Pebble Time review

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

Pebble Time review
Pebble Time review

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The Pebble Time is a smartwatch that hyped up a lot of features before releasing, but doesn't quite measure up like we had hoped.

We liked

The Time is visually pleasing to the eye and looks like it could almost pass for a budget Apple Watch. The color option is also a welcome upgrade from the black and white e-ink days of the first Pebble – even if it's only running a 64-color palette. The impressive battery life is also something most other smartwatch makers should take note of.

We disliked

The bezel. It's horrendous and distracting from the overall appealing design of the Pebble Time. What's more, the watch feels a little too plasticky in the hand and lacks a premium look.

The brightness level of the display could also be amped a bit more, so I can actually see the color screen better. The lack of a touchscreen is also disappointing but understandable to keep costs down. An acceptable trade-off would have been higher-quality buttons providing a better feeling and requiring less force.

Pebble Time

Final verdict

It's hard to like the Pebble Time after using higher-end smartwatches, like the Apple Watch or even the LG Watch Urbane.

The Time's features are extremely lacking despite its huge app store library. Likewise, the Timeline interface and color display are also underwhelming despite being the new, touted aspects of the Time.

Essentially, even with these upgrades, the Pebble Time still isn't a smartwatch you can place alongside its more expensive brethren. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though.

At $199 (£179.99, about AU$256), the Time is reasonably priced if you want a watch that connects to your phone as a notifier or simple fitness device. Hopefully with future updates, the watch will be able to do more, especially for iOS.

Android fans already have a vast array of useful smartwatches to choose from – Moto 360, Sony Smartwatch 3 and more – but those on iOS have meager pickings. It seemed like the Pebble Time would have been an attractive alternative for iPhone users who want to try out an affordable wearable. But right now, the Time simply can't do as much on iOS as it can on Android.

The insanely successful Kickstarter shows that Pebble is undoubtedly a powerful wearable maker. But despite its popularity, Pebble needs to show us that it can do even better.

Here's hoping the Pebble updates will help the Time feel more worthy of our wrists.