It’s time for an update on the Pebble. As well as a small discussion on the Pebble Steel now that I've given that more thought.
I've been living with my Pebble for a couple months and it has taught me far more about living with a smartwatch then the Sony ever did. Yet the Sony is the one I would tell you to get if you wanted to see what it was like to have this device. Mostly because the price of admission is so low. The Sony Smartwatch 1 is $80 on Amazon and the Pebble is $150.
Going back to 2005 and 2006 when I used my old MSN Direct Watches http://atomictoasters.com/2012/11/msn-direct-hey-watch-this/
the thing that made them special was that you could glance at them and get the information at them without any effort. They were instant gratification devices. This is the Pebble in a nutshell. It’s always on sitting there in black and white showing me the time and weather as well as missed calls and messages. Now with the new apps coming out this week (already out for iOS) it will also let me log into Yelp, Foursquare, see sports scores and more, putting it far more in line with other smartwatches. In the end the Pebble still shines as an instant gratification device. It tells me when I have emails, text messages, phone calls, or just what time it is. The biggest problem is that it looks like a toy. Which make it seem expensive to some or cheap to other. Which has been addressed in two ways.
So let’s go back to the Sony Smartwatch 1 and really to all the others outside of the Omate. They are tablets that sit on your arm in various ways. Where the Pebble will continue to tell the time if it loses its bluetooth connect the others will not. They are codependent devices and need that next bit of data from their mother device. They also need their chargers nearby. The Pebble has a five day battery thanks to its boring screen. The Sony has this nice OLED screen that only lights up when you press the button or touch the screen but boy when it’s on it sure is nice looking. This is a Sony product after all. Outside of, maybe, the Dash they don’t under develop things. It’s well thought out and does what it is supposed to. Thanks to all the firmware updates the battery will go almost two days of decent use and there is pretty decent list of apps available for it. So as a geek device the Sony wins hands down.
One of the downsides to the Pebble and Sony is that they look like toys. Pebble addressed this with the Steel. Which raised the price by $100 to $250. Samsung also addressed this with the Galaxy Note Watch which is $350. The Pebble Steel, pictured, has the same guts as my plastic Pebble but has a gorilla glass face, high quality materials around the edges, steel buttons, and the bands are available in higher quality materials as well. Basically a smart watch you can wear with a suit and not be embarrassed. Which is something Tissot did back in 2006 with the High-T and we are seeing again now. At first it was written off as a case of why would you pay that much when the Samsung wasn't much more expensive for higher tech. Well because it’s a lot nicer looking. People who buy watches typically go for tech and not toys and the Steel makes a lot of sense for them.
TL:DR: Want a watch first that does smart things: get a Pebble
Want an Android device for your wrist: get the others, specifically the Sony Smartwatch 1 at $80Note
- That is not my photo below. Giving credit where it is due. I just pulled it from Google images. I believe it is from Engadget. I just wanted to show the difference between the base $150 Pebble and $250 Steel.