Just in Time: The Pebble Time Steel Review

A lot of people enjoyed my original Pebble review (way back when), so I thought I’d try to do my new Pebble Time Steel some justice.

I’m a special flower, as a double Kickstarter supporter, so my edition of the Pebble Time Steel has a nice ‘Champion!’ engraving and trophy on the back.

Some Context

We’re not comparing Pebble Time Steel to Apple Watch here, since there is no point. Apple Watch integrates better with my iPhone, works better, looks better, costs twice as much, and has no always-on screen or comparable battery life, I can’t officially swim with it… So it’s all about compromise. My context for reviewing this watch is:

  • I can’t afford Apple Watch
  • I will buy Apple Watch v2 hardware (sorry Pebble, but you are on … borrowed Time)
  • I loved Pebble despite its limitations and wore the black thing for years.

Overview

If you don’t want to read the whole review, let me tl;dr it for you here:

  • If you liked Pebble, Pebble Time Steel is so much better looking and functioning that you should definitely upgrade.
  • If you can’t afford an Apple Watch or are on the Android system (why?) and you value battery life over fancy shit like ‘touch screens’ then definitely get this watch.

For the full review, read on.

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My Lengthy Pebble Hands-On Review

[Edit: November 13, 2013 – I’ve had the latest update of the Pebble OS for a few days now, and it addresses the major problem I highlighted in this review: the poor notification compatibility with iOS. As of a few days ago, the Pebble app and OS have been updated to integrate with iOS 7’s new notification system, and it’s finally propelled the Pebble into the non-technical user space.

Before, Pebble would forget the settings of your notification system if it ever lost BT connectivity, leaving you only with SMS/iMessage and phone call notification until you manually reset the notifications for the apps you wanted. This was merely an inconvenience for wearers with a technical bent; try explaining to your dad why this expensive watch isn’t behaving as expected, though.

Now, all this is resolved. Pebble remembers which apps are set in notification centre. I now get location reminders and Find Friends reminders and more. It’s fantastic. On the horizon is the Pebble SDK 2.0, which promises to unlock even more of the built-in-but-still-disabled hardware. Pebble is seriously kicking some goals, folks. If the previous iOS compatibility was holding you back, hold back no more. Get into it already and be cool like me!*

Now, please read on to my original review, which still holds mostly true.

*coolness not guaranteed, yo.]

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