Hands-on with the Pebble e-paper watch (gallery)

Hands-on with the Pebble e-paper watch (gallery)

Summary: I backed this Kickstarter project and selected an orange model. Since colored ones are not yet ready and I am not sure I would wear it daily, I switched to black and received it yesterday.

TOPICS: Mobility, Android, iOS, iPhone

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  • (Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNet)

    Cool Pebble retail package

    Last year, I joined tens of thousands of others and backed the Pebble E-Paper Watch project. I ordered an orange one, but after learning that it will still be a month or two more before it will ship, and thinking more about whether or not I would really wear an orange one daily, I went ahead and switched to a black model that was available at launch.

    Jason O'Grady wrote about his experiences in March, and I wanted to offer up some of my own thoughts to my readers, along with a short image gallery of the watch and current functionality.

    I paid $115 for my black Pebble that is now available to the public to pre-order for $150. One of the reasons I ordered one was to test out the Runkeeper functionality, but this is not yet available for the Pebble. The SDK was just recently released, so I imagine we will soon see a lot more functions added to the Pebble.

    The Pebble folks promised updates every 2-3 weeks, and there was an update for mine as soon as I connected it to my new HTC One. There are Android and iOS apps, and the connection is made to the Pebble via Bluetooth.

    Settings can be managed on your iOS or Android device, and synced to your Pebble. You can also use the buttons to change some of the settings on the Pebble without connecting to your iOS or Android device.

    Some of the basic specs include:

    • 144x168 pixel display, black and white "e-paper"

    • Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR and 4.0 (low energy)

    • Four buttons

    • Vibrating motor

    • Three axis accelerometer with gesture detection

    • Distribute apps via Pebble watchapp store

    The Pebble watch is very comfortable, thanks to the adjustable rubber wrist strap and light weight. The buttons are easy to press, and it just took me a few minutes to figure out how to use the Pebble.

    I used it for quickly checking incoming email and message notifications while shopping with my wife. It was great to just look at the Pebble and note that the messages were not urgent, so I could leave my HTC One in my pocket and move on. The glanceable nature of the Pebble to smartphone connection is exactly why I find it to be useful.

    I have a few older Microsoft SPOT watches that I used for this type of quick notifications, but the Pebble looks to be much more customizable and stylish. I started wearing a watch again just over a year ago, and look forward to more testing of the Pebble.

  • (Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNet)

    Opening up the Pebble retail package

  • (Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNet)

    Included charging cable

Topics: Mobility, Android, iOS, iPhone

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  • Hoping Pebble will get more functionality soon

    I've had my black one for a few weeks now. One of the things that appealed to me about it was that it was a lot thinner than other smart watches. That said, it is still rather large on my (female) wrist. I like to be able to glance at it, but there are a couple of things it still needs, possibly introduced via the other apps now available on Google Play. Battery status, more customizable vibration patterns, and some handling when more than one notice is quicly delivered to the device. I'm still playing with the other apps, so we'll see how it goes.
  • Pebble-looks more like a Casio.

    I have an old Casio Calculator watch that has the same band on it. I think I'll wait for a more functional watch from a third party. The reviews I've seen are not really favorable.