen. It can be easily customised and is fantastic value for money given the features.
Makes for a brilliant present, if not for someone you know then for yourself! ;-D
Noticed today the Pebble music control system appears to have been updated to show information from Deezer!