Pebble Time

7.2/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Pebble Time
  • Pebble Time
  • Pebble Time
  • Pebble Time
  • Pebble Time

Design quirks aside, I think Pebble has pulled off something none of the big companies exploring smartwatches have been able to do.

- Steve Kovach , Business Insider 

Specs / Features


Specification

Brand Pebble
Warranty 1 months
Release date 24-May-2015
Size 2 cm (0.8 in)
Weight 43 grams (1.5 ounces)

Reviews summary

7.2/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 20 reviews

What's good  

  • Battery lasts for seven days
  • Timeline makes it easy to see all important events from weather to appointments
  • Excellent sunlight legibility
  • Responsive performance

What's bad  

  • Poor low light visibility
  • Button scrolling clunky
  • Plastic build feels cheap
  • Limited use for microphone/voice activation

While there were smartwatches before it, the original Pebble was the first one to catch on with the mainstream public. Three iterations later and the Pebble Time is no longer the only smartwatch on the market. While the Time does sport updated features, for the most part experts point out that it doesn't stray too far from its predecessors. Still, they have made several updates to its design. In contrast to the taller design of the original, the Time has a more square watch face surrounded by a relatively thick bezel. The body itself is thinner overall with a slight curve that allowed it sit comfortably on experts' wrists. Like its predecessor, it does not have touchscreen capability, instead opting for four physical buttons to navigate the various menus and apps. Besides the stainless steel bezel, the rest of the watch is made of plastic from the bands right down to the case. While this allows the Time to be quite light at 42.5 grams, it also lends to what critics describe as a toy-like quality. Despite the non-premium materials, it is quite durable as it is water-resistant and also has a coating of Gorilla Glass to protect the display.

The second generation Pebble comes with an upgraded display. Replacing the old black and white screen is a new color e-paper display. While this is a welcome addition, it only displays 64 colors not the millions an Apple Watch does. Experts found the colors to be fairly muted, but add that is not unexpected given the nature of the screen. They do praise its bright light legibility thanks to the always-on display. They only ran into problems during low light situations as the backlight was not particularly bright nor did it stay activated for very long.

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The other biggest update to the Time is the addition of a water-resistant microphone, which is placed below the right buttons. Reviewers quickly discovered its uses were fairly limited. When paired with an Android phone they were able to dictate responses to messages. Unfortunately, they could not activate it whenever they wanted to perform commands like Google searches.

While the hardware changes are the most obvious upgrades, the biggest change is to its software. The Time centers its interface around the idea of a timeline, allowing experts to easily see their day to day calendar events or anything else they've pinned such as the weather for the next day or an upcoming sports game. In general, critics praised this new interface but found scrolling through the calendar via buttons a bit clunky. As well, many found the addition of animations in between each screen a bit tiring as it took a bit of time to execute, further extending the load time of apps. Once they opened the apps though, they found it to be very responsive and snappy.

The Time might not beat out the other smartwatches in terms of display resolution, design or features, but where it does excel is its battery life. Unlike its competitors, experts were able to get a full week of life from a single charge. This makes it perfect for people going on multi-day trips and forgot to bring a charger. Tech Crunch states, "seven days on a single charge feels luxurious…At the very least, it's nice that forgetting top lug in at night won't mean you're definitely going to run out of juice the next day."

Reviewers hail the Time as a huge improvement over the original, but add that it likely will only appeal to a very niche audience. The Verge states, "…the Time is an accessory to your smartphone…For a lot of people…that's fine." CNET adds, "Pebble's simplicity still charms…It's a low-key smartwatch. It's not as forward-thinking as Apple Watch, but it's also a lot easier to recommend."

Reviews (7.2/10 Avg. rating)


Digit

Definitely a contender

from Digit
I could not justify the purchase of a smartwatch simply because the battery life on these devices really sucked. The Pebble Time however needs to be charged once in four days, and that is the main reason why you will get hooked to it. Once you are hooked, the deeper you dig, the more functions you will find. During the course of writing this review, I have found a bunch of watch faces I like, a bunch of apps I’d like to explore and reading mails on the watch at night while my phone charges in a corner was a pleasant experience... Full review
Tom's Guide

The most beautiful smartwatch

from Tom's Guide

This is one of the few smartwatches I've reviewed that I've wanted for myself. The Pebble Time Round's stunning good looks alone make it worth considering. But its attractiveness only gets it so far. Its battery life, while on a par with Android Wear and the Apple Watch, is far less than that of other Pebble smartwatches; it runs fewer apps, and its display is smaller, dimmer and less colorful than those of its competitors.

If you just want a more full-featured smartwatch, check out the Asus ZenWatch 2, which puts Android Wear on your wrist for a starting price of just $130. But... Full review

Coolsmartphone

By no means the prettiest watch out there

from Coolsmartphone

If you want advanced functions such as maps and navigation, contactless payment, a heart rate monitor, touch input and gestures, voice control and many more advanced features, then maybe you should look at either Android Wear or Apple Watch as your solution.

Personally for me, I crave battery life over many of these other things, so for me the Pebble Time was a winner straight away.

The thing is though, both the new Pebble Time and the old OG Pebble can do all of the things I have described as being strong points for the Pebble Time, so why not get the old one? Very si... Full review

TechRadar

Simple, clean, slightly smart smartwatch

from TechRadar
It's hard to like the Pebble Time after using higher-end smartwatches, like the Apple Watch or even the LG Watch Urbane. The Time's features are extremely lacking despite its huge app store library. Likewise, the Timeline interface and color display are also underwhelming despite being the new, touted aspects of the Time. Essentially, even with these upgrades, the Pebble Time still isn't a smartwatch you can place alongside its more expensive brethren. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though... Full review
Pocket-lint

A smartwatch stepping stone

from Pocket-lint
The Pebble Time is a highly versatile device that is the product of experience, one that gets the fundamental basics right. It's small and comfortable-to-wear footprint delivers unparalleled battery life, while a vast selection of watchfaces and applications are, for the most part, free to install... Full review
WhatsYourTech

The cross platform smartwatch gets better

from WhatsYourTech
It is a timepiece with the ability to serve notifications, run a handful of apps, control your music player as well as keep your organized and connected in ways that your smartphone might be too distracting. Whether or not this is worth US $199 to you, really depends on how much you need a wearable device that pretty much replicates many of the features your smartphone already has... Full review
Digital Trends

A dinosaur next to modern Android and Apple Watches

from Digital Trends

For $250, you’re getting a plastic smartwatch with a silicon band that looks like a toy. It won’t track your activity or sleep unless you install an app, it doesn’t have a heart rate monitor, and you can’t really interact with most notifications – even on Android. The LG G Watch R has a ton of features the Pebble does not for the exact same price, and it looks better (on men, at least). Considering current rumors that next-generation Android Wear devices will have NFC, more heart rate monitors, and longer battery life, you should consider waiting for new Androi... Full review

Mobile Syrup

It’s great in just about every other situation

from Mobile Syrup
The Pebble Time really has me interested in the Pebble Time Steel, slated for shipment later this month. It is in that more premium (and expensive) second smartwatch that I will hopefully see the company live up to its potential. As it stands, while I wouldn’t take the Pebble Time to a wedding, it’s great in just about every other situation... Full review
Android Authority

Elegantly simplistic, quirky but undeniably functional

from Android Authority
A symmetrical design houses a new color screen and a microphone for voice input, but what matters most is that the Pebble ecosystem performs as well as ever - with some added charm. The Pebble Time is a worthy upgrade for Pebble loyalists, but its practicality makes it worth everyone's consideration... Full review
Wareable

Useful, affordable, geek chic

from Wareable

Ah, Pebble Time. It's a geek chic grower that will fit into your life if you're willing to overlook some shortcomings. It's comfortable, reliable and works with both iOS and Android so you can commit. Timeline is useful and can only get better. Voice works. Colour e-paper livens things up a bit and doesn't seem to impact battery life. But it's not quite the answer to the smartwatch question. Now we've seen Now's AI skills on Android Wear and real world partnerships with the Apple Watch, Pebble's combination of keeping things simple and geek-friendly might not be enough for everyone interest... Full review


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