I know this review is a bit late since the watch was originally released in January 2014 but since this is the first smartwatch that I’ve ever owned I decided to give it a quick review.
It all began after a restless night when I decided to check out slickdeals.net and I saw a listing for an open box Pebble steel that was only $50 after coupon code on CowBoom.com, even though the watches were quickly being scooped up I was lucky enough to fight through all the lag, bugs and errors and finally get one with a silicon band.
Fast forward to about a week later I found the package which contained my watch safely tucked under my doormat.
The watch itself came in a small cushioned box with only a USB charger cable, I have to say that for a used/open box item it was in remarkable shape, it did not have any nicks or scratches that I could see.
At first glance the gray monochrome screen surrounded by a thick black border was kind of off putting and kind of cheapened the device in my view but the device felt well built, durable and sturdy which is rare because many manufacturers often look for the cheapest materials to build with. I’m confident that If you dropped this watch or bumped the wall it would operate without any problems.
It came fully discharged so I wasn’t able to test it right out of the box but after a quick charge I was able to start it up, set up the pebble app on my android phone and get connected fairly quickly, almost immediately I got an alert for an new email that was sent to my gmail account. The vibration is certainly noticeable but pleasant.
I was also impressed by the amount of apps and tools that are available for it like the digital compass watch face and Pandora radio app that lets you control the phone’s volume, pause the player and see which song in playing, although since the screen is so small its nearly impossible to see the full name of the song playing but even with this issue, the screen is easy to look at in direct sunlight and at night you can activate the light by just shaking it.
The built in light itself is hardly noticeable if you’re not looking directly at it so you probably don’t have to worry about it distracting others in venues like theaters.
The battery life seems to be what I expected, I fully charged it on Friday and as of 3 days later the battery life is at 30%.
Even though the watch is very durable, unfortunately there are major cons that ruin the device for me. There is an issue with horizontal lines randomly showing up across the screen and also random disconnects from my phone, this was kind of an inconvenience when I was out exercising over the weekend and I had to manually reconnect with the watch via an app on my phone.
Keep in mind when the device is disconnected you won’t be able to receive alerts or get updates (ie temperature updates) until you manually reconnect and there is no option to reconnect from the pebble itself back to the phone..
At this point it is only worth $50, it’s nowhere close to being worth the $165 they’re asking for in my opinion but if you’re looking for a simple yet very durable smart watch that isn’t always listening for commands, doesn’t have a camera built in, doesn’t log your vitals and doesn’t constantly transmit large amounts of radio waves through your wrist, this is the device for you.
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