Pebble had a jump on the game a few years ago when they raised over 10 million dollars in a Kickstarter campaign—had being the operative word here. Pretty much all premium smartphone makers and some high end watch makers are staking their claim in the smartwatch industry. Pebble might not be one of the premier options for high tech wearables anymore, but they do still make great smartwatches at an affordable price. Thanks to their most recent Kickstarter effort, they managed to raise 20 million. My intuition tells me that next time they’ll go for 30. Over 78,400 pledged through Kickstarter for the Pebble Time. Pebble must have been doing something right to attract that kind of support kind of support.
The Pebble Time and Pebble Time Round are Pebble’s newest and best yet. The Time Round is quite similar to the Time, but in a thinner, more sleek body—and of course, it’s round. The Pebble Time has one big advantage over the Time Round though, its impressively long-lasting battery. The Time can last for up to a week on a single 4-hour charge. That’s a huge improvement over, say, the Apple Watch Sport, which needs to be charged at the end of each day.
The Time has four buttons, two for scrolling up and down, one for selecting and one home button. It’s water resistant to a depth of 30 meters, so it can be worn while swimming. That means you could be receiving text and notifications while you’re swimming laps and you’d be able to read them. The Time might not be the most handsome timepiece out there, but its face is interchangeable. You can choose from a wide variety of faces that are fun to change out.
The Pebble Time’s biggest drawback is that it has virtually no internal storage space. It’s only compatible with AT&T iPhones. Otherwise, Apple users won’t be able to respond to text using their Pebble Time. The Time doesn’t offer much in the way of fitness features. It doesn’t have a heart rate sensor. In fact, it can’t do much more than count steps, but it does have about 6,000 other apps to choose from. That’s on par with pretty much everyone else except for Apple, who has 10,000.
The Time is not the sleekest wearable on the market. It’s plastic, has rubber wrist bands and is a tad bulky compared to some more fashionable smartwatches. It does come in a slightly better looking steel version called the Time Steel though. The Time steel costs around $210, roughly $80 more than the Time.
Like pretty much any gadget, if you want to impress people, get the newest release from Apple, Samsung or some other big name brand. If you want functionality at a good price, go with a company like Pebble that cuts corners to bring you something useful that you can afford.
Here are a few pros and cons to help you make a decision:
- Great battery life
- Has an always-on color e-paper display that remains visibility in direct sunlight
- Compatible with both Android and iOS
- Has over 6,000 apps with more to come
- Has a microphone and voice replies
- Lots of fun interfaces to choose from
- It’s not much to look at compared to some others
- No storage space
- Not made for fitness
- Voice function can’t be used with Google Now or Siri
- Limited iOS compatibility