Pebble Time ($179-$250) has become the most funded Kickstarter ever, currently topping $15.6 million. The newest version of the Pebble builds on its predecessor by adding a color e-paper screen that’s easy to read in any light conditions, a thinner case, and a mic. You can’t take calls with it but you can use the mic to dictate quick reply’s to texts and emails.
One of the newest and coolest features is Pebble Time’s new organization feature. Three buttons allow you access past, present and future items. Present items include the time and date, past accesses your notifications and future your upcoming alerts. That’s what I call beautifully simplistic, well thought-out design.
Pebble has also just announced their Pebble Time Steel and their Smartstrap open hardware platform. This stainless steel version of the watch features a machined metal case and is available in multiple colors including silver, gold, and black.
The Smartstrap also announced allows developers to build add-ons for both the regular and the Steel version. This feature allows for the addition of sensors, electronics, and even additional batteries which are built into swappable straps. Additional upgrades can include such things as health monitors, GPS, and additional battery life. Time will tell how successful this new platform will be.
Now the next features are probably why I will consider a Pebble over an Apple Smartwatch.
Apple’s offering is expected to start at $349 and will rise steadily from there. You can get a Pebble Time from Kickstarter for $179 and the Steel version for $250. A considerable savings.
The Apple Smartwatch has no real water-resistance. You will be required to remove your Smartwatch before you have a dip in the pool or take a shower. Leave it on by accident, and you’ll end up with a $400 brick. The Pebble Time was built with water resistance and can easily handle these conditions.
Battery life is the next big concern with the Apple Smartwatch. Apple has reportedly been trying to eek out at least a day form its battery, but based on typical usage they’re getting less than 19 hours. That’s mixed usage time. A combination of standby mode and actual usage. Actual usage is less than 3 hours. That means every night your watch goes on the charger. Maybe even twice a day, depending on your usage. Take a weekend trip and forget your charger, your S.O.L. On the other hand, the Pebble Time gets up to 10 days on a single charge. Big difference.
And lastly the Pebble is always on. This isn’t that big of a deal, but I like the idea of a watch not looking like a dead beast on my wrist.
So if you’re looking for a smartwatch with a great price, excellent battery life, water-resistance, is always on, and that works with either Android or Apple products, then you have to take a look at the new Pebble Time.