Pebble Time review: an underdog among smartwatches
Pebble needs to distinguish itself from its Android Wear and Apple rivals in order to stand out, and it does so with the Time. Its color e-paper technology results in an always-on display that looks great under bright sunlight, plus battery life that lasts up to seven days. It also boasts a brand-new Timeline interface that promises to reduce app clutter and make it that much easier to get at the information you really need. A mic adds the ability to offer quick voice replies and memos, although full voice-command capabilities are lacking. Sure, it doesn't offer the same degree of sophisticated style and high-end features as the competition, but the ability to add more functionality over time with its smart accessory port might prove more useful in the end.
- Impressive battery life
- Works on both Android and iOS
- Always-on color e-paperdisplay
- Display looks great under direct sunlight
- Large app library
- Unique Timeline interface reduces app clutter
- Voice replies
- Potential for more features via smartstraps
- iOS functionality is limited
- Voice function doesn't extend to Google Now or Siri
- Can only choose one app for activity tracking
- Pricey for what it offers
For two years, Pebble was the smartwatch company to beat. In 2012, it raised over $10 million on Kickstarter for its simple, monochrome e-paper wristwatch, putting itself and the crowdfunding site on the map. But things move quickly in the technology world. Google has since come out with Android Wear, prompting a slew of smartphone companies to suddenly turn into watchmakers. Not to be outdone, Apple joined the fray as well, positing its own wearable as a timepiece premium enough for high-end boutiques. So when Pebble debuted the Time, its second-generation $199 smartwatch, on Kickstarter three months ago, it was facing much stiffer competition. Surprisingly, that too made crowdfunding history, raising more than $20 million in just over a month. Did 78,471 backers make the right decision? I attempt to find out.