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.
How It Stacks Up
Galaxy Note 10.1
iPad Air 2
Smartwatches failed to excite in 2016
There was nothing groundbreaking about this year’s connected timepieces.
Fitbit will keep Pebble's services running through 2017
Pebble's developers are also tweaking the system's mobile apps to keep them running for years to come.