Smartwatches are here to stay as more brands such as Kate Spade and Fossil are getting into the game. Even fashionable watches can also track your health, even if you don’t care for that feature. Wearable tech is taking over, baby! Personally, I’m a late bloomer when it comes to smartwatches. I was never inspired to buy one after getting over the fad of the Nike Fuel Band. When I was asked to review the Pebble 2 Smartwatch, to my surprise, my resistance towards them started to get milder. First let me explain that I have a lot of admiration towards Pebble as brand. If you didn’t know, they started out as a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 and were able to raise over 10 million dollars – not too shabby, eh? It’s impressive since smartwatches were just started to build an interest in the marketplace. And I think Pebble captured it at that time.
The Pebble 2 came in lean and simple square box. Excess packaging is really unattractive and uncool (that’s my two cents). The two wristbands come separated from the screen. So, this is pretty much your only assembly for the product. But it can get a little tricky if you don’t have nails. Just make sure align the straps properly because you’ll be annoyed if it’s done backward. (PS: That didn’t happen to me, but it almost did). The device also came with its own charging cable.
STYLE & DESIGN
The design of the watch is simple and sweet. My first impression was that it looked a bit flimsy because of the ‘plasticy’ wristband. Reminded me of a toy watches I got as a kid. I received the solid white version. The watch’s simplicity definitely grew on me, with its rectangular shape, monochrome 144 X 168-pixel screen and its 22mm silicon strap. I’m glad they used the silicon material because the white color can always stay bright. Easy to clean so it never looks dull from makeup or dirt. But Pebble offers other colors such as: black, aqua, “flame” and lime. I’m still a fan of the white because it offers a bold statement to my outfit. I received a lot of compliments on this watch and some thought it was the Apple Watch – I’ll take it. Not only that, people was curious to learn about the watch. I think it’s because it looks “geeky” but also classic.
The Pebble 2 is a lightweight watch and thanks to the silicon material, it also feels nice on the skin. With the monochrome screen, it does give off an old school ‘out-dated’ computer vibe. The Pebble 2 isn’t fancy or flashy like those ‘higher-tech’ devices but those can get overwhelming. Let’s be honest, you probably won’t use all the features it has to offer.
The always-on e-paper display does help with the battery life. The battery lasts between five-seven days. I get annoyed with having to charge devices so frequently, partially because I’m lazy about it. But to justify my point, if the gadget’s purpose is to track your fitness, sleep, and monitor your heart rate, then it shouldn’t be interrupted so often, non? The good thing about the Pebble 2 watch is that it provides a notification to charge it overnight. But in reality, it only took over an hour to replenish. Since the Pebble 2 uses Bluetooth to connect with your phone, it does use up the battery on your iPhone or Android device. C’est la vie.
I’m a little addicted to the fact that can deliver your texts and incoming calls to your watch. I’ve turned on notifications for apps such as ESPN, and I love receiving updates to my watch. I’m not a super big sports fan but I like knowing what’s happening so I don’t feel out of the loop.
Let me get back to the text notifications. I’ve noticed that I’m less into checking my phone since the use of the Pebble 2. Yes, I get a subtle vibrate from the watch to notify me of any recent activity. Technically, I’m constantly checking my phone. But in reality it isn’t the same. When I pick up the phone, I feel the need to respond immediately. This can be inefficient on time. Sometimes you are expecting an important text or call and it can be consuming to constantly be checking your phone. But you feel a little at ease when it shows up on your wrist. Let’s say you are working out or going for a run, it’s easy to check your wrist to see the notification than to pull out your phone from your pocket to see who is messaging you. If it’s your boss, you stop and pull out the phone. If not, keep running until you are done your workout. Isn’t this more efficient on your time? I say yes!
NOTE: It can get overwhelming to get updates from Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Tinder, Pokemon Go, Snapchat, etc, on your smartwatch. Good thing is that you can modify it from turning it off to getting an update weekdays or weekend only.
HEALTH / FITNESS
The goal for Pebble 2 is to monitor your health activity. It automatically tracks your fitness, sleep, and heart rate. All the data is transferred to Pebble Health app. But it also can sync with Apple HealthKit and GoogleFit. For fitness, it really tracks your steps. Good for walkers or runners. It doesn’t track elevation so if you do a bunch of steps or run a hill, it’s doesn’t recognize the intensity. When the weather is nice, I’m I’m a big fan of biking but it sucks that Pebble acknowledges my fitness as sedentary. Speaking of acknowledgment, the Pebble 2 does give you great notes of encouragement if your fitness level is active. For instance, I’ve never thought to be proud of myself for walking to the grocery store but Pebble 2 does like to remind you of being awesome for taking those steps. The messaging is consistent and different every time you accomplish a new goal. There is nothing wrong with getting a pat on the back for small successes, am I right?
Pebble 2 wants to be more about health than fashion. Personally, I like it for its fashion. It makes me seem like a techie geek but also works as fashionable accessory. It’s a bonus for me to track my health, heart, and sleep. That being said, I’m at the age where I’m not too concern monitoring my health activity. Though I should be but it’s nice that I have the date if need be. The Pebble 2 doesn’t track all levels of fitness, which could be seen as a drawback. Overall, I really think this is a perfect entry-level smartwatch. As a late bloomer to smartwatches, I’m really happy with the use of the Pebble 2.