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Pebble Smart Watch Review

Posted: , by Brian K.

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Pebble ships with a USB charging cable and the watch, nothing else. The watch receives all updates via the Bluetooth connection with your smartphone running either Android 2.3.3 or iOS 5 and newer and the Pebble app. Initial pairing is done from your phone’s Bluetooth menu, as you would with any other Bluetooth device.

The watch interface is simple: the left button brings up the menu, and you use the right buttons to scroll up and down, with the middle button selecting your item. Here you can choose from installed watch faces, switch to music control, set an alarm or change some basic settings like font size or backlight. Notifications come through in basic text, with a slight vibration to notify you. The vibrating notification is a bit jarring at first, but you quickly get used to it. For now the communication for notifications is strictly one way from the phone to the watch - there is no way to take an action on alerts, such as sending a quick reply or marking an email as read.

The watch interface is simple - Pebble Smart Watch Review
The watch interface is simple - Pebble Smart Watch Review
The watch interface is simple - Pebble Smart Watch Review
The watch interface is simple - Pebble Smart Watch Review

The watch interface is simple


Pebble connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and on iOS it is recognized as an audio device. Even though it doesn’t seem to cause issues with car stereos, headsets or Bluetooth speakers, Siri sometimes attempts to send sound through the Pebble instead of over the phone speakers. A simple fix is to tell Siri to use the phone speakers, but Pebble has acknowledged the problem and is working on a fix. Another iOS issues is that if you lose the connection between the phone and Pebble notification preferences are reset, meaning you have to tell the Pebble app you want alerts you want all over. Again, a nuisance that Pebble has acknowledged and is working on.

On the Android side Pebble works via Android’s accessibility software, which means that you must give Pebble permission to collect most of your typed data, although passwords are safe. If you’re wearing a tin-foil hat this is enough to scare you off, but what it ultimately means is that the notification platform is much more robust on Android, at least until some changes are made to iOS that will give Pebble access to Notification Center.

Pebble Smart Watch Review
Pebble Smart Watch Review
Pebble Smart Watch Review
Pebble Smart Watch Review

One of the big promises of Pebble was the cool things you could do with it; things like using it as a bike computer or a golf range finder. Unfortunately right now Pebble simply acts to push messages to your wrist, or to control your music. As it stands, officially you can get notifications for incoming calls, SMS (but not MMS), calendar reminders, email, Gmail, Google Talk and Voice, Facebook and WhatsApp. Notifications are nice and fundamental to what Pebble is, but we’d also like to see some apps that go beyond just pushing notifications.

The future looks bright though, as Pebble is working with Runkeeper and Freecaddie to bring running and golf apps to the market, and developers are already stepping up to fill the void. On the Android front you have apps like Pebble Notifier, Light Flow and Augmented Smartwatch Pro and on iOS you can use BTNotificationEnabler, though you must be jailbroken. With over 85,000 watches and an SDK about to be in the marketplace we’d expect developer support to continue growing.

23 Comments
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posted on 05 Mar 2013, 08:48 1

1. jade272727 (Posts: 62; Member since: 10 Dec 2011)


No comment.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 10:08 9

10. troutsy (Posts: 246; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)


Thanks for not commenting...

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 08:59 2

2. rgxVOiD (Posts: 432; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


I'd rather get Sony's SmartWatch

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 10:23 1

12. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


I've had both and it really comes down to comfort and preference.
Personally, the Pebble fits my wrist better and is just easier to live with day to day. Sony's software is clinky by comparison too... the Pebble might be simpler, but utilitarian isn't always a bad thing.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:03 5

3. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1135; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


This needs to have a built in speaker and mic so that I can answer a call while having sex. I don't want to hunt for my Note 2 during action time.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:54 3

9. rusticguy (Posts: 2826; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


So while you are on bed does it run in Stop watch mode :D :D

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 18:41 1

18. GoBears (Posts: 335; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


Why? You should still have a hand free...lol JK!

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 18:08 1

24. Jack58221 (Posts: 121; Member since: 23 Feb 2013)


accelerometer and stopwatch will let you know that you were physically active for 18 seconds today and burned x number of calories.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 07:54

27. TeritorialDemon (Posts: 16; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


LMAO!!

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:09

4. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2997; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Benchmark scores please :D
But will you look at the cons?
Connectivity issues at times
Siri compatibility problems
Probably too large for smaller wrists
Promised functionality isn’t available
yet.
All the basic things this smartwatch is supposed to do is null...and it still gets an 8???

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:35 5

6. Captain_Doug (Posts: 748; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


It does do the basics. Too large is relative. Siri Compatibility, who uses Siri? Connectivity issues, probably not common, might be though. Promised functionality not being available is a bummer but when you look at the other semi-cons, 8 make sense.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:18

5. BattleBrat (Posts: 1048; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


I got one through kickstarter, sold it on eBay for $300 (I needed money for my Surface Pro's Warranty)

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:46

7. buccob (Posts: 1335; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


This needs to be solar and kinetic powered... the proprietary connection is a big CON.

And as other said. A mic, and tiny speaker would be great.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 10:08

11. McLTE (Posts: 639; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Tiny speakers would NOT be great. I don't want to be around a bunch of Pebble users who are all on "speaker" trying to use their devices.

A mic could be helpful however and a good way to use hands free typing when responding to texts.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 11:03

13. buccob (Posts: 1335; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Correct... I agree.... but given that choice is always better than imposition... a speaker of some kind, even if its just for a sound notification would be nice.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 13:31

14. McLTE (Posts: 639; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


True, though I'd rather have a waterproof watch than add the speakers and mic and lose that.

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 18:12

25. Jack58221 (Posts: 121; Member since: 23 Feb 2013)


no Mic, no speakers. go water tight with Bluetooth.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:47

8. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5555; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


i had already planned on getting one of these.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 13:34

15. N-fanboy (Posts: 536; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)


Very sexy, but haven't bought a watch since i was...12, thats when i got my Nokia 6300

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 14:43

16. JunitoNH (Posts: 862; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


I'll wait for the second or third iteration. Not feeling the design, in addition I have seen it on a person wrist. Is difinitely not, visually, aesthetically pleasing, and for $150 should meet all the aforementioned.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 17:17

17. khairy-j (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Hi pa how abt u review this watch imsmart.com
Then any advise if i want to find gps tracker for kids 3 yrs n above

posted on 07 May 2013, 10:37

28. TinCity (Posts: 5; Member since: 07 May 2013)


Just picked up this watch at Amazon and got a great deal on a used one. I'm so excited that I would like to share the discount that I received with anyone who is looking to get this awesome smart watch: topdiscountfinder.com/?s=Pebble+E-Paper+Watch - Wow, they don't have many left.

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 10:02

29. thesavings (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Oct 2013)


Just picked up with discount, very cheap at hotdiscountfinder.com/?s=Pebble+Smart+Watch

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