[Accessory Review Challenge] Pebble Time Steel

  1. luxuskamel
    Lollipop Sep 16, 2020

    luxuskamel , Sep 16, 2020 :
    This is my Pebble watch. To be exact it is a Pebble Time Steel (PTS).

    Pebble Time Steel Review

    The Pebble Time Steel features an always-on color e-paper display while the watch has 10 days of battery life. It is always connected to your phone via Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) to show you notifications and lets you interact with it via Text-To-Speech through the build-in microphone, or by predefined answers that you can choose. You have advanced music control, preview of your calendar and weather forecast. Additional to that there is an App Store for thousands of watchfaces and apps which can be installed. You can even code your own. The watch is 30 meter water resistant - but don't put that to test nowadays, because the company doesn't exist anymore so you can't claim any warranty.
    And did I mention that most of it works on iPhones too? (Except a few reply features- there's no way around Apple's restrictions)

    Hardware Overview
    Most notable is the always-on-display which is a color e-paper screen. While the screen has "only" 64 colors and a 144x168 resolution it is more than enough for its job: Showing you notifications.
    With a microphone you can answer to messages: Through an online Text-To-Speech service you receive a text preview on the watch and can send it as an answer. Pretty cool!
    The watch has four buttons: Back, Up, Select and Down. In most cases they also have a long click functionality.
    On the back there is a magnetic 4-pin connector for charging and possibly for smartstraps (hardware extension of the pebble) but I don't think there are any available.
    For the watch band you can choose any standard 22mm watch band allowing you a unique style compared to some other smartwatches. By default there was a high quality leather band which I ordered again, because it is super smooth and feels great.

    So why did I buy this and not any other smart watch?
    Most important to me is the battery. With 10 days of battery life there just wasn't any competitor around. I don't know if there is now, but I bought the watch four years ago. On the pebble is not much for fitness tracking and that's a plus for me, because I know the engineers and developers focused on building a great smartwatch not an all-in-one watch or fitness tracker.
    The difference between the Pebble Time and the Pebble Time Steel is mostly three more days of battery life. Also the buttons are higher quality and the design is slightly better.

    What turns out very good?
    The whole User Interface has a very nice design and is very responsive. Also the navigation with four buttons works way better than expected. Rebble - the open source project to keep pebbles alive is great too. There is community engagement possible, because we all still love our watches.

    What's the bad?
    After four years usage I can say that there are no things that really annoy me, except that the Pebble company doesn't exist anymore and so do their servers. It's more complicated to use the app store and to code your own app (SDK is a bit outdated by now). But its as bad as it sounds, I just have difficulties installing my watchface to it
    A big problem that I recently encountered is the battery: I haven't used the watch for a month when Corona started and now I notice quite bad battery life. And with bad I mean only 30% of its power - 3 days of usage time. I will keep on monitoring it - but probably like most tech products the battery goes mad after 4 years. Was the same on my OPO.
    The size of the screen is quite small - that would have improved with the Pebble Time 2 but it never got produced.
    As last downside I would say "it's not a phone" - you can't use it to talk to someone through it, for the least it doesn't have a speaker.

    Thanks you for reading :)
    I hope you could understand why I find the pebble so great.
    Let me know what you think and what your experiences with it were like.

  2. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Sep 17, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Sep 17, 2020 :
    Great review @luxuskamel .

    Sounds like it was a great purchase 4+ years ago. Looks like a nice, simple, functional watch. Thanks for sharing.

    Bobbie63 and luxuskamel like this.
  3. luxuskamel
    Lollipop Sep 17, 2020

    luxuskamel , Sep 17, 2020 :
    I was in school and wasn't sure whether to buy the Pebble Time or Pebble Time Steel, but my dad convinced me to get the Steel. Not regretted a single time :)

    Mr. BG, Bobbie63 and cdnfarmer like this.
  4. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Sep 17, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Sep 17, 2020 :
    A wise dad indeed. Glad you enjoy it even to this day.

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  5. Bobbie63
    Marshmallow Sep 17, 2020

    Bobbie63 , Sep 17, 2020 :
    Killed with love by Fitbit? :confused:

    cdnfarmer and luxuskamel like this.
  6. luxuskamel
    Lollipop Sep 17, 2020

    luxuskamel , Sep 17, 2020 :
    Can't be too mad at fitbit - they kept the servers running for a whole year. So the community had the chance to rebuild most if this system

    cdnfarmer and Bobbie63 like this.
  7. Bobbie63
    Marshmallow Sep 17, 2020

    Bobbie63 , Sep 17, 2020 :
    A whole year, that was nice of them. Wonder if all sold devices were out of warranty by the time the shut the servers down? It’s a good thing the community took up the challenge to maintain the system but that’s not something that would have my preference tbh.

    btw, never had a Pebble so I don’t know what when and exactly how things evolved but found it an interesting read.:)

    luxuskamel likes this.
  8. Swatiranjan
    Jelly Bean Sep 17, 2020

    luxuskamel and cdnfarmer like this.