For my Birthday back in October my wife got me the Pebble Smart Watch. Taking advantage of Pebble’s recent price drop ($150 to $100) and some best buy rewards zone gift cards; she got it for $80. I admit, I’ve been a little skeptical of the whole smart watch trend. While I wear a watch in everyday life, I didn’t think having notifications on my wrist was a big deal. I don’t mind taking my phone out of my pocket and checking it, since if I want to reply to something, I’d have to do that anyways. Plus do I really need yet another device I have to remember to charge? I already have a cell phone, laptop and two tablets (Ipad Mini, and Asus Vivotab) and I forget to charge the tablets all the time…
So why do I love my Pebble after two months of use?
Well as I mentioned before, I already was a watch guy. So checking my wrist for information was already natural to me. First thing I did with my Pebble was to find a Watch face that displayed some kind of weather information. Per suggestion of a waiter at a restaurant my wife and I were at right before we bought the Pebble, I downloaded the weather channel watch face. While it was okay, I didn’t like how the weather information was actually larger on the display then the time. So I began looking around, trying several watch faces, then I discovered probably the best watch face for a nerd like me. A LCARs (Star Trek Next Generation computer interface) Watch face that displays both time and temperature!!! This was awesome, and also matches the clock I still use today on my Best Buy Insignia info cast (a device still running the Chumby OS).
Next up was notifications. This was probably something I cared for the least at first. While the occasional text on my watch is neat, it’s really not something that I thought I needed. After about a month with the Pebble I rediscovered the vibrate setting, initially I thought this would be annoying, but it actually turns out to make life with the pebble even better. Here’s how it works for me:
1) I don’t always feel my phone vibrate in my pocket when it’s ringing, with the pebble vibrating on my wrist, I miss fewer calls.
2) I am now working a job where I have a lot of appointments to keep, with Pebble vibrating on calendar notifications; I am now seeing the reminders before the meetings.
Sure I still get notifications for texts and emails, and I will sometimes read them on the pebble, but it’s not something I really rely on, or need.
Probably the last feature of the Pebble I use daily is the ability to remotely control the music player on my IPhone. This is great for skipping tracks in the car, when I don’t want to reach for the dash controls or the iPhone itself.
A feature I’m not using daily of the Pebble is the Battery, with the e-ink display not draining the battery like an LCD, I easily get 4 to 5 days on a charge. This is very convenient as I don’t have to remember to charge it daily like the rest of my stuff.
So where could the Pebble improve?
I really wish it had a microphone in it. No I don’t want to do Dick Tracy style phone calls, but I’d like the ability to launch Siri and do voice commands or dictate something, much how the new Microsoft Band has Cortana integration in it.
I’d also love to see color e-ink implemented in the next version too.
The Pebble is now the most expensive watch I have ever owned; I always had relatively cheap (under $40) sports watches. But at less than $100 the Pebble is certainly worth the price. At $80 (Best Buy has had some holiday sales) to $100 the Pebble is a great deal, if you are someone who wears a watch already and wants to just take your watch to the next level. I don’t think I would have wanted one at $150. And I certainly don’t see the appeal of a smart watch at $250 or $350.