Smartwatches are kind of a big deal these days. Big companies like Samsung, Apple, Motorola, LG, Sony, and Qualcomm all have smartwatches out on the market. The move to make smartwatches the next “it” accessory is currently at full speed ahead, but when it comes to a smartwatch that’s actually worth your while, in my opinion you’re going to have to dive a little deeper than your favorite smartphone manufacturers in order to find one of the best smartwatches on the market.
You’ve probably heard of the Pebble smartwatch, but perhaps due to the fact that Pebble isn’t exactly a “household” name maybe you never considered buying the product. But seriously, after looking at what the Pebble smartwatch has to offer compared to competitors you might want to reconsider before committing to what the big wigs have to offer at the moment.
Now, there’s going to be varying opinions on which smartwatch is the best right now, as there always is. But in my mind, this smartwatch has a lot of things going for it that make it a clear winner amongst the competition. Let’s start with the fact that the starting price of the smartwatch is now just $99. For price comparisons, you also have:
Motorola Moto 360 smartwatch: $249.99
Samsung Gear 2: $299.99
Apple Watch: $349
Sony Smartwatch 2: $149.97
Qualcomm Toq: $249.99
LG G Watch: $229.99
Pebble Steel: $199
Pebble Smartwatch: $99
The starting price for the Pebble smartwatch, which just recently dropped to $99, is quite a steal in comparison to other smartwatches. The design of the original Pebble smartwatch might not be as prestigious as other smartwatch designs, but Pebble does offer the Steel version of its smartwatch, which features a more premium design, for $199.
Aside from a great starting point for a price tag, however, Pebble also has another problem covered that many smartwatches today have issues with, and that’s battery life. The battery life of a Pebble smartwatch, whether it’s the original or the Steel, is said to be 5-7 days. Here’s the comparison chart:
Samsung Gear 2: 2-3 days with heavy usage; 6 days with low usage
Sony Smartwatch 2: 3-4 days with normal usage
Motorola Moto 360: 2 days
Qualcomm Toq: “Multiple days”
LG G Watch: 36 hours
Pebble Steel: 5-7 days
Pebble: 5-7 days
The increase in battery life is likely due to Pebble’s E-Paper display, which means that the display lacks color and a lot of the “pizazz” that smartwatches with LCD displays have. That being said, when it comes to smartwatches, performance and battery life is key at this point in time. Nobody wants to have to remember to charge two devices every night if they can help it. Charging once every 5-7 days is about as good as it gets right now.
Another nice thing about Pebble is that it supports both Android and iOS, and even has some offhand support for Windows Phone. Not all smartwatches allow this, and some, such as the Apple Watch or the Gear, will only work with supported models under the same manufacturer. That means if you decide to switch platforms or devices sometime in the future, your smartwatch suddenly isn’t as smart anymore. Sweet deal.
Pebble isn’t going to be the fanciest smartwatch on the planet, but I don’t think that a smartwatch that still depends on being close to a smartphone necessarily needs to be. Pebble gets the important stuff (and more) done, such as showing notifications, support from 3rd party apps, health and fitness support, acting as a remote control, game support, and more. Oh yeah, and it’s pretty good at telling you what time it is, too. The fact that Pebble gets all the good stuff in without being too pricey (especially now) is what makes it so appealing to me. An affordable smartwatch with good battery life is something I can get on board with, not a smartwatch that’s acting as a smartphone when my smartphone is somewhere nearby - likely in my purse or pocket.
If you’re looking for a smartwatch that will act as a full-fledged smartphone on your wrist, then Pebble probably isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a smartwatch that still makes your $600 or $700 smartphone worth the amount of money you’ve already paid for the device, then Pebble has you covered.