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# 181203 6-Oct-2015 12:49
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I have had a Pebble Time smart watch for a week. 

This has replaced my "vaguely smart" Fitbit Surge. 

What I was most looking forward to with this watch was the ability to receive email notifications to my wrist for work. I already had txt and call notifications, so the addition of email was always going to be a bonus. 


My first impressions are thus: 

Battery Life: 
Day one, I got around 24hrs of battery...mainly due to the fact that I didn't leave the watch alone for more than a few seconds at a time. This included changing watch faces every few minutes, loading and removing apps at random and setting the backlight to come on at it's brightest setting for the longest duration as often as possible (don't ask). 

Days two to seven...it's only been charged again once since the first day...5 days' battery life seems accurate - even with around 150 notifications a day. 

Screen: 
It's no Amoled beauty, but I find that the screen works well for all that I require of it. 
Yes - it's low-res, washed-out when backlit and a bit small, but it's a smart watch...not a small iPhone/Galaxy on my wrist
In bright sunlight or under bright lighting, it's fantastic - so easy to read and sharp as a tack. 
Under the backlight, it is washed out and insipid, but still easy to read and does its job well. 

Watch Faces/Apps: 
When they say there are over 8000 apps for the Pebble, they are not kidding. 
Many of them are just awful - home-brewed for specific purposes or just for fun, probably by 8 year-olds. 
Some of them are just brilliant. Two in particular stand out. Headlines (allows the reading of BBC headlines on the wrist) and Pandora (which allows you to control Pandora on your phone from your wrist). 
Watch faces are plentiful. I've loaded around 70 into the app and of those, I have 50 on my watch, ready to use within seconds. 
Current favourites are: TimeStyle, YWeather, Analog (looks a lot like the analogue Apple Watch face), DIN Time and Real Weather. 
Most of these have the time, date, day, current weather, temp and battery life left on them. Some show a graphic of the current weather conditions (which can also be seen by looking at the sky) and others show a forecast in addition to the current conditions/temp (see DIN Time). 
The vast majority are very customisable, regards colours, info etc as well. 

DIN Time for Pebble
DIN Time (above)

Real Weather for Pebble Time
Real Weather (above)

Analog for Pebble Time
Analog for Pebble Time (above)

Headlines
Headlines for Pebble Time (above)

Software/UI: 
The Pebble Time uses a UI called Timeline. 
This allows for a quick glance from your current watch face into the future or the past (from sunrise to sunset, including all of your appointments and anything else you choose to have added to your timeline)
I find this to be an efficient and easy to understand use of the watch's smarts. 
The various reviews I read are actually really accurate and do the Timeline UI justice. 
I find it great. 

The one thing I did find it hard to get used to was the sheer frequency of alerts...basically anything that I have going to the Notifications list on my iPhone sent me an alert to my watch. This I adjusted in the settings of my iPhone and I managed to reduce the number of alerts I was getting...but I am still getting around 150-200 a day including work email, texts and calls, along with calendar alerts. 
Using buttons instead of a touch screen was a bit odd to start with, but after the first epic day of usage, I was used to it and haven't really looked back since...in fact I see it as an advantage - no accidental taps/swipes to contend with. 

Comfort/Style:
The Pebble Time is surprisingly light and comfortable on the wrist. 
It's standard silicone/polymer strap is comfortable and flexible, but I did =swap it our for a nice leather one I had at home (straps are swappable for any 22MM watch strap that you have or can buy). 
I've since gone back to the standard strap - it's comfortable and durable. 
The Bezel is polarising - some people hate it with a passion. Personally, I like it - the metal looks good and it adds a sense of solidity to the otherwise plastic watch. 
The border around the actual screen (as seen in the pictures above) is a bit off-putting, but if you use a watch face that has a black border/background, you don't even see it...so it's a moot point for me. 

Conclusion/Overall Impressions: 
Overall, I am very impressed with my Pebble Time. 
It does what I want it to do and it does it well. 
The screen could be larger and brighter and touchier...but then I'd lose the reason for having this particular device...the battery life. 
Nearly a week of battery life, with a fair amount of use and notification action, is pretty spectacular. 
If I was on holiday and simply had calls/txts going to the watch, I would think I'd get at least 7 days out of it. 

Would I recommend one? 
Yes...but you have to realise this is NOT an Apple Watch or an Android Wear LG Urbane...

Has it made me pine for more? Yes. I'd love an Apple Watch that has a week-long battery and always-on watch face. But that doesn't exist...whereas the Pebble Time does. 

This will be my go-to watch for quite some time (forgive the pun) to come. 











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  # 1401100 6-Oct-2015 16:04
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Than you for posting this well worded review. If I didn't already have a very capable smartwatch on my wrist I'd be looking closely at the pebble time steel. An always-on daylight-readable screen is a must in my role, I need to be able to discreetly check the time. And often where I am it's inappropriate to pull out a phone, so I need discreet notifications/ability to reject calls etc. My current watch (Sony smartwatch 2) lights up it's screen which is occasionally embarrassing, in that it brings unnecessary attention by others to my watch. Does the pebble notify with vibrate only without the back light coming on?



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  # 1401157 6-Oct-2015 17:37
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1eStar: Than you for posting this well worded review. If I didn't already have a very capable smartwatch on my wrist I'd be looking closely at the pebble time steel. An always-on daylight-readable screen is a must in my role, I need to be able to discreetly check the time. And often where I am it's inappropriate to pull out a phone, so I need discreet notifications/ability to reject calls etc. My current watch (Sony smartwatch 2) lights up it's screen which is occasionally embarrassing, in that it brings unnecessary attention by others to my watch. Does the pebble notify with vibrate only without the back light coming on?
Yes - it's vibrate only - unless I get a call. 
Quite discreet, by comparison to other smart watches. 




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mdf

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  # 1401353 6-Oct-2015 21:41
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Cool review.

I've got the Pebble Steel (old, pre-colour version) and love it. Looks like a watch, acts like a watch, but has some cool smarts.

The main killer app for me is the notifications - discreet wrist buzzing for emails, calls, texts etc. I use mine with android, and from what I gather Pebble is able to tie into the Android Wear ecosystem and so you can do a bit more from the watch than an iPhone, including a range of pre-set responses to texts and emails. It also provides really granular control of which apps can send a notification to the watch.

Other apps I find really cool are:

- Music Boss - I listen to various podcasts, audio books and music, all from different apps - Music Boss controls them all
- Unified Remote - so geeky pausing Netflix from my wrist
- Toggles - going in to a meeting and want to turn your phone to silent? Don't pull it out of your pocket like some savage, fiddle with your wrist for a few seconds.
- Skunk - QR code generator/locker - holds my subcard and coffee cards, so I can just swipe my watch (though admittedly it does work much better with some scanners than others)
- Live Cricket (awesome during the world cup)
- Eurofootball




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  # 1401594 7-Oct-2015 10:46
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freitasm: Cool review!

Thanks! 

Wanted to give a non-techie, real-world view of what it's like to own one.






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  # 1401601 7-Oct-2015 10:51
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mdf: Cool review.

I've got the Pebble Steel (old, pre-colour version) and love it. Looks like a watch, acts like a watch, but has some cool smarts.

The main killer app for me is the notifications - discreet wrist buzzing for emails, calls, texts etc. I use mine with android, and from what I gather Pebble is able to tie into the Android Wear ecosystem and so you can do a bit more from the watch than an iPhone, including a range of pre-set responses to texts and emails. It also provides really granular control of which apps can send a notification to the watch.

Other apps I find really cool are:

- Music Boss - I listen to various podcasts, audio books and music, all from different apps - Music Boss controls them all
- Unified Remote - so geeky pausing Netflix from my wrist
- Toggles - going in to a meeting and want to turn your phone to silent? Don't pull it out of your pocket like some savage, fiddle with your wrist for a few seconds.
- Skunk - QR code generator/locker - holds my subcard and coffee cards, so I can just swipe my watch (though admittedly it does work much better with some scanners than others)
- Live Cricket (awesome during the world cup)
- Eurofootball



Music Boss...will have to look into that.
Skunk also sounds ideal for my subcard etc

I use Eurofootball and actually forgotten about it for the review...doh!


You raise a good point about iOS vs Android support - the Time also has a mic on it so you can integrate with Google Voice to make it m ore useful for dictation and as an addition to the canned responses for txts that it has (which are still not available for iOS, thanks to Apple not wanting anything to compete with its whatch sales)




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  # 1401617 7-Oct-2015 11:09
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I've got a Pebble Steel. Which I use with my N9. I find it really good.

I originally bought it as a "look see" to have a play with though it's ended up as the watch I wear the most.  It really useful in meetings, I can set the phone to silent, the watch buzzes discretely for texts emails and calls. 

Unfortunately the N9 is not an officially supported phone, the Rockwatch app is a third party so some apps like YWeather don't work. One thing about the Pebble is it is device agnostic.

There is one cool app, Sleeper, which will monitor and record your sleep patterns and wake you at the optimum part of a sleep cycle prior to your alarm time




Sony Xperia X running Sailfish OS. https://sailfishos.org The true independent open source mobile OS 
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  # 1417705 31-Oct-2015 14:32
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Thanks for taking the time to post the review. I've recently purchased some gadgets which I must get around to reviewing for others too!

 

I'm kinda in the same camp, where I'd possibly but an Apple Watch it had decent battery life. Few questions if you don't mind answering about the UX:
- I read on some reviews that at launch it wasn't possible to reply to text messages from the watch. Still the case?
- How reliable is the bluetooth reconnection when watch and phone have been out of range of each other? Or even in general. ie. Does the connection ever drop?
- Any inconsistencies with notifications? ie. They don't work all the time?
- Any need to contact customer support and how was it? 

Cheers!

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  # 1417711 31-Oct-2015 14:55
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gb5757870: Thanks for taking the time to post the review. I've recently purchased some gadgets which I must get around to reviewing for others too! I'm kinda in the same camp, where I'd possibly but an Apple Watch it had decent battery life. Few questions if you don't mind answering about the UX:
- I read on some reviews that at launch it wasn't possible to reply to text messages from the watch. Still the case?
- How reliable is the bluetooth reconnection when watch and phone have been out of range of each other? Or even in general. ie. Does the connection ever drop?
- Any inconsistencies with notifications? ie. They don't work all the time?
- Any need to contact customer support and how was it? 

Cheers!


You can reply to texts on Android but not (so far as I know) iOS.

Bluetooth connection is pretty good when the phone and watch stays in range. I maybe lose connection once a week, typically when the phone battery is low. If you wander out of range and need to reconnect it's usually pretty good, but it does occasionally struggle. I find the quickest way to restore is to go into the phone Pebble app and toggle the connection. It always reconnects then - only takes a couple of second.

I haven't had any issues about notifications (other than when I've installed a new app or changed something and forgotten to update them) and haven't contacted customer service. Biggest issue I had was fitting the steel strap to my wrist - I could see how (I thought) it worked, but was applying a lot of force and nothing happened. I chickened out and took it to a watch store - they did it in all of 2 minutes.

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  # 1417743 31-Oct-2015 16:10
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Thanks. Any other observations/criticism/praising you able to make since your last review. For instance, do you think it is/was value for money now that you're used to it?

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  # 1431425 19-Nov-2015 22:09
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Just a follow up to this post to say that ended up getting a Pebble Time and mighty happy with it! The Pebble app on iOS is incredibly flaky but the watch itself is really good.

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