Wearable market is growing rapidly, according to the recent report by Statista.com, smart watch overall value changed from $1.05 billion (back in 2013) to $2.93 billion in 2016. Additionally, it is supposed to be doubled by the year 2018. This means, high ranking companies like Fitbit, Pebble, Garmin, and Apple needs to buckle up for the wearable battle.
Pebble just released its new smartwatch Pebble 2, Pebble 2 Time, and all new Pebble Core with a lot of new improvements in their core part of the software and more focused on the heart rate monitoring. While we already saw Pebble 1 smartwatch ruling the crowd funding platform Kickstarter, it’s time for the Pebble 2 smartwatch to enter the competition with the Apple Watch 2.
In this Pebble 2 smartwatch review you will see, there is not a huge difference in the Pebble classic / Pebble 1 and Pebble-2, but it comes with some promising improvements to change your life.
Pebble 2 Price: $129.99
Pebble 2 Smartwatch Review
Pebble 2: Design & Hardware
Much noticeable part of the new Pebble-2 smartwatch is the design of the watch face. While the successor is going thinner than Pebble, there is not much work done on the outer part.
The screen is again almost same sizing 1.26 inch (just .01’ different from the predecessor). The display is quite better with 144×168 pixel monochrome screen that would save quick battery draining. Pebble-2 is similar to the predecessor in the functional design, there is again 4-button-control system embedded on the sides, instead of the touch-press screen.
No worries, Pebble still has options for you to choose. Pebble time or time-2 (yet to come) could be the better choice if you want a metallic strap with sleek design. Taking about the zoom view, you will find that 144×168 is the screen size including the bezel, which is extended onto the watch screen. But, the display will get you a hasten happy pack, as it is 24 hours on-screen available, and a crispy gorilla glass -3, which is for durability part.
However, the body at some points understandable as the price tag is lesser than other smartwatch makers offering same fancy firmware. The polycarbonate pebble-2 with attached silicon strap seems a step back after such a successful design (pebble classic).
Though, the design is slightly improved- the body is lighter than classic weighing 31.2 g, which was previously 38g, and also, it is comfortable to be worn. The colorful queue could be a plus- cool colors include Aqua, Black, white, flame and white, but not the eye-catcher. Following the trend, they embedded 22m strap (plastic but comfortable on the wrist) with quick release technology.
Additionally, pebble-2 is water resistance up to 30 meters, which was more marked 50 m in the classic; we are still not sure why they did this.But they also added a feature waterproof mic on side area to send voice messages quickly.
Pebble 2: OS
The old-school OS 4.0 beneath the wearable has been revived throughout the time- from Pebble classic to Pebble 2. You can actually see the OS and apps improved in Pebble 2. They took some appreciable refinement making this watch features as full and handy. The e-paper monochrome display keeps the watch face active all the time without consuming much power.
Another noticeable feature packed inside the smartwatch is ARM Cortex M4 processor, which was previously ARM Cortex M3 in classic. This simply, means the device can perform algorithms quickly and fasten the navigation process. The coordination between buzz and on-screen notification is remarkable.
Talking about the compatibility, as most of the pebble members, Pebble-2 is compatible on both iOS and Android smartphones.
Read now: Best Android Wear Watch Supports iPhone
Pebble 2: Quick Access
The fresh timeline will get you quick access to the apps of your choice, for instance, you can get an ordered view of activities performed throughout the day, or you can check in to the weather forecast, pull out the app update info, or check the calendar date or even the sports cards.
New quick and simple Timeline, so far, is one of the best features in pebble-2. You can access almost everything quickly, want to check an app, press the side button, and you are there already. They kept this part simple and swift, which is the appealing part of this smartwatch. You cannot just overlook the instant command feature.
Also, the on board WiFi connectivity is missing, means you cannot connect your phone in the long range. This is one of the points, where Apple and Samsung come into the front row.
Pebble 2: Health and Fitness
The new thing about Pebble-2 is the heart rate monitor. Optical heart rate monitor remains active throughout the whole day and the week; it is set as a default feature to analyze your activity and performance. This is most impressive and accurate heart rate monitor in the smartwatch section now. It will display the plot showing the data for day-night works. And guess what? It can actually go without charging for the whole week.
Pebble family is majorly focused on a wearable with accurate health tracking and quick access. This time they worked on the heart rate monitor, automatic sleep, and pace tracking.
It’s easier to see that Pebble utilized their user’s health pattern to improve their fitness tracking more simpler and accurate as possible.
We also found that the optical heart tracker works precisely even on the day 7 of our test. It gets you quite accurate (almost similar to chest strap device) reading.
As stated already, the automatic sleep tracking is automatic and regular, to give you the details including the sleep quality, level, sleep time and more. This is really good, as most of the tracking gear fails to track the exact same data. Additionally, you can also start a workout app to get the details for a workout, distance and steps metrics. You need to press the single button on the right side of the face, which won’t be that swift, as the button is small and stiff.
With that being said, again Pebble-2 facing issues while syncing with the phone sometimes, though; the company is on this part and going to release the update sooner.
Cloud storage is missing, which is already there is the rivalry brand Fitbit. You can only get to see the data via the Pebble smartphone app.
To assist these features for much easier, there is already a range of third party apps and fitness faces are better option for those who expect more. In the future, we could still expect some great updates from the Pebble team to support the health and fitness tracking.
Pebble 2: Apps
Pebble health is easily accessible on the watchface, it gets you all the activity tracking info instantaneously. Pebble health can easily sync with the Apple Health, Google Fit and various other third party apps.
Company developers have worked, and still working on the app development to provide elegant face and user-friendly smartwatch apps.
It seems like the pebble knows what they are doing to the future!
Additionally, you have the music playback controls and notification, thanks to Pebble update. You can also manage the notifications you don’t want to see on your watch face through the companion app or even directly via pebble-2.
Another good thing to keep up the charm- you can reply texts directly by using the pre-defined messages or the emojis you select. However, for voice messages, you can speak up the message through the microphone and get it sent. This simpler voice version might seem unhandy to some users.
In our trial, we never saw pebble-2 struggling to connect with the smartphone or lagging time get us the notifications. This feature actually makes the lifestyle easier.
Pebble 2: Battery
A big star to e-paper monochrome display, it literally saved the pebble-2, you can see the wearable dominating the rivals including the apple with 7 days battery life. And, at the end, it somehow managed to remain impressive. It will surely excite you, every time you open your device, and see the battery logo with the crispy level of battery life.
Companies like Apple and Samsung failed to offer lifeline more than 5 days, that’s Pebble-2 for you. You would feel amazing to not charge the battery every night, which might be the reason for why Pebble used the monochrome instead of present time fancy display.
Pebble 2 Vs Pebble Time 2
Our take on Pebble 2 / Pebble Time 2,
Looks like Pebble – The Smartwatch Leader is on the right track with few temporary slips. Our Suggestion to Pebble is that by focusing more on the advanced smartwatch features that users really needed at present will help the product stay in the market for a long term. Recent product features shows that Pebble is trying to offer a wearable that focusing on providing a precise health metrics and quick access to watchface.
For the users takeaway from this review, Pebble 2 is quite disappointing when looking at the previous track record. Pebble classic was a huge hit, and people were actually expecting more from the successor. There is not much change in the pebble1 and 2. The longer battery life, quick pull out face and precise tracking saved the pebble-2. If you want a wearable with less looker design, but a simplistic firmware, then Pebble-2 is definitely for you. Or, we would suggest you wait for the pricier Pebble time-2.