After a very successful Kickstarter, the Pebble smartwatch is one of the most anticipated products to soon hit the wide market. As one of the thousands that helped fund the project, I finally received my own Pebble smartwatch. Immediately after I put it on my wrist, I can see that wearable watches will be the next generation of electronic accessories that the consumers will adopt.
The boxing of the watch is nicely presented, simple, not too flashy that does its job of being as a box. I assume once the products hits stores, a clear flashy case will display the watch.
The first reaction after seeing and feeling the smartwatch at its flesh was it that it feels cheap. This is not a bad thing if keep in mind that this initial iteration of the smartwatch is sort of a prototype. The plastic face screen is shiny and smooth. The body and buttons are the parts that make it feel like a prototype with its mate plastic finish. The left side of the body has a “back” button and the usb end for the smartwatch to charge. The right side of the body has three buttons, two long one and a short one. They serve to move via the menus and as a confirm functionality. The wristband had a lot of complaints from earlier adopters but I personally have no problem with the rubber wristband.
The smartwatch is charged via USB. Once the charge is done I proceed to download the Pebble smartwatch iOS app and connect the smartwatch with the phone via Bluetooth. After the Pebble and phone are communicating via Bluetooth, I open the Pebble smartwatch app. The app is in charge of doing the data management of the smartwatch. The first thing I had to do was update the software of the watch. After the update is completed, the watch restarts and I’m able to select the watch face.
The phone has 3 initial watch plates and the app provides a menu of more watch plates. This menu in the app will be the Pebble watch “store”for third party Pebble watches. The menu on the watch provides an option to control the music from the iPhone, set the alarm, select the face watches and the phone options.
I wasn’t aware of what functionality, other than providing the time the watch would have. I was pleasantly surprised finding out that I can control the music playing on my iPhone. I was surprised once again to feel the watch vibrate. Upon looking at why it was vibrating, I noticed that I received a text message. The content of the text message including its sender is shown on the Pebble screen. This single event validated my statement as the watch being part of the future of electronic accessories that consumers will use on a daily basis. The watch also notifies you when someone calls you. Hopefully soon more notifications are added to the watch, like Twitter mentions or VIP emails.
The only high expectation I had was the screen. The e-ink screen is not bad by all means, but I have personally been spoiler by the high pixel density screens. The Pebble smartwatch screen is clear, easy to read at any light level and it has a light for low light settings.
After using it for a week I have accepted that I will learn new habits of communication extended by the smartwatch. The rather simple functionality that the watch provides opens up a World of ideas of services and tasks that can take full advantage of this behavior.
It is still very early to see what tools and technologies take advantage of the watch. There are already ‘Watchapps’ being released via the Pebble forum. I have a few ideas of utilities that the Pebble watch will be perfect. I can’t wait to see great smartwatch apps being released.
As a conclusion, the concept of the smart watch has a bright future. A future that the big companies like Apple, LG, Google and Microsoft recognize, that from early reports, all of them are working on their own smart watch. The Pebble Kickstarter showed metrics of genuine interest for the smart watch. The Pebble watch is the trailblazer on this industry. I give my approval rating to the Pebble watch and I await for what the big companies will have to offer.