Pebble Time review

For those who want a simple, clean, slightly smart smartwatch

Pebble Time review
Pebble Time review

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There's no shortage of apps for the Time. Because it's backwards compatible, you have access to over 6,000 apps. Not each one has a color interface, naturally.

In addition to the Timeline interface, there's still an apps menu, which you can access by pushing the middle button on the right side. Default apps include Settings, which shows the battery level and date among other options once you select it. Notifications, Music, Alarms and Watchfaces round out the rest of the default apps.

Pebble Time Music

Notifications range from texts, Facebook, Twitter or whatever application you have installed on your phone and set to send you notifications. Selecting the Pebble Time app lets you scroll through all of them in once place. This looks a bit messy, but is simultaneously convenient to open just one app to see everything.

There was always a "clear all" option in the notification app but a recent firmware update now lets you dismiss all of your notifications with one click opposed to dismissing one by one as you receive messages.

Vibrations have also been adjusted and now allow you to disable, turn on low, medium or high. Previously, it's default was set to high which made receiving notifications jarring, but the new options have helped alleviate this.

Music lets you see what's playing on your phone, and lets you quickly skip songs, which is handy when driving.

Pebble Time Music app


Along with an accelerometer and the aforementioned water resistance and GPS functionality, the Pebble Time can also track your steps and sleep by using various fitness apps like Runkeeper, Pedometer,, Misfit, Fitcat and more.

Pebble Time Fitcat

I had odd issues downloading apps from the Pebble Time store but they eventually started working. Since there's no actual fitness app from Pebble, nor very many sensors, the watch is dependent on third-parties to get the fitness ball rolling. Even then, a lot of the options are companion apps that require an app on both the phone and wearable. This isn't surprising considering many smartwatch apps employ this method to work.

Pebble Time Pedometer

I used the Misfit app to track my step progress because it seemed the best of the bunch. Previously, you needed the app open at all times on Pebble devices to keep it tracking but thankfully an update from last year has allowed Misfit to run in the background.

The app hasn't been upgraded with the new color scheme and remains in black and white, though this doesn't really take away from the experience since it only shows a simple circular data log and graph of each step and sleep goals.

So far I've used the Pebble Time with Misfit app in conjunction with the Apple Watch and Microsoft Band. While looking ridiculous sporting three different wearables, I was able to see that the Pebble Time kept up reasonably well.

The Misfit Flash isn't the most accurate tracker I've used - though no fitness tracker is really clear cut when it comes to monitoring steps.

Regardless, the three devices gave me relatively similar numbers over the span of a day but the Pebble Time seemed to be the most sensitive and recorded a higher number than the other two: Apple Watch clocked in at 5,100 steps, Microsoft Band at 5,089 with the Pebble Time at 5,226. I continued using the wearables through another day and received similar results, and I expect that's how it would continue.

More features

An added fitness feature for the Time (that will likely evolve beyond fitness) includes "Smartstraps."

Smartstraps are modular watch straps that involve hooking onto the charge port on the back of the watch. Embedding a battering-hogging GPS chip only when it really matters, or a heart-rate sensor when you decide to monitor your real-time beats per minute, are a few possibilities the straps offer.

Pebble even floated the idea of adding even more battery life to the the already-long-lasting Pebble Time.

Pebble Time

Right now, the Smartstraps concept is open to developers and hackers who want to tinker with the idea of helping craft the future of Pebble Time. The company figures that its dedicated community has done it before with apps, so why not add customizable hardware, too?

Pebble says it'll make some straps on its own too, but which and when remains to be seen. Right now, it's asking partners to contact the company with a vague timeline of "later this year."