I never even contemplated that I would have such a use for one, but really, they’re wonderful.
I’m not a watch wearer usually, as a child there was a time where every present given to me one Christmas was a watch from various relatives. The issue arising from this was trying to wear the right watch to match the family member who we were seeing. I’m still recovering now.
Back in February I saw the Kickstarter campaign for the Pebble Time. Now, bear in mind, the last time I had backed something on Kickstarter it was less than successful. I was wary, but of course Pebble actually had a track record this time around. I also had a friend who had an original Pebble. He explained to me that you don’t realise how handy a smartwatch will be until you get one. How right he was.
I found myself checking my order and shipping status quite frequently, but still unaware really as to how much I’d actually use the thing. When it arrived in the ‘it’s time’ packaging (what a pun), I still didn’t know what it was for.
I plugged it in and charged it as recommended by the start guide. I paired it to my phone. I watched as how when my phone received messages, a split second letter the Pebble Time would light up and show me the same information.
I left it charging for a bit and got a cup of tea. Still wondering mentally if I’d actually spent £150 wisely. It’s a very attractive piece of kit, but what exactly was it for?
Well, I can honestly say after two and a half months, I love it. I’m still in the same quandary that my friend had in explaining one to me. I can’t give you specific examples of when it’s great to have a smartwatch, but day to day life I’ve had since getting one has made me realise that they’re great.
This is the big one, the one everyone thinks of when they get a smartwatch. Yes, the ability to see most notifications come through to your wrist, feeling your wrist get shaken a bit as it does so is wonderful. I’ve never been aware of just how many vibrations I miss in my pocket when I’m walking down the street. Now, I can see who’s contacting me and if I need to get back to that person straight away, I can pull my phone out my pocket.
Yes, this is surprisingly handy. My car stereo doesn’t act as a “fast forward/rewind” control centre too when I’m playing through bluetooth, it basically just acts as a big bluetooth speaker with volume controls. This way around if there’s something horrendous coming up on Spotify playlists, I can simply hit the bottom button on the Time and it jumps straight to the next song.
There are some surprisingly useful, if basic, apps for Pebble Time. I use Smartwatch+ on a day to day basis, pretty much as my actual watch face, it can show stocks, weather, sunrise/sunset times as well as displaying reminders discreetly below the clock. Forgot your phone when you got dragged in to a boring conversation with your relatives? You can quickly catch up with BBC News headlines on your wrist.
When I’m not using Smartwatch+, I do just use the standard Pebble watch faces, my favourite of which has to be sliding text, which beautifully animates the words (“three forty” for instance) as the minutes go by. It’s really simple yet attractive.
The actual watch itself is slightly thinner and certainly less bulky than a fruit flavoured equivalent. It’s also the only other watch which works with my iPhone. It’s also cheaper.
So, should you buy one? I have no idea. Go and decide for yourself. All I can say is that I suddenly don’t mind having something on my wrist anymore.