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Pebble Watch

Pebble Watch (Photo credit: John Biehler)

Waaaaaay back in April of 2012 I posted about the Pebble E-Paper watch [see here] when it was still fundraising on Kickstarter. The Pebble Smart watch is still the top fundraiser on Kickstarter with over $10 million raised.

Because of its popularity, production of the watch was slowed and delivery delayed.   The massive demand dictated big changes in the production process.

Finally, this week – after a very long wait – I received my black Pebble e-paper watch.   The delay was partly due to the demand and partly to the U.S Postal service.

Pebble_Watch1I’ve had the watch for a couple of days and held off writing this post just so that I could put it through its paces a little.

What do I think?  Well – it works.   It does what it’s supposed to.  It does it rather well too.

The watch is a lot lighter than I thought it would be.   You hardly notice it on your wrist. It’s a little weird – compared to my old watch, a Dakota Torch. It really is a big difference.   I’d even say that the strap is probably the heaviest part of the watch. Incidentally, the watch uses a standard sized watch strap – you can change it if you wish. 

I’ve found the watches menu system to be rather intuitive – the menu is used to switch between watch faces and the different uploaded apps.   People I’ve handed the watch to have figured out how to navigate the menu right away.

The display is crisp and the back light (shake your wrist to activate) really does make a remarkable difference.
It’s basic, it’s black and white.
However, I have seen a little colorful blotching and some weirdness in the display.  Just once or twice.  Hard to explain, and it doesn’t happen often but there are times that the display just isn’t…. well… right.

Pebble_Watch2

(remember, I have really skinny wrists)

The plastic face cover hasn’t scratched yet – I’ve seen comments online from others who have noticed scratches on their watch already.   I’ve shown mine no special treatment and it is still good.

The Pebble charges via a USB charger – it’s special for the watch.  A really fun magnetic charger that snaps onto the side of the watch.  Apparently the Pebble people did this so that there were no gaping holes at the side of the watch to accommodate a charging port.
It worked.   I don’t know how many times I’ve snapped that thing on and off the watch and haven’t even had to charge it.
From what I’ve heard, the watch’s charge is good for about a week.

The whole idea behind the watch is that is can be customized via its bluetooth connection to your Smart Phone.
The iPhone app is currently rather basic.  There are 7 watch faces in the app for you to upload to your watch and choose from. My favorites are the “Fuzzy time” and the “Simplicity” faces.

My text alerts and caller IDs have shown on the watch without fail.   They’ve shown well too. They’re easily readable.   You can choose whether or not you want to accept a call right from the watch.
Hopefully in a future app update you’ll be able to customize your alerts a little. Right now it only seems that the phone’s native caller IDs and text messages are (officially) supported.  I have seen Kickstarter push notifications on my watch though.

There is a noticeable draw on the iPhone battery.   I’ve seen the battery life of my phone reduce considerably.  The watch is constantly connected via bluetooth to the phone.

Why did I back it and buy into it?  Well, I’ve had my Torch watch for quite a few years – a change was good.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I like the possibilities.   I like what it could do.
Why not have the weather on your watch?  How about the temperature through your Nest thermostat at home? Why not change your thermostat temperature from your watch?  Lock and unlock doors from your watch? See how far you’ve run?
There are so many possibilities and I can’t wait to see them. I’m excited about the extensibility.

 

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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