Amazon Review by VC
1057 people found the following review helpful
Its beautiful with a few limitations, I am keeping it (week 2, 5, 9, & 12 edits)
Let me set the context, I've been using Pebble and Pebble Steel for a while. I am a fan of Apple User Interface (Macs, iPhone, etc.) and have several Apple products but I think they failed with Apple Watch.
What's working for Pebble:
1) Battery - Relatively speaking this is a best option you have for iOS or Android if you don't want to charge your watch everyday. They claim 5 days with Pebble Time, I've yet to exceed 3 days realistically but 3 days is good enough too, I didn't have to charge it through an entire long weekend vacation, which was nice.
2) User Interface - Pebble did it. Its snappy, fun, easy to learn, and above all, its a watch first. The timeline is very well thought. You can add pins from calendar, ESPN, BBC news, etc. (It needs a larger developer network, but I'll cover that later). I believe Apple Watch OS2 will bring Pebble like timeline interface to Apple.
3) Watchfaces - the color faces are fun, you'll never get bored. There are more options with the color interface.
4) Color Screen - some people complain the screen is faint but I think its more than fine. Its not a backlit LED screen, don't expect it to act like one. The always on is HUGE plus. I have seen my friends with Apple Watch and Android Wear flicking their hands just to read the time and its annoying. Pebble 3.2 update released this week (July 2015) added options to make light brighter or change font or change vibrate strength, so you can customize to your taste. See attached pics taken at night with single bulb lit in room (wooden floor background), no flash, and no watch light. (Note, in my week 9 update I added a daytime pic with large digits black couch background, so you can see the difference)
5) Form factor - Its thin, light and very easy to wear, I wear it every night to monitor my sleep with Misfit app (the app sync is bit buggy, but not Pebble's fault). It makes a GREAT running companion if you use Runkeeper. The band is bit cheap but comfortable, you can change it. The display glass is beautiful. The bezel is not so great, covered later.
6) Responsiveness - Its snappy. I've yet to see a lag loading a built in or 3rd party app, and I've tried many. A first time load of a new app on watch takes a few seconds. BTW, there is no limit on number of apps and I've yet to see one cache out/cache in and I've lots of faces and apps.
7) Price - At $200, I rather buy 2 of these than 1 Apple Watch.
8) They value their customer - they are bringing new OS to old watch, speaks volume for a company of their size.
9) Looks - this is a subjective topic. I've worn big Citizen Ecodrives to elegant Movados. I was unsure when I saw Pebble Time in pics, I liked it when I first wore it and now I really like the looks, I have the black one. Again, a subjective topic, my suggestion, try it, the watchface surprisingly can make a difference.
10) Software quality - pretty robust for a major release, I've tried 3.1 and 3.2.
So what’s not working (reason to deduct 1 star)
- The bezel is unnecessarily wide. And it scratched very easily, left ugly marks. Its not military grade whatever they claim it to be. This is a hardware design/quality issue. If you can keep it carefully (hard to do if you wear extensively) then this is not a deal breaker. I wish Pebble did something about it. The vendor replaced it for me, that piece was an early order and they were surprised too with the quality of bezel. May be this one will hold better.
- Their developer network is limited. The apps are limited but enough to keep a smartwatch remain a watch and not turn into a computer.
- They really need to work on their relation with Apple. iOS integration is bit limited. Apple doesn’t make it easy but they need to try harder.
- Support - don’t expect quick response but to their credit, they’ve already release 2 updates addressing few issues.
Bottom line - if you are looking for a watch with good notification system, clean display, easy to ready time/date/weather, super light to wear, basic running/activity tracking and not break the bank, this is the watch for you. If you want to read your entire email, type text or control your drone, look at the other 2 big players. Smartwatch is relatively a new technology, a lot will change over years to come. For $200 this combination of software + hardware is a keeper.
Week 2 Update - Love it more by the day. Battery lasting 3 days (20% left). No issue with display brightness.
Week 5 Update - 2 scratches on the bezel just with gentle hit, kinda expected after seeing them on the previous watch. Few “very hard to notice” scratches on the glass. Bit disappointed as this is not as durable as my Citizen Ecodrive or Movado but it costs a lot less and does a lot more. A few friends have commented on its sleek and clean look, some didn’t even realize it was a smart watch (they expected clunky piece of metal/plastic to be a smartwatch). Still getting 3+ days of battery. iOS Pebble app works great. Latest update of Misfit pebble/iOS app fixed syncing issue, I am able to track daily activity and sleep. I still would like a way to respond to text/call with pre-canned message, Pebble says they working with Apple on it (or something close to it).
Week 9 Update - Battery holding strong 3.5 days, sometimes close to 4 but never more than that. One gripe - sometimes you just need to see the time and an app or notification makes it impossible. Pebble should make the UI so that the time, which is always on top, needs to be in bigger or bolder font, currently its tiny when an app or notification takes over the screen. Watch update 3.3 stable and fine.
Few favorite apps (apart from built in Notifications and the Timeline feature) -
- Music (built in) - does a good job or controlling the phone music player, works with any iOS media app (even Netflix!)
- Timer (2 options, one by Pebble)
- Runkeeper (built in) - good to see stats rather than pulling the phone out when running
- 7 Minute+ - the famous 7 min workout, nice animations and good vibration alerts when to start/rest
- Evernote - this is my grocery list companion, has a checklist that I can check as I pick items, dont have to pull the phone
- Pandora - this one automatically starts when iOS app starts, can thumbs up/down and change vol (or use built in music app)
- ESPN - clean, simple, just works, supports Timeline
- Misfit - the sync is a hit or a miss but this is best of the ones available for measuring steps/activity and syncing with phone
Adding a new photo, day time shot with large digits watchface (called TimeStyle), to compare with earlier night time shots.
Planning to buy a second one for spouse.
- Use with Google Maps - this is not an app. I have push notifications enabled from Google Maps on iPhone. When iPhone is locked, it sends notification to lock screen and Pebble, as a result the next direction is shown on watch, with two notifications, one ahead of turn and one just before (Google Maps feature). I find looking at pebble less distracting than looking at the phone, with my hands still on the steering. So this works as a mini-nav device.
Week 12 Update - probably the final update - the watch is a keeper, all working as stated above. No more visible scratches since the last time. The main gripes:
- When another app is running, the font of the time on top is really small
- Need to press back button several times to get back to home page (to see time)
Both of these sometimes make it hard just to see the time because either an app or a notification takes over the screen. Sometimes, you just need to see the time Hopefully a software update will fix it, I plan to write to pebble about it.
Pebble is coming with a round version, keep an eye on that, launching in Nov. But like I said in my first review, smartwatches have a long way to go before they mature. You won’t be keeping this for 5 years or 2 or even 1. If you like it, go buy it.
Hope you enjoyed reading these updates and it helped your buying decision.