For a few years, I rocked a Pebble smartwatch, and later upgraded to a Pebble Steel. Both did really well for my needs during my time I had them. Unfortunately, both devices started to suffer from the common screen tear issue. Luckily, a friend offered me a first generation Moto 360 for a very good deal, and back in January of this year, I had my first Android Wear smartwatch.
Fast forward to just over a week ago, my Moto 360 overheated on the charger and now the screen permanently has scan lines, rendering the smartwatch unusable. Darn!
I checked Kijiji for another Android Wear device, but I didn’t have any luck finding something. I checked out Best Buy, and saw the Pebble Time was on sale, so I went and picked it up for roughly $145 with taxes. Not bad!
So having gone from the Pebble, to Pebble Steel, to the Moto 360 (Android Wear) and now back to Pebble with the Pebble Time, I thought I’d share my thoughts here.
Pebble OS to Android Wear
At the time of owning my Pebble Steel, firmware 3.0 (the OS which introduced Timeline) had just been released, so my transition was from 2.x to Android Wear. The transition wasn’t difficult. From what I remember 10 months ago, I had noted the following;
- The Moto 360 looks really nice.
- The Moto 360 is huge.
- Charging the battery every night isn’t that big of a deal since I put it on the charger the same time as my phone.
- Android forcing all apps to the Moto 360 was odd and foreign to me – with the Pebble, you choose which apps you want on the device.
- Lifting the watch or tapping the screen (with my nose sometimes) to see the time was a shade annoying compared to Pebble’s always-on screen.
- Android apps with a compatible Android Wear app were usually quite slick.
- Having a microphone to dictate texts, replies, setting my stopwatch, etc. was awesome! First generation Pebbles do not have a microphone.
- I was too afraid to even wash the dishes with my Moto 360 on, let alone bathe my kids. I’d take my Pebble swimming with me and controlled the music from my watch which was nearby the pool.
- Notifications came through just the same to me. Except I could respond with more options on Android Wear (such as “Like” when a Facebook Messenger text came in.)
- I had to reboot my Moto 360 every week or it just seemed to lag too much.
Android Wear to Pebble OS
Now, going back to Pebble,the comparison is a bit different. Pebble is now on OS 4.x, so there are new features and perks. Also, my new smartwatch is the Pebble Time, which introduces a colour screen, quick-release straps, and a microphone.
- The Pebble Time isn’t as nice as my Moto 360. I do prefer round watches for style. That said, the Time is still a nice looking and well built watch. If you don’t like thick bezels though, this is not for you. (Check out the Pebble Time Steel, or Pebble Time 2 if your budget allows.)
- The Pebble Time bezel scratches WAY too easily. It’s a bit ridiculous. I need to order a skin from DBrand now.
- On the wrist, I find the Pebble Time more comfortable. It is very light and it is easy to forget I’m wearing it (until it buzzes).
- The vibration settings are great. The “nudge nudge” gets my attention, but not everyone else’s around me.
- Seeing the screen at any moment without twisting my wrist, raising my arm, or tapping the screen is just fantastic.
- The animations are fun and playful, and I love them.
- Using my voice for replies to texts (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS…) work great – but only if you have a good internet connection. I’ve noticed if my phone doesn’t have a good data connection, the Pebble’s voice to text doesn’t want to work.
- I kept my Pebble Time on my wrist during dish washing, and giving my kids a bath. No fear. I never trusted this the same way with my Moto 360.
- Music control with the Pebble Time isn’t the best out of the box. However, get Music Boss and you’re golden. I use Spotify, and I have quicker access to volume up, volume down, play/pause, skip forward and skip backward thanks to the buttons. With the Moto 360, it was done in more steps.
- I can wear my watch to bed to monitor my sleeping habits thanks to Pebble’s health features, comfort on the wrist, and the battery not having having to be charged each night.
- Speaking of charging, it is always nice to go 5-6 days without having to charge my watch. When I do need to charge it, it only takes an hour or so.
- The Moto 360 screen is easier to see since it’s a much larger screen. I have gotten used to the smaller screen size of the Pebble now, but it took a few days.
If you’d like to know more about my experience with the Pebble Time smartwatch, or anything else on the topic, please leave a comment below!