Pebble review

There's a reason why it's making a splash

A strong start - can it keep it up?

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We liked

The best thing that can be said about the Pebble is that it doesn't make the mistaking of trying to be a phone on your wrist. It's much smarter than that.

Instead, Pebble is an expert notification deliverer. It's also open to total customisation, and you'll kill hours just trying out cool new watch faces and playing with new apps.

Eventually you'll find a handful you use the most and they'll be the ones that not only define your Pebble experience, but help you appreciate why the smartwatch has become a viable bit of tech.

We disliked

The design won't be for everyone, likely to be especially unpopular among those with smaller wrists. Granted, it feels a lot nicer than many other options, but you get the feeling that a slicker model is just around the corner.

The fact it requires its own special charger means you'll have to carry around an extra cable with you, which is something that feels less forgivable than it does with a phone. Some sort of USB charging on the next iteration, please.

Finally, the design isn't quite up to the standard of the Sony Smartwatch 2. The lack of a colour display doesn't feel like a big deal now but it's something that people will be expecting as smartwatches become more popular.

Final verdict

For the most part, the Pebble excels past the other smartwatches available right now. Why? Because it's everything a smartwatch should be - simple, understated, accessible. It sounds backwards, but it's what the Pebble doesn't do that's most pleasing.

Because we don't need to talk into our watches and we certainly don't need a built-in camera. A smartwatch isn't just another screen for us to deal with - it's a way of making our lives that little bit easier.

When you're crammed on the bus at peak time, when you're out driving the car, when you've had to leave your phone charging in the other room. These are the times where having a smartwatch on your wrist makes perfect sense.

Pebble knows that. And while it's a little primitive in some respects right now, incremental upgrades will continue to pay off in the long run. It will be interesting to see how it continues to evolve into 2014.

Don't believe the smartwatch is here to stay? Pebble is ready to prove you wrong.

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.