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Subject: Thoughts on smart watches, in particular the Pebble rss

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Dan Vore
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I'm in the market for a smart watch. My wife wants to get me a fitbit for my upcoming birthday and I'd rather kick it up a notch and get a smart watch. I like the look of the Pebble Steel and its in my price range. It will do all I need but I can't find a lot of user feedback.

anyone on here have a Pebble and what are your thoughts? other watches better? Note I am a iOS user so android gear would not get worth recommending.
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James Newton
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I got a Pebble Steel a few months back, to use with my iPhone, and have been pretty happy with it.

My primary requirement was to get notifications that I was actually aware of - I had a few occasions when I missed my phone ringing or a text arriving because I was in a noisy environment (on the street or in a store) and I never felt the phone vibrate. And it does this perfectly - basically anything that puts a notification on the lock screen also "alerts" on the Pebble. I also have a timer/stopwatch app and an app to direct me back to a stored location (a find my car kind of thing). For anything more complex I am happy to actually get my phone out.

You will probably be aware that the Pebble is a much simpler device compared to many other smart watches - no touchscreen, no audio, no wifi - which does potentially make it more limited than the other devices. For example some apps require a companion app on the phone to do the grunt work and/or comms, and you can only have 8 user-downloaded apps including watch faces. But for what I want this is not a problem.

On the other hand (OK, it's still on the same wrist physically, but you know what I mean) this simplicity also gives it the biggest advantages for me over some other devices - especially the Apple Watch. Namely the battery life and water resistance. By having a watch face without a seconds display (so it only has to update once a minute) I am getting over a week between charges.

I should add (since I "promised" them in my last email that I would) that I was disappointed with the customer support. The Bluetooth on my Pebble started playing up and failing to maintain a connection - and I didn't get any response from the Pebble customer support team for 2 weeks (apparently they had been experiencing high support volumes - charitably I would guess that they had been stretched with the Pebble Time having just come out). Fortunately I had bought my watch in a local store and was able to return it and get a replacement (legally they were responsible for this anyway, under the Sale of Goods Act here in the UK). The new device works fine and I am still very happy with it.
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Gil Hova
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Are you looking at the older version of the Pebble Steel, or the new Pebble Time Steel (or Steel Time, I'm not sure how they're ordering it).

I have a Pebble Time (and I had the older version). Smartwatches are amazing, but the Time has some annoyances, especially if you're on iOS.
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Greg Hinkle
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I'm a content Pebble and Pebble Time user. And the interaction with customer service has been pretty spectacular (but that was slightly before the Pebble Time shipped, and they replaced my Pebble for free after it stopped working for mysterious-but-probably-my-fault reasons).

I'm on Android though, so I can't speak for iOS. But I've had no problems other than the Bluetooth helping drain my phone battery life. But you're going to get that with any smart watch.

I also mainly just use it for 1) telling the time and 2) getting notifications when I'm out and need to be alerted with this when I can't hear or feel my phone because I'm drunk, most likely. And I use the fitness tracker apps now and then (only now and then, because I don't always take my phone on runs).

But, no problems. I like it. Pebble Time is more comfortable than the Pebble.
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Dan Vore
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Thanks for the responses. Pretty much nailed it on the head.

IngredientX wrote:
Are you looking at the older version of the Pebble Steel, or the new Pebble Time Steel (or Steel Time, I'm not sure how they're ordering it).

I have a Pebble Time (and I had the older version). Smartwatches are amazing, but the Time has some annoyances, especially if you're on iOS.

I'm looking at the steel. Affordable, i like the black and white screen, i don't have need for color really in a watch.
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Brian A
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I was a backer of the original Pebble campaign and now the Pebble Time campaign. I've never tried on a Steel, but I can definitely say I'm impressed with everything they've done. This latest Pebble watch (Time) has a better shape/fit and a much better screen than the original Pebble. (Once I upgraded to Time, there was never a reason to put the old one on again, so it is now on the wrist of a friend.)

The one thing I am unhappy about is how easily the watch gets dinged up. I didn't go for Steel, but I already have nicks on the body of the watch and a scratch on the watchface. (That's what happens when you wear shirts with metal buttons on the sleeve or walk with no regard for how your arm might accidentally brush on things.) When I got the original Pebble I knew to buy a screen protector because I knew the body was lacking in durability, but I thought the new material selection would have it all fixed up. Bottom line, if you buy a "regular" Pebble Time, get some protection on it.

FYI, the shape of that first generation Pebble was just... wrong, so screen protectors on it always dog-eared on me and ended up catching lint and stuff. Just unattractive.

Also, I am an iPhone 5s user, and haven't had any problems yet (fingers crossed) with the software. Also, I think the app on the phone stores watchfaces for your watch, so even though you may be limited in what you upload to the watch, you're good as long as you will be linking to your phone.
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Gil Hova
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chang1701 wrote:
I'm looking at the steel. Affordable, i like the black and white screen, i don't have need for color really in a watch.

You'll be fine with the original Steel, then. It's a good watch.

bigthos wrote:
The one thing I am unhappy about is how easily the watch gets dinged up. I didn't go for Steel, but I already have nicks on the body of the watch and a scratch on the watchface.

I use Polywatch to remove scratches. It worked great on my original Pebble; haven't gotten to try it with the Time yet.
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Dan Vore
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Thanks for all your feedback. I appreciate the honesty.
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