With the rumoured new watch from Pebble with a colour e-paper display, the company has been able to change my outlook on their future. When I first got my Pebble watch, I was pretty convinced that something like the Apple Watch would eventually come along and overtake them. That was my assumption until recently when I realized that the company has chosen some pretty clever ways to outdo their overpowered competition.
While the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices decided to go with a much higher-end screen for their hardware, Pebble stuck with the e-paper display. Sure, it doesn’t look nearly as nice but what they gain over all other smartwatches is an incredible amount of battery life. Rumours (and word from Apple themselves) have the Apple Watch needing a charge every day. With my Samsung Gear Live, I needed to plug it in after about a day to a day and a half of use. I can, after several years, go 3-4 days without needing to charge the watch because of its less demanding screen.
The second big advantage Pebble has over companies like Apple, LG and other smartwatch makers is that they’re cross-compatible with iOS and Android. I’ve switched phones various times over the past few years, jumping back and forth between both mobile operating systems and have never had to worry about losing out on functionality or not being able to use the Pebble at all. In the case of my Galaxy Gear Live, the device became useless to me when switching over to the iPhone 6 Plus.
I think these are important things to consider when organizing a “tale of the tape” as it were for the big upcoming smartwatch battle everyone is talking about. The Pebble has been able to keep up with the best of them thus far and if this new watch is anything like the rumours say, that’s likely to continue. That’s not to say that the Apple Watch doesn’t look great, but I feel like there’s room for more than one smartwatch in our lives.
In my experience, the Pebble is a pretty great device and a good way to test the wearable waters without investing a ton of money.