Who would have thought that Pebble Technology would manage to raise $10.3 million on Kickstarter, within a month? Pebble has become the most funded project on this funding platform and it was the best thing that could happen to this smartwatch, after its manufacturers failed to convince investors to fund it. However, this smartwatch, which was previously was known as Allerta, it costs $199, and it can be ordered from the official store of Pebble.
Display and design
The Pebble Time comes with an e-paper display, which is always active, but unlike its predecessors, which had black and white e-paper screens, this one is a 64-color screen and it measures 1.25inches (144×168 pixels resolution). You’d like its performance and the fact that you can see content in direct sunlight without setting the level of brightness to the maximum, because of this, the battery doesn’t run out of juice quickly. However, the colors are not as vibrant as on other Android watches or on Apple’s Watch, but at least you’ll be happy that the screen never goes to sleep and it’s on all the time.
There is a bezel surrounding the screen, which is protected with Gorilla Glass, this makes the watch look bulky and unaesthetic. Despite the complaints received from the customers who bought the first Pebble, the manufacturer didn’t learn its lesson and made the same mistake, opting for a poor design and too much bezel.
Well, the bad news is that the screen is not actually… touch screen, so your user experience won’t be the greatest. This old-school approach is one of the reasons why the Pebble is so cheap, but its appearance is also… uninspired. The square screen with wide bezels and rounded body made of plastic, the band is made of silicone and it’s available in three color options: white, black and red. If you don’t like the band that the Pebble comes with, you can replace it with a third party band that has a width of 22mm.
The major problem with the original strap is that it attracts dust and it will never look clean. Since the device doesn’t have a touch screen, you operate it using the four physical buttons: one is on the left side of the body it is used for going back to the home screen, and the other three buttons are on the right, the upper one is for up, the one in the middle is for select and the lower one is for down.
The dimensions of the Pebble Time watch are 52x36x11.5mm (the case measures 40.5×37.5mm) and it weights 38grams, with 18grams less than the Steel version, which measures 46x34x10.5mm.
Also, you will be able to take a bath or swim in a pool at a depth of 30 meters, as the Pebble Time is water resistant.
The manufacturer improved the processor from the first Pebble, it is now a STM32F205RE Cortex M3 backed by 128Kb of RAM. While the Kickstarter version comes with 4 MB of internal storage for the versions that come after October 2013, the Steel version will have 8 MB of flash. Also, the SoC flash memory is 512KiB on all models.
The Pebble Time supports a microphone, before pairing it via Bluetooth, you will need to download and install the Pebble Time app. Some users complained that they encountered some glitches and they got a SOS screen. They didn’t have any other option but to return their watches and get new ones, if they still had a warranty.
The Pebble Time watch has a battery of 130 mAh, which, normally should last a whole week if the user gets 20-30 notifications a day and if the watchface is updated every minute. The previous Pebbles were able to withstand only two days in similar conditions. A reviewer performed some tests and he managed to extend the battery life up to ten days, having the fitness feature enabled, the screen is always active and the notifications turned on. If you have an old Peeble watch, we must warn you that the charger is different, although it looks the same.
This smartwatch runs on Pebble OS, which was built using a customized FreeRTOS kernel and it communicates with Android and iOS applications via Bluetooth. That’s why we told you that you’ll need to install the Pebble Time app. The latest version of this OS is 2.9.1. If you want to install applications on your Pebble Time, you’ll be able to choose between the 6000 available applications, but not all of them have a color interface.
Besides being water resistant, the Pebble Time has a fitness function that tracks steps and sleep, but you will need to install applications such as Misfit, Runkeeper, Pedometer or Swim.com. In addition, the device has GPS functionality.