Pebble Time is a recent addition to smart watches from Pebble. It has been in the news prior to its release, all thanks to its record-breaking crowd source funding campaign. With its cross-platform functionality, low price and media hype, does it stand a chance against competitors such as Apple, Google and Sony’s smart watches? Let’s find out.
This seems to be a second consecutive success story for Pebble. Pebble broke the Kickstarter record in 2012. The hype re-fueled the smartwatch competition. With over 1 million sold watches and two successful versions, Time focuses on few features and does it persistently. It doesn’t miss its mark in a maze of features.
Pebble Time is compatible with both iPhone and Android. It will be shipped to the Kickstarter Supporters. In the market, it is available at $199. More refined Pebble steel will be introduced later this year that will cost additional $100.
In comparison to other smartwatches including its cousins Pebble and Pebble Steel, Pebble Time is a bit small. It offers standard strap with 22mm width. It curves to the wrist and has a thickness of 9.5mm. By default, Time comes with a rubber strap made with silicon. The rubber strap makes it a very comfortable wear. Including the lugs, the dimension of the case becomes 47mm x 37.5mm.
You can swim with Time. It is waterproof. It can remain functional even with a depth of 50m though the microphone can survive to 30m. The watch sports 1.2-inch screen with its particular always-on display. It has e-paper display similar to eBook readers. You can read the text in direct sunlight.
In the dark surroundings and night, you can use the backlight. The screen remains on without consuming much from the battery. Pebble Time’s screen can now show small animations, unlike its previous version. The quality is not comparable to LED displays in other watches as it supports color e-paper display. This will remind you of 90’s video games. The new color e-paper display is a big leap by Time, as compared to Pebble black and white screen.
To pair Time with iPhone, you need a Pebble iOS app. Install the app and turn on Bluetooth on iPhone. Find Pebble through the Pebble iOS app. This app controls the pairing process. It will ask you to allow location access, notifications and calendar info. Just accept the pairing request and the rest is as easy as pie.
Time’s screen is not a touchscreen as in other smartwatches. However, if provides buttons for navigation. It has four buttons; one on the left side and three on the right side. The left button works as a back button. One button on the right works as an action button while the two other buttons help in scrolling up and down. When you scroll up, the watch face takes you to the calendar entries of the last day.
Going down the menu, will get you to the calendar entries of two coming days. These two buttons can also open the app on the screen when you press them for a second. The watch is without keypad. However, you can dictate voice messages into the microphone. This feature doesn’t work on iPhone. It supports voice responses on Android, although there is a possibility that this feature might be available in future.
Notifications & Alerts
Warning alerts make watches, smartwatches. The Time has a very active policy; any information that is shown on the iPhone can be seen on the watch. When information comes, it vibrates. It shows a small snippet of text, emails, tweets, etc. The fragment remains on the screen. To dismiss it, press the primary button twice. The rejected message remains on the iPhone. Pending notifications appear in the notification menu option. These can be turned down in one go.
The premium feature of the Time is Music Control. The Time’s universal music remote shows the info of the song played. You can change it to play, pause, select and skip songs. It is very impressive and fast. It is compatible with iOS Music app, Google Play Music and Spotify among others.
Pebble Apps Repository
In its app reservoir, Time has more than sixty-five hundred apps. It lets you keep track of running (Runkeeper), keep you informed about train timing and transport (Evernote), etc. The list of useful apps is quite long. Some of the apps come with companion apps for iPhone.
The fan of Pebbles and others have developed these apps. The apps have clean and design. These free apps are available through Pebble app on iOS. Similarly, there are lots of watch faces available. Some add value by including features such as weather tracking and fitness alerts. You will find watch faces, according to your needs in the repository. With the color e-paper display, a lot of apps work incredibly well as compared to previous Pebble smartwatch that had a B/W display.
Another feather in its cap is long battery life. Other smartwatches last for a day or two. Sony watch offers some durability, but it cannot defeat Time in battery life. The average battery time for pebble is three days; that is after continuous use. With moderate use, the battery can last for even five days on one charge.
When the battery charge is about to finish (5%), it resorts to the time-only mode and can survive in this state for a day. The smart watch can be charged with a USB cable. It takes two hours to charge the watch completely. It is also very light when used with iPhone and uses very little charge of the smartphone.
Pebble Time is available in black, white and red. It costs $199. The Steel version that will be released later will cost $299. Apple’s smartwatch is at $300, whereas other Android watches are above $100.
Pros and Cons’ summary
It has extra long time battery. You can read the text in sunlight and with the same ease in darkness. It is light in weight. It can survive water depth up to 30m. It offers a clean interface with impressive music control. On the flip side, you can’t voice message with iPhone. It has a small screen and provides less attractive e-paper display that seems a bit toyish. Some features don’t work with iPhone.