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A non-techie review of Pebble

After waiting for more than 5 months, my Pebbles have finally arrived. From the mailing packaging, it seems that it has been sent locally in Singapore.

Opening the mailing package, I was presented with Pebble's brown cardboard packaging with basic information printed on in black.

There is a "zipper" on the side of the package where you tear off to review your newly acquired smart-watch and a magnetic USB charging cable layout in white preformed plastics. Nothing to shout about the design of the packaging, it's akin to that of Amazon Kindle Fire packaging.

You might already have the Pebble app installed either on your iPhone or Android smartphone. If not, head to App Store or Play Store to download it. Before you proceed to launch the app, power up the watch by pressing the left button (the lone button on the left). Once powered up, go to your phone Bluetooth setting to pair up the devices. When done, you can launch the app. It will prompt you to download and update the firmware for Pebble. The app will also provide you with additional watch faces that you can install later. Updating the firmware and installing the watch faces is a breeze.

Pebble is charged using the provided magnetic USB cable. Just plug the USB end to any iPhone charger or computer and stick the magnetic end to the charging contact on the left side of the watch to charge your Pebble. Pebble will not indicate that it is charging the watch or if its fully charged. That is quite an annoyance but I believe that it can be fixed with a firmware update.

The quality of the watch material and made is average, not exceptional. It's plastics after all. I am not really convinced that the watch lens is scratch-proof. However I have been using it for a week, so far no scratches on the lens yet. Navigational wise, the top left of the button is the back/power button, bottom left is the charging contact. On the right, you have the up/down scroll button with the select/enter button in the middle. The back of the watch has the Kickstarter Edition wording engraved on it. Unlike earlier prototype where the serial number is a cheap sticker, the actual watch engraved the text on it

Even though the watch looks big, it fit well on a ladies hand. As the back of Pebble is flat, it doesn't really feel comfortable wearing for long hours, but it isn't that bad either. Pebble attracts a lot of attention, people around me has been asking about this special (or maybe weird) looking watch. When I told them that it can alert you of phone calls and display SMS and emails, most of them would ask how do they get one. This shows that people are generally interested in this type of smart watch. Most of them really like the text watch face. The fact that you don't need backlight for Pebble's e-paper display under normal light condition make the text display really cool. When it gets dark, you can flick your wrist to activate the backlight to view the time or messages. It as a built-in accelerometer.

I have used Pebble with 2 different OSes - iOS and Android.

In iOS, it can displays SMS and email messages. When calls come in, it will alert you which you can choose to answer or reject the call. If you answer the call, you must talk using your phone. During the 3 days usage, I get constant Pebble disconnection alert from my iPhone. I have to launch Pebble app everytime to reconnect the watch to my iPhone.

On an Android, Pebble will only display SMS notification with no message preview using the official Pebble app. When call comes in, the accept or reject doesn't work. The good thing about Android is that it is an open source OS, developer can create wonderful solution. One of those is Pebble Notifier. You can get it from the Play Store. With is app, you can setup your Pebble to display messages from email, SMS, Whatsapp, Kakaotalk, Line and many more. I really love Pebble pairing with my Android phone. And you get much lesser disconnection of Pebble from your phone in android too.

So would I recommend Pebble? It's cool and since we do have any better alternatives at this moment, I would say Yes. It's even better for women who mostly had their phones in the handbags. They will never missed any messages or phone calls from their love ones.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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