Pebble Time is a new color e-paper smartwatch with the same 7-day battery life and apps that users love. Pebble has also added a microphone and a new timeline interface to the watch to make it more useful.
Pebble is one of the most experienced players in the smartwatch market right now. Arriving in the market before Android Wear, it has had the early bird advantage. The differentiating factor or advantage that Pebble has is the user of e-paper display which results in a 7-day battery life and the thriving developer community that is supporting it with apps and watch faces.
Pebble Time was announced on Kickstarter and blew past their goal and raised $1 million in under an hour.
The new Pebble Time has gotten a facelift in both hardware and software. On the hardware front, it is now 20% thinner than the original Pebble and ships with a mic, which can be used to reply to notifications or take short voice notes. It supports standard 22mm watch bands and a quick release pin to swap bands in under 10 seconds.
The new timeline feature works similar to how Google Now works. The timeline shows information from calendars, alarms, apps and organizes them as per time. Using the buttons, users can scroll back or forward in time to see notifications. The timeline is open to developers, so they can add their own apps’ information to it. Even the app menu has gotten a facelift and shows dynamic icons or ‘app faces’.
The 8 app limit from the original Pebble is also gone, so users can use as many apps as needed. The current selection of 6,500+ apps and watch faces will all work with the Pebble Time while an updated SDK to support the timeline feature and mic functionality will be released for developers. And of course, Pebble time will work with iOS 8+ and Android 4.0+
Despite all these updates, is the Pebble Time really worth the money? It depends .
Once you get the Pebble Time, it will work with both Android and iOS so you would not be tied into an ecosystem where your smartwatch becomes useless if you change your smartphone.
But if you want deep integration with the mobile operating system you are using, Pebble Time might not be the best choice to use with iPhone, once the Apple Watch is out. But, if you are an Android user, and happy with the looks of Pebble Time and lack of a touch screen and high-resolution display, this can be the right watch for you since it now supports Android Wear notifications. It also has more apps than Android Wear.
Perhaps, the best idea is to wait until summer and see how Apple Watch and the next Android Wear watches and OS turn out to be before making that purchase. Shipping for Pebble Time begins in May, so there is enough time to decide.