Pebble Time

Pebble Time

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Pebble Time arrived today, over two years after I got the original Pebble watch. During this time the software for the original Pebble matured significantly. With the new Pebble Time, the company behind the watch introduced a new "timeline" concept that is very intuitive. They also focused more on the essential services such as the watchfaces and notifications - paying less attention to apps. Experience with the previous model has shown that people don't run a large number of different apps on their watches.

The basic idear behind the timeline interface is that the watch shows "now", i.e. the watch face. With the back and forward buttons the user can check past items such as missed calls and future items such as upcoming appointments. Very intuitive and very much a focus on what is important.

Perhaps the biggest drawback with the original Pebble was how it looked. The new one looks a lot better. Even the basic "plastic" version has Gorilla glass and a metal bezel.

The main technical improvement is the e-ink screen that now comes in color. Together with a better refresh rate and better processor this also allows for nice transition animations. The colors are not eye popping but it makes a huge difference compared to the previouse monochrom display. The old watch faces for the original Pebble work on Pebble Time but they immediately look so dated compared to the new watch faces that make use of colors that you are unlikely to use them. What has not changed is the great battery life (compared to other smart watches) thanks to the e-ink screen that requires power only when pixels change. The basic Pebble Time has the same 7 day battery life as the original Pebble.

And the screen stays on all the time. The powered off black screens of Android watches and the Apple watch are in my opinion quite a sad sight.

The Pebble Time has a interface that allows for third party "smart straps" such as heart rate monitors, GPS and whatever. The idear is interesting but it remains to be seen if any meaningful straps appear on the market.