Review: Pebble Smartwatch

iOS 7 update: Since the iOS update, I’ve found my phone drops the bluetooth connection with Pebble much less often. This makes everything about using my watch much better. With rumours about Apple’s iWatch still sketchy – late 2014, if at all – I still think Pebble is the way to go if you’re craving some wearable tech. 

I knew watch geeks existed, but I had never met any until I started wearing my Pebble. Now I get strange people staring fixedly at my wrist. My husband Christopher spent 20 minutes at the IKEA delivery desk, 18 minutes of which was spent discussing his Pebble.

What is Pebble?

Before Kickstarter became a verb, it was a small, populist way of getting people to fund your project. Then some guys came up with a cool-looking watch that could talk to your iPhone, and they raised $10 million dollars in a month. Suddenly Kickstarter was a real story in the business press and everyone was putting up their short films, industrial design degree programme final projects, and video games.

What does a Pebble do? It is a pretty digital watch with an e-paper screen (much like a Kindle) that connects to your phone, so you get updates via a little vibration and a preview on your tiny watch screen, and control your music on your phone. At least, that’s what it does now. The thing with Pebble is we’ve been given is essentially a beta of a hardware product. Every time a software update comes out, it does new things. It feels like The Future.

I can hear you from here, grumbling about not needing any more tech to connect you to the constant stream of emails, updates, tweets, etc. Strangely, I find my Pebble makes me feel less concerned with those updates than when I had to wonder and check notifications on my phone. Now, I get a buzz on my wrist when an email from my editor comes in, and I can see she is just confirming she received my article, not that she needs something else from me. Done. I don’t need to go dig out my phone, or feel like I need to check my laptop every 10 minutes.

Is a smart watch absolutely necessary? Well, no. Is it nice? Very. It is definitely not the most feminine watch I’ve ever seen, but I still wear it every day. I never miss a phone call when my phone is buried in my bag because my watch lets me know my phone is ringing immediately.

The Pebble is on pre-order now, and I feel duty-bound to tell you it might take a good long while before you actually get one. But you will feel very cool when you do.

Disclaimer: None really, we are geeks and contributed in the Kickstarter campaign. 

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