Last christmas my employer gave each of us a smartwatch. At the time I was pretty happy getting one as I was thinking of giving it a try for some time. It was the Pebble. After using it for a couple of weeks I sold it as I was not happy with what it had to offer. Continue reading for more details. As I think I was not the only one in the company selling the watch after a while I still see quite a few colleagues wearing it daily. Some have by now probably replaced it with the Apple Watch.
The Pebble is different to other smart watches such as the Moto360 or the Apple Watch as its display is an e-ink display which is mostly used for ebook readers. This enables the pebble to last longer on one charge than every other smartwatch. Note please that there now is a new model of the Pebble out: The Pebble Time which offers a color display as well (using an LED backlit e-paper technology).
Setting it up
Setting it up was really easy as you just pair it with your phone via bluetooth, no strings/cables attached. Charging it is simply done with the included USB cable, unfortunately it’s not a standard USB-Micro-USB cable, and it was kind of short in my opinion, but I am sure one could have gotten a replacement cable. Installing new apps and watch faces on the pebble was done via an app from the phone which featured its own pebble “app store“. That was convenient to use, but I somehow could not find any apps I particularly liked.
For me the watch did not offer any great benefits over a regular watch. It did what I wanted it to do (tell me the time) but then suddenly the notifications started popping up. At first it was kind of fun to read messages on my wrist but after a while and some back-and-forth discussions that triggered my wrist to basically vibrate non-stop it was frustrating. Of course one could turn of the notifications one could think, but what would then be the benefit of a smartwatch? On the other side what was I able to do with the smartwatch without my phone connected to it. Not a lot it seems, which was another reason for me to ditch it.
The only use cases I could see the watch as a fit for me was an app that helped you count your and your opponents tennis score. That was kinda cool, but having a smartwatch just to keep track of tennis scores in a match? Downside of the app was you could not store/export the results to a web service or something similar.
In summary the benefits of having a smartwatch such as the pebble at least for me do not justify the price and wearing it all day. Currently there are more downsides than upsides in my opinion which is why I will not be going back to a smartwatch anytime soon.
What are your thoughts and experiences with/on smartwatches? Which one do you own? What do you like about it?