Smartwatches, I’ve tried them all but despite being discontinued and older than the hills in modern technology terms, I still consider the Pebble smartwatch to be the best functional smartwatch you can buy today (albeit you have to pick it up from eBay rather than an online store).
Here’s why it gets my vote:
Phenomenonal battery life. I have several pebbles and I still get, on average, over a week of use before having to recharge, with some going as long as 10 days.
Alerts done right – Two things here, first, you can set the alert strength.You want Jackhammer, go select Jackhammer. Two, when you receive an alert it hangs around on the watchface until you dismiss it.A simple thing but it means you don’t have to go searching for alerts and can scroll down easily to get a heads up on an incoming message.
Always on e-ink screen – New Apple Watch ‘always on screen’ ? Pah! Shame on you Apple, Pebble beat you by several years.
Quiet time – the ability to quickly set the watch to quiet time by a long button press that you don’t even have to look at or concentrate on is simple elegant functional design that is so good and well thought out it gives you chills (well it does if you spend your day job thinking about human interface design).
Using your voice – With the help of Rebble (more on that later) you can continue to respond to Skype, WhatsApp etc using your voice. Even today in 2019 many smartwatches don’t have that feature.
Rebble – Rebble is the Pebble App store and server-side ecosystem resurrected by Pebble enthusiasts so that functions like live weather, voice to text parsing, and getting new watchface and apps can continue to live on…..phenomenal!
If you are on Android and you need access to the original Pebble APK (as it is no longer in the Google Play Store), you can download it from APK Pure here. Once you have have the original Pebble App installed on your phone you can follow the instructions from Rebble as to how to integrate with the Rebble ecosystem to continue to install watch faces / Apps etc and take advantage of the Rebble web services for voice.
Sleep tracking / Steps – Not the best fitness features but not the worst either. Good enough. Note that only the Pebble 2 HR had heartbeat monitoring.
Alarm – again another master of design. The vibrating ‘Tada da ta ta, tada da ta ta’ morning reveille is genius.
The Pebble smartwatch does the basics ever so well and then some….and nothing else yet comes near it. Even my wife loves it and believe me as far as tech gadgets go that is saying something!