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Pebble Smartwatch review

Kickstarter project proves wearable technology is the future
Thu Jun 27 2013, 15:42

Product Pebble Smartwatch
Website Getpebble
Specifications 1.26in 144x168 resolution LCD, Bluetooth 2.1 and 4.0, four buttons, accelerometer, magnetometer and light sensor
Price £107 including US shipping

THE PEBBLE SMARTWATCH was one of the most absurdly successful projects on Kickstarter in 2012, securing over $10m in funding, 100 times more than the original $100,000 target. The watch promises to be "infinitely customisable" and allows custom watch faces and useful apps. Retailing at $150 plus $15 shipping to the UK, or £107 all-in, the watch is certainly not a purchase you'd make on a whim.

What backers were funding in mid-2012 was a product made for 2012. We're now in 2013, and with Apple and Samsung rumoured to be working on their own smartwatches, and Sony with one already on the market, has the David in this multiple Goliath battle got what it takes to survive?

Design and build
Smartwatches of the past have had the tendency to rather stick out as huge lumps on our wrists, making them impossible to ignore. The Pebble, however, is easy to ignore, which is exactly how wearable tech should be. We found the watch, despite its relatively large surface area, fitted comfortably on our wrist and stayed there all day without being irritating, obtrusive or sweaty. The supplied black wristband is rather anonymous and on the brightly coloured watches could be seen as rather out of place, but the world's your oyster when it comes to wristbands, as the watch will fit any 22mm strap.

The watch face is covered with a scratch-resistant plastic, which is welcome added security when on the move. The coloured moulded material surrounding the screen on our unit is a matte grey, and looks smart and uncomplicated.

Four buttons surround the watch, with three on the right-hand side - two for navigation and one for selection. On the left of the watch face is a single button that is used to go back in menus and light up the screen. The buttons are chunky and well placed, but at times can be a little difficult to press.

The Pebble smartwatch has four multi-purpose buttons

The left side of the watch is also the place to find the charging port. It's a simple magnetic affair to keep the watch water resistant, and its proprietary cable will fit into any USB port for charging.

When the watch vibrates for notifications the feedback is strong but not too loud, and not uncomfortable.


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