The Pebble Watch: A Pleasant Surprise

This is an old draft I had lying around - Pebble has updated the watch software recently, and much functionality is improved. However, my opinion is similar - I like it best as a watch with a few added features.

I’ve had my Pebble watch for a while now - and I think what surprises me the most is the fact that I am still using it. Why is this a big deal? Since somewhere around 2010, I stopped wearing watches. The main reason was that I got a new age smartphone (being the Samsung Galaxy S) and that sort of replaced the need for a watch. I was taking out my phone all the time to check for messages and e-mail anyway, so I was getting the time from there - who needs a watch?

The Pebble is one of the bigger Kickstarter success stories - blowing their own expectations and then proceeded to have to delay deliveries just because they had to scale up production to match their pre-orders alone. It’s now available for USD150 at their site.

One of the more fascinating things is that I’m not wearing them for the notifications or the apps, I’m actually wearing it as a plain old watch. I tried having notifications for nearly everything at first, which led to my wrist being shaken a lot - so that experiment ended quickly. Granted, it’s not like I don’t use the notifications at all, but now I’ve limited them to SMS and the more obscure notifications like Twitter mentions or retweets (oh the woe of not being popular.) We get way too many e-mails nowadays for e-mail notifications to be useful, really.

So far, the only possibly useful app I’ve had for it is weather. The problem is that I don’t think I’ve ever gotten this is work reliably. An even bigger problem is how wrong and outdated the weather data tends to get in Australia - so really, it’s not a great solution if you want weather on your watch. I’m really not sure what else you’d use it for, really. You could get stopwatches and games, but if you have your smartphone, these are probably things you don’t need to do on your wearable all that often.

Let’s get back to what I think it is. I think it’s an excellent watch with the great feature of being able to get notifications as well. I think the best part is that if you get bored of the current watch face, you can change it - I think this is why I’m still using the watch, but I can’t say for sure.

The fact is: USD150 is still a lot for a watch - and it is a cool watch, but don’t buy it based on the promises that it will be more than a watch. You should buy it as a watch first and then be pleasantly surprised if it exceeds that simple expectation.