Adventures in Smartwatch Land
- December 29th, 2022
- 2 minute read
I bought my Pebble Time from a friend at work way back in 2017. Ever since then, it has been working flawlessly (over 5 years now!). But with my move from Android to the lovely walled garden that is iOS, I no longer have easy access to the Pebble app (Apple, in it's infinite and perfect wisdom, removed it from the store a few years ago). I've since found a way to sideload the Pebble app on my phone so I can use it again, but it isn't the most convenient solution.
How does the Pebble Time stack up against an Apple Watch series 3 in my view? Here're some quick highlights:
- TELLING THE DANG TIME (sorry for the caps - having to wake a screen up even to just see the time almost made me go insane).
- Battery life is amazing, I still consistently get around 7 days per charge.
- Screen is clearly readable and always on.
- Calendar integration is smooth and works well.
- Sleep tracking and step tracking are pretty accurate, even without a heart rate monitor.
- Vibrate alarm is audibly quiet and effective.
The Apple Watch really did not agree with me. My main pain points with it were:
- Low battery life, consistently only around 1 day per charge.
- Feels more like a mini phone than a watch. Tries to do WAY too much and ends up failing at everything.
- No vibrate option for alarm and notifications for some reason? It's on your wrist - why the heck does it rely on sound so much!?
- Running multiple apps caused performance to get bad quickly (and it was annoying to keep closing apps all the time).
Pebble had a great personality that uses simple animations and motion to communicate simplicity and authenticity. The animations especially feel smooth and fun to watch while still communicating the information that's intended. Even now in 2022, no company has recreated the magic and simplicity Pebble had with its smartwatches (at least that I know of). Unless something better comes along, I'll still be sticking with my Pebble Time as long as it holds up. Hope to see more watches try to recapture and blaze forward with e-ink technologies soon!