The Pebble Time is Pebble’s 3rd smartwatch, and its first with a color display, and microphone. Pebble redesigned the software as well, going from a boring menu system that reminds me of a right-click, to a cartoon-ish style that emphasizes geometric shapes and fun jumpy animations.
Overall I wasn’t disappointed with the hardware design of the Time, it feels light and smooth, while at the same time it seems durable and robust. Some have criticized Pebble’s plastic body, but I disagree; I would rather have a plastic body that is lighter and less scratch attracting than metal. If you prefer metal though, the Time Steel is on its way soon.
As far as shape goes, the Time is a vaguely square shape (slightly longer than it is wide) with a curved bottom. It’s 9.5 mm thin, and it actually feels thinner than my original Pebble, and I already thought that the original was thin!
For the screen we have a 1.25 inch 64-clolor e-paper display, topped with Gorilla Glass. The display’s 64-colors add a nice touch, but in certain lighting (including the built-in backlight) it appears washed out and dull. Also, using e-paper allowed the Time to have the same battery life of its older brothers.
The bezel is stainless steel. Personally, I use a GadgetWraps protector on my Time at all times, but I have heard that the bezel scratches easily, and with the state of many metal items and electronics of mine, I have to take their word for it.
The Pebble time stays faithful to the original’s four button, non-touch design, however the buttons on the Time feel sturdier and clicker than the original Pebble.
Also added is a microphone, which unfortunately drops the water resistance down to about 50m, but I still think that that’s a reasonable depth for a watch to be waterproofed to.
The Pebble OS has a fresh, radical redesign that the pebble team dubs “Timeline”. The name refers to its main feature, which allows you to see what happened in the past and future, while interacting with the present. The OS also takes advantage of the new color display with bright, almost cartoonish screens, and a set of jumpy, high-energy animations.
As far as the feature set goes, the Time still relies heavily on apps to get things done, which used to be a problem, but now the 8-app limit is gone (cue confetti and celebratory party) and is replaced with a dynamic loading system that takes the least used faces and apps, puts them on your phone, and unloads them from memory. Then, when you open that app or face, it gets loaded back onto the watch. I’ve found that this algorithm of determining which apps to keep is actually pretty accurate, and when I’m away from my phone I don’t notice too many things missing that I need.
The new microphone can be used to make voice replies to texts, emails, and more, but the voice-memo feature has yet to be implemented and the microphone is currently not open to developers.
The boring list of apps have been replaced by a set of cards that resemble a Polaroid photo, and have icons on the tiles. Unfortunately, the icons are currently limited to the OEM apps, but I hope to see this expand to all apps in the future.
The watchfaces I’ve found that are in color usually are in two breeds: good coloring, and bad coloring. Some faces, in my opinion, just look better in black and white. The ones that I do like, though, I really like. Some of my favorites are “Make Me Smile”, “Straight”, “Weather Land”, and “BCD minimal”.
Overall, the Pebble time is a great watch for smartwatch wearers, Pebble owners, or people who just want a good watch. Its customizable nature allow it to fit your needs, and the appstore has thousands of things to choose from. For $200, it is a little pricey, but I still enjoy it and use it every day. Let me know if you bought or want to buy the Pebble Time, and tell me some of your favorite faces and apps!