I bought a Pebble back in mid-2013. I was excited about the potential for what the Pebble could do, and the Kickstarter roots and general vibe of the company appealed to my Geeky side. So, I dropped $149 and bought one.
I dug the look and feel – but the digging stopped right about there. I owned an iPhone 5 at the time, and the Pebble didn’t sync consistently (you can Google “Pebble Finger Dance” for more info). Long story short, the technology created a tenuous connection where many notifications didn’t sync between the phone and watch without resetting. First-world pain and agony.
Fast forward: Sep 2014, Apple announces the Apple Watch. At the same time, Pebble announces background fitness and sleep tracking on the Pebble and drops the price to $99. Also since I last owned, they’ve added Bluetooth 4 support (BLE) and added an app store. I decided to grab one – and am VERY glad that I did.
A day in the life
I wake up to the buzzing of my Pebble alarm on my wrist – my wife is glad it isn’t my iPhone buzzing on the table and waking her as well. I take a peek at my sleep pattern on the Misfit app on my Pebble (not enough sleep, even though the Pebble’s “do not disturb” function ensured I didn’t receive notifications during the night). I take a peek at my default watch face (The Weather Channel) to check current temp, quick flick of the wrist and I get the 3-day forecast. Shower with Pebble on – its waterproof.
I get in the car to head to work and remove my Pebble to charge with the simple magnetic charger during the commute (battery goes 5-6 days between charges). This way, I don’t miss any of my activity tracking while the watch is charging. Into my meetings, and the Pebble reliably keeps my on top of incoming emails, phone calls, and texts and alerts me to upcoming events on my cal. Since I use a headset with my iPhone in my pocket for calls, I’m able to take (or reject) incoming calls with the press of a button on my watch and leave my iPhone in my pocket.
Swing my the store on the way home, listening to some jams on Spotify and I can scroll through tracks and start/stop from my Pebble. I pull up the grocery list on my watch via the Evernote app and can check off the items as I find them – my phone stays in my pocket. Add reliable/simple GPS, some pretty cool games (Flappy Bird port and Asteroids are my fave), ESPN sports scores, and a simple Yelp app (to name a few) and you’ve got a well-rounded, useful, thoughtful device that has become a pretty indispensable part of my day.
What do you think? Do you own a smartwatch? Like it? Why? I can see myself getting an Apple Watch one day, but don’t see a +$250 increase in value over what my reliable, waterproof Pebble can do.