A PRODUCT I NEVER THOUGHT I WANTED HAS BECOME MY GO–TO WRIST WEAR
I have to admit. I bought the Pebble Watch on a lark. I wanted to get a jump on understanding the smart watch category in advance of the Apple Watch, and the Pebble seemed like a logical place to start. I had researched the Moto 360, Samsung’s Android Wear, and a few others, but I gravitated towards the Pebble due to it’s reported battery life and low entry cost of $99 dollars. I had no idea what to expect performance wise. I’ve used the Pebble for about 45 days now and I’m pleasantly pleased with the gadget. I thought it would be just a gimmicky toy, but it’s utility and features have really won me over. I chose the white Pebble mostly because I liked the look compared to some of the other available colors.
Out of the box, I wasn’t that thrilled with the Pebble. it’s predominately a plastic device and while the build quality is good and the fit and finish of the components are solid, no one is going to mistake this watch for a more expensive price point. Pebble does make a $199 dollar Pebble Steel version, but I didn’t opt for that model. When I first donned the watch out of the box, in the default config, I absolutely hated it. The band that comes with the Pebble feels nice and seems to be made of a high quality composite material, but the thinness of the band made the watch’s overall look horrendous. The watch face is a but long and wonky to begin with, and the thin band accentuated all of the warts inherent to the design. I immediately swapped out the band for a thicker one that I sometimes use on one of my Hamilton watches, and it made an immediate difference in the look – for the better. The Pebble comes equipped with a 144×168 pixel e-ink screen, which, while not in the same weight class visually as an LCD or OLED screen, was more than adequate for the job. The e-ink screen is also the main reason why the Pebble has such great batter life compared to its LCD equipped bretheren. Quick tip – When picking watch faces for the Pebble, straight line designs styles tend to work best (like block letters and numbers). Apps and watch faces with lots of curves are where the e-ink screen really shows its limitations graphically. One other note, the watch face is very hard to read when wearing polarized sunglasses. Something about the face coating doesn’t work well with my Ray Bans. Not a deal breaker, but it’s a niggle.