Pebble Time Steel smartwatch review
I've got myself a Pebble Time Steel in silver. It's so nice! I was tired of charging my old Samsung with the help of a pillar box every night and it's my birthday today, but maybe I don't need any more excuses to buy a new watch?
The Pebble Time Steel is a really beautiful smartwatch. It's solid and made from stainless steel. Even so, it feels nice and smooth to wear on the wrist.
Why a Pebble, when there are plenty of other smart watches out there like the Sony Smartwatch 3, Samsung Galaxy Gear S2, Motorola Moto 360, Huawei Watch or LG Watch Urbane? Some of them was just too overly expensive. I will not pay as much again as I did for my old Gear S. Sony Smartwatch 3 looks really nice, but it seems almost hopelessly to find another strap for it. If you can accept a full black or a silver watch with metal band, it's probably the most priceworthy smartwatch you can buy today.
I finally decided for a Pebble because of:
* Battery time! Pebble Time Steel says to have 10 days of stand by, but I have to charge it once a week I'm happy.
* Always on! Pebble uses an e-paper display, which isn't as energy consuming as other screens. It also doesn't come with a touch screen but is operated only with four different buttons. I don't need a touch screen on a smartwatch, but I do need colour.
The e-paper - or e-ink screen - doesn't upate as often. It excels in day light, but at night (or at evening here in the far Norht) you need to look at it straight in front, otherwize I think it's a bit too dark. Times like that, the back light button is really useful. You can also shake the watch to activate the back light.
Pebble is an outsider in the smartwatch market and uses crowdfunding for development, which I found being an interesting concept. Their design is also unique, both out and inside the watch.
I almost find Pebble's older models (Pebble Classic and Pebble Steel) having a cooler look than the newer models. The old ones only have a black and white screen and as far as I have understood, not all apps are running. These models are still really, really good buys if you want a smartwatch and are on a tight budget. To many people, the Pebble Steel is still the ultimate watch.
I think that the Pebble Time is the best looking watch of all the square ones (especially the white one), but since the chassi is made from plastic and my old plastic watch didn't last that long, I'm hesitant to buy it. The Pebble Time has a broad bezel, which make the gap between the bezel and the display smaller than at a Time Steel.
Pebble Time Round is gorgeous, but sadly has far less battery time. It's most likely the best looking smart watch at this moment.
It's also really easy to send a voice reply to a text message or a facebook messenger. However, Pebble Time Steel is as it's best as a notification center. I get all notifications, it's my pedometer, I can check the weather, activate a timer etc. There is also something called a time line, which is really smart when you get hang of it. It shows your calendar events, weather, sleep monitor and news but also things as sleep monitor etc. It's really easy and fast to navigate through with the buttons. I really think that using buttons instead of a tiny touch screen is the way to go on a smartwatch.
The only thing I really can complain about is that the display is a little bit too small, or the text in the time line is a bit too small. But I suppose that's the trade off you have to do in order to get 10 days of battery life in a smart watch.
It comes elegantly presented in a nice box. Included is also the charger cable which you attach to the back of your Pebble. The other end is put into a USB port. Very smooth.
Here is the magnetic charger attached to the back of the watch. It took about an hour to charge it from 40% to 100%.
It has definitely got some fun animations. I've never seen a charging symbol like this one.
Pebble Time Steel uses any 22 mm watch band. The one that is included is a nice thick genuine leather and, that is nice to wear.
My mobile phone is a LG Nexus 5X which runs Android Marshmallow. It was really easy to connect these two.
* I started my Pebble by pushing the left button.
* Pebble asked to put on the blue tooth on the phone.
* I had already downloaded the Pebble app from Google Play.
* I followed the instructions on the screen.
* The only manual I did was to set it to 24h-display: Settings -> Date & Time -> Time Format -> 24h
I also needed to Google for the meaning of the different buttons:
* Left side: Back/Home/Off (press it long enough)/On/Back light
* Right side top: Up
* Right side middle: OK/Choice/More info (is a small half circle is shown at the notification)
* Right side bottom: Down
After that I have researched the apps and the watchfaces. There's a lot of them!
Pebble Time Steel vs. Samsung Gear S. I have never felt that my Gear S has been big, but next to a Pebble it looks huge!