Pebble Smartwatch: Everything Old is New Again, but Better
There was a time when a watch with a built-in calculator was a Big Deal. Then came the inevitable march of progress and we eventually got the smart phone, and immediately half the human population stopped wearing wristwatches because they were staring down at a smart phone all day anyway.
The Pebble Smartwatch: I Come from the Future
Of course, these days nothing gets left behind: Our culture has become almost perfectly conservative, in the sense that nothing truly goes out of style. It all comes back. So it is with bell-bottom jeans, so it is with the Volkswagen Beetle, and so it is with the humble watch, now made not-so-humble by the Pebble Smartwatch.
The Pebble Smartwatch has a familiar wristwatch shape, is worn on your wrist, and can be used as a simple timepiece if you want. The face of the Pebble Smartwatch is essentially a small bit of E-Paper, which allows the watch to have any kind of face you want, ranging from digital to old-school minute- and second-hands, to just about anything else. You can change Pebble Smartwatch as often as you like, in fact, to have a different watch to match your moods. Or, if you’re like us, to help with your declining night vision.
The Pebble Smartwatch: More Than a Watch
But the real excitement about the Pebble Smartwatch is in its versatility. The Pebble Smartwatch can run Apps, making it an incredibly useful device because instead of a phone, tablet or phablet, you don’t have to lug it around. You remain hands-free while still having the benefits of a tiny computer with you at all times – although, to be fair, many of the initial Apps on offer are tethered to your smartphone for GPS or music streaming. Still, being able to leave your phone in your backpack while you bike or run while still being able to see the GPS data or manipulate your music is a pretty amazing feat.
Because the Pebble Smartwatch is a platform, in fact, we can expect a lot of really cool Apps to be developed for it in the coming months. There are already some great applications for athletes, as the Pebble Smartwatch is an ideal bike computer, ideal for tracking runs in distance and time, and ideal for seeing where you are without having to dig out your phone.
The Pebble Smartwatch is also well-designed.
The Pebble Smartwatch is elegant and pretty, and not bulky at all on your wrist, which is why other attempts at smartwatches have failed. It doesn’t try to cram the kitchen sink in, either – Pebble knows that smartwatches aren’t going to replace smart phones any time soon; it’s designed more as a complement to your phone. The features are pretty basic, but this keeps it simple and efficient, with just four buttons to contend with.
While the features of the Pebble Smartwatch are sparse, this also means it’s a snap to use. Considering the focus on an active lifestyle, that makes sense: If you’re careening down a mountain on your bike you don’t need to scroll through sixteen menu pages to get the setting you want.
So, do you need a smartwatch, or is your trusty smart phone all the smart you need?