Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Initial Review: Pebble SmartWatch

I love gadgets.  When my husband mentioned the Pebble, I looked into it and decided I really wanted one.  I went off to Target and bought a white Pebble.  Since it was something of an impulse buy, I regretted it the next day and gave it my husband to try.  While he was using it, I did some more research and decided I wanted it back.  So far I am happy with my purchase.

I wanted the Pebble so I wouldn't miss calls or texts.  I also wanted to be able to control my podcasts without having to get my phone out of my pocket.  Also, have I mentioned I like gadgets?

- not missing notifications.  Today my phone was charging, and I still got the Facebook messages and text messages I was sent.
- battery life.  Pebble's website claims 5-7 day and I am on track to hit four or five days.  I can live with charging twice a week.
- skipping ahead in podcasts without having to find my phone.  The podcasts I listen to are from radio shows, so there are often commercials and news and weather reports from days ago.  With the appropriate app, I can use the Pebble's music controls to fast forward through them.
- cost.  At $99, I don't mind taking a risk.
- waterproof.  Apparently I could take it swimming.  I'm not that brave, but it means it will be fine if I accidentally wear it in the shower.
- apps.  There are a large number of apps that can run on the watch.  Some of them require paid apps from the itunes store.
- kids.  My daughter could play on my phone and I wouldn't miss any texts or notifications.

- size.  The watch is as wide as my wrist. (I have small wrists).  It looks huge on me.
-color.  I got the white.  I wish I had gotten the black.  The white stands out more than I thought it would.  (Updated: I put a black watch band on it and it looks much better.  It also made the match seem to fit me better because there wasn't several inches of watchband sticking out.
- random bluetooth disconnects.  The regular notifications use bluetooth-le and it doesn't seem to be as reliable as the regular bluetooth.  This means sometimes my calendar notifications and reminders don't go to my watch like they should.

- It does not have a speaker or microphone.  I can answer my phone, but still have to find the phone to talk.  It is more useful for declining calls when I forgot to turn the phone off.
- The screen is an e-ink screen.  It is not a touch screen.  Neither of these things bothered me because I didn't want a watch that I had to charge every day.
- One of the main things I wanted to do is be able to jump ahead / fast forward during podcasts without messing with my phone.  This is possible, but I had to buy DownCast for my iphone.
- There is a website where you can make your own watch face for the Pebble
- I wasn't terribly impressed with the pedometer app, so don't let that be a deciding factor.