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Tech Review: Pebble Smart Watch

IMG_4787 Price: SGD 200   IMG_4791 Design There are many different colours on the market right now currently. There is also a more stylish, sleek version called the Pebble Steel. However I still prefer the original Pebble. The pair that I am reviewing is a limited edition colour. IMG_4796 The straps are made of a thick nice smooth plastic-like material. There is a thick bezel around the small screen. The screen is about 2 cm to 2.5 cm; it’s a relatively small screen considering the other smartwatches that has been released in 2014. However I don’t see it as much of a problem as it still clearly displays the time and other things (depending on the watch face you use). A drawback is that some might find the watch relatively big for their arm due to the buttons at the side and the charging port. The watch is relatively much thicker than the plain, normal watches. The buttons on the side are easy to press and well placed – for me, it doesn’t bulge out too much.   Functions This is the part where it differs from the plain old watch. The watch is able to have 8 applications on the watch at any given time. The Pebble has a dedicated app on a smartphone (both Apple and Android),  which allows you to select the applications to be placed into the watch, pairing of the watch, their own application store for the watch, an area to pick the watch faces you desire, and also select the phone apps that will receive notifications on the watch. It’s a simple and dedicated app as it is very easy to set up, update and personalise the watch. Really the main function of this watch is the notifications. Inside the app you can choose your desired notifications to appear on the smartwatch. Each time a notification comes in, the Pebble vibrates and the screen lights up showing the notification. For a few less popular applications, the notification tends to be slightly glitchy, but for most of the common apps like, messages, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and call works fine. The call notification allows the user to reject or pick up the call from the watch itself. However, picking up the call requires you to retrieve your phone. Since the smartwatch is not a touch screen it does not have a keyboard to type and reply notifications, everything still has to be done from your phone. An application called Runkeeper teamed up with Pebble to sync both the watch and the application at the same time. They have pretty much perfected the application and it just requires the Runkeeper app to be downloaded onto your device. When you have started your activity, the Pebble will automatically trigger the Runkeeper app on the Pebble. The watch can still receive notifications while it is using this app.   IMG_4793 Battery The battery life can last up to about 4 days after a full charge. This smartwatch comes with a charging cable rather than a charging dock. However, I do not see a very significant problem as the battery doesn’t need to be charged every day. It takes about 20-30 minutes to get a full charge (Note: I used my laptop USB port to charge, therefore the charging time may be a slight bit longer then when charging with a wall plug). It takes up very little battery on both your smart device and the smartwatch itself. A bad thing is that the Pebble does not show the exact percentage of battery left and when a notification does pop out, it’s to tell you that it has reached 20%. Also, it is hard to tell if your battery has fully charge as the smartwatch does not have a very significant change when the battery is a full – when it is full, the battery icon has a plug on top of it.   IMG_4797 Conclusion Does it function like a watch? Yes. Unlike some of the other smartwatches out there at this point of time, it does not allow the user to continually see the time like a regular watch will as it requires a swift motion before the screen lights up and you can see the time. A few things to consider before purchasing this watch is whether you would use the functions of the smartwatch, does it fit into your fashion style, and whether you would want to pay the premium over a normal watch. In my personal opinion, I feel that the watch is a very good daily accessory to bring out with me.   Ratings Aesthetically: 7/10 – Curvy, sleek, quite a large range of colours. Functionality: 8/10 – Serves its purpose Overall: 7.5/10 – Great companion. Well balanced, unfortunately no colour display.

Joel

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