Why you need Pebble Time over Apple Watch

Why you need Pebble Time over Apple Watch

“Why you keep on wearing this Pebble smartwatch despite owning an Apple Watch,” one of my journalist friends questions me at a recent meet. “I prefer the Pebble Time over my Apple Watch as it’s more useful in reality,” I exclaimed.

Yes, not just for me but for many of its existing users, the Pebble Time is “more useful” than the Apple Watch. But why? I am here trying to answer this in detail.

Pebble Time vs. Apple Watch

The Pebble Time was launched in February last year — just a few months after the first glimpse of the Apple Watch. This perhaps helped the California-based company design its competitive offering. Also, this was the time when Google’s Android Wear got some advanced models such as the LG Watch Urbane and Asus ZenWatch.

Pebble Time vs Apple Watch

What makes Pebble Time better than Apple Watch

Unlike the original Pebble smartwatch, the Pebble Time comes with a color e-paper display. Even though the company tweaked the display panel with 32-bit color support, its quality is still closer to the first-generation Pebble. Moreover, it’s nowhere as high-end or premium as the display panel on the Apple Watch.

Always-on screen

Without a single doubt, the Apple Watch has one of the best display panels among all the smartwatches available today. But when it comes to always-on functionality, Apple’s offering lacks. It doesn’t show you on-screen content consistently for the time you wear it on your wrist.

The Pebble Time, on the other hand, has native support to offer always-on screen to its users. This means that you don’t need to flip your wrist all the time to make the content visible on your smartwatch. Thus, it gives you more a classic watch-like feel than the Apple Watch.

You can view time or date or even some notifications at any time. Also, the presence of the e-paper display on the Pebble Time delivers you perfect sunlight legibility.

I haven’t observed any reflection issue while viewing time or a text message even under bright morning sunlight on my Pebble Time. But reflections are quite sharp on the Apple Watch due to its curved glass panel.

Remarkable battery life

The e-paper display on the Pebble Time consumes much lesser battery than the Retina display on the Apple Watch. This helps in delivering some days-long battery life.

In my case, the Pebble Time lasts for almost a six on a single charge. This is closer to the company’s claim of 7-day battery life. My Apple Watch, however, requires sitting on its charger for almost each single day.

Cross-platform compatibility

As a technology journalist, I often test various devices simultaneously. Sometimes I have to switch to multiple Android devices but in the free spaces, I prefer to use my iPhone. This is the reason I can’t depend on a technology that works just with a single operating system.

Pebble Time cross-platform compatibility

Pebble Time works with Android and iOS devices

The Apple Watch is currently exclusive to iOS. Though Apple may opt for Android support sometime in future, it presently prefers you to own an iPhone before buying its Watch. This limits the Apple Watch.

Contrary to the Apple model, you can use the Pebble Time flawlessly with your Android or iOS device. Pebble has designed its proprietary app for the Pebble Time that offers you almost the same experience on both the mobile platforms. A new firmware update additionally brought an option to let you respond to text messages using your voice.

Significantly cheaper

I spent almost the price of my iPhone 5s to buy the Apple Watch; this was close to Rs. 33,000. But for the Pebble Time, I took the advantage of the Black Friday offer and bought it for $129 (approximately Rs. 8,600).

You might notice some differences in the build quality of the two smartwatch models, but the price difference is certainly quite bigger. The Pebble Time is highly worth its price. Contrarily, the Apple Watch is just as premium as iPhones and Macs.

In spite of the price differences, both the Pebble Time and Apple Watch are majorly aimed to deliver real-time notifications. Whether you want to receive incoming call alerts or app notifications from WhatsApp or Skype, both are identically similar.

However, considering the always-on display, long battery life and cross-platform support, the Pebble Time outperforms the Apple Watch. It also puts less burden on your pocket.

Categories: Analysis