Pebble Timeby Pebble

  • Pebble Time
  • Pebble Time
  • Pebble Time
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
Recommended, but seriously flawed. There are probably better alternatives.
71%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • The display is always on, so you don't have to wake it just to see the time.
  • The battery lasts for days at a time, so you don't have to charge it nightly--but the magnetic charge cable is nonetheless convenient.
  • The intuitive timeline display and compatibility with thousands of Pebble apps puts the "smart" in smartwatch.

CONS

  • The display is dim and best and--when the backlight is off--just downright murky.
  • You can't control which notifications go to your Pebble--it's all or nothing--without turning off specific notifications on the iPhone.
  • It's old school. The huge bezel is ugly and the lack of a touch screen makes it feel like an artifact of the 90s.
Pebble Time is a major update to the Pebble smartwatch platform. It builds on the key strengths of the originals Pebble Watch and Pebble Steel--long battery life, ability to work with both iPhone and Android devices, a large catalog of third party apps and watch faces--and added a color display, a new interface, and slightly smarter styling. The Pebble Time isn't as elegant or sophisticated as Apple Watch, but it may appeal to people who are looking for a smartwatch that is less pricey and functions more like a traditional watch, only with notifications.
NamePebble TimePeakSurgeNotifierM1 Smartwatch
ManufacturerPebbleBasisFitbitMartianMeta
Techwalla Score
71%
74%
73%
71%
64%
List Price$200$200$250$130$149
90%

With just enough space for the buttons to be of a comfortable size, the Pebble Time isn’t particularly thick, and is quite light on the wris…

With just enough space for the buttons to be of a comfortable size, the Pebble Time isn’t particularly thick, and is quite light on the wrist as well. It is so light, in fact, that you might actually forget you are wearing the device throughout the day.

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80%

Voice replies really impressed me, as I was able to carry on entire conversations while walking outside. Even when strolling past loud, idli…

Voice replies really impressed me, as I was able to carry on entire conversations while walking outside. Even when strolling past loud, idling garbage trucks, the mic was still able to pick up my voice.

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80%

The Pebble Time's screen is always-on, meaning there’s no pressing of buttons or dramatic flicking of wrists needed just to see the time. If…

The Pebble Time's screen is always-on, meaning there’s no pressing of buttons or dramatic flicking of wrists needed just to see the time. If you’re in daylight anyway: as the LCD screen looks completely dark without ambient light to brighten it up.

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80%

It certainly offers value, with access to more than 8,000 apps already thanks to the original watch's heritage, and a vast selection of free…

It certainly offers value, with access to more than 8,000 apps already thanks to the original watch's heritage, and a vast selection of free watch faces ready for download.

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70%

In fact, that stamina changes the way you use the smartwatch - yes, you can have all your alerts on it, yes you can play games like Pixel Mi…

In fact, that stamina changes the way you use the smartwatch - yes, you can have all your alerts on it, yes you can play games like Pixel Miner without worrying about a blank screen.

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70%

Compared to the aspirational super-styled Apple Watch, the Pebble Time comes across as cutesy. Its rounded-edge square looks and bright colo…

Compared to the aspirational super-styled Apple Watch, the Pebble Time comes across as cutesy. Its rounded-edge square looks and bright colors give it the look of a toy.

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68%

But while other smartwatches feel like futuristic platforms that just need more refinement and purpose, it’s not clear how the Pebble Time c…

But while other smartwatches feel like futuristic platforms that just need more refinement and purpose, it’s not clear how the Pebble Time could go beyond what it already is. It has smaller ambitions than Apple and Google, and for the most part, it already achieves those ambitions.

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60%

One area that Pebble seems to have shied away from is fitness. There are a couple of gym and step-tracking apps, but none of these are pre-l…

One area that Pebble seems to have shied away from is fitness. There are a couple of gym and step-tracking apps, but none of these are pre-loaded and they come from the likes of Jawbone and Misfit rather than Pebble itself.

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60%

It seems like Pebble heard me (and likely others) lamenting over the brightness. A recent update from the company includes a new backlight i…

It seems like Pebble heard me (and likely others) lamenting over the brightness. A recent update from the company includes a new backlight intensity level called "blinding."

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50%

The Pebble Time is no stunner either. It may be the most attractive Pebble smartwatch to date, but that’s not saying much.

The Pebble Time is no stunner either. It may be the most attractive Pebble smartwatch to date, but that’s not saying much.

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Apps that support timeline will pop up notices in your stream when relevant, as determined by time of day, location, or some other contextua…

Apps that support timeline will pop up notices in your stream when relevant, as determined by time of day, location, or some other contextual signal you specify. These live alongside things you’re probably already expecting to see, like notifications of upcoming calendar appointments.

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Timeline is pretty easy to understand, and you get used to it pretty quick. The only disappointing part is that the buttons you press hundre…

Timeline is pretty easy to understand, and you get used to it pretty quick. The only disappointing part is that the buttons you press hundreds of times can be finicky—sometimes too stiff to feel like you’re actually manipulating what’s onscreen.

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If you get a lot of phone calls, habitually check in on Swarm, or follow more than a couple of teams, the timeline quickly gets cluttered. A…

If you get a lot of phone calls, habitually check in on Swarm, or follow more than a couple of teams, the timeline quickly gets cluttered. And for better or worse, very few things fit in the paradigm—there’s no searching, no initiating of messages with Pebble.

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I greatly admire how Pebble has honed its unique selling points - unrivaled battery life, consciously retro-styling, open and transparent de…

I greatly admire how Pebble has honed its unique selling points - unrivaled battery life, consciously retro-styling, open and transparent developer network - and put enormous effort into strengthening these areas.

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Pebble Time is much more useful if you’re using an Android device. A lot of what makes this a good smartwatch is currently unavailable for i…

Pebble Time is much more useful if you’re using an Android device. A lot of what makes this a good smartwatch is currently unavailable for iOS users.

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Unless you're deep-sea diving or doing something that requires a parachute, chances are you'll be well within operating specs. I wear mine i…

Unless you're deep-sea diving or doing something that requires a parachute, chances are you'll be well within operating specs. I wear mine in the shower and while fishing with no issues so far. I have not yet tried jumping out of a plane while wearing it, and probably won't.

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And when the backlight does kick in, it’s not as bright as the original Pebble screens, and the Pebble Time remains a slightly murky viewing…

And when the backlight does kick in, it’s not as bright as the original Pebble screens, and the Pebble Time remains a slightly murky viewing experience.

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Even if you’ve mentally prepared yourself for the Pebble Time’s weak display (as I had), you simply won’t believe how pale the colors are an…

Even if you’ve mentally prepared yourself for the Pebble Time’s weak display (as I had), you simply won’t believe how pale the colors are and how hard to read it is in most lighting conditions. It’s weak with the backlight on and all but invisible when the backlight is off.

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100% Said they'd buy it again. Would You?
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