I was excited when Apple finally announced the long-awaited Apple Watch. I watched the video demonstration, and was already thinking about one, until the price was announced. The cheapest version will start at $349. For me, that was the deal breaker. It’s simply not in my budget. After thinking about it, I see several challenges that Apple will have to overcome. These are the reasons I chose a Pebble smart watch for $99 over the much anticipated Apple Watch.
1) I don’t need to text or call from my watch.
The iPhone has gotten bigger with each generation due to the fact that bigger devices are better for user input. Now, Apple is trying to fit all the controls and user interface into the watch face using a combination of touch and a rotary dial. For me, I think I can still pull my phone out of my pocket when I want to message or text. The Pebble is more of a display device instead of an input device. I can see who is calling, see text messages, and even use apps on my phone, but I don’t have to worry about typing on a 1 inch screen.
2) I want long battery life
I don’t want another device that has to be charged each night. The Pebble will last a week (or around 4 days with activity tracking enabled in the background). And it charges quickly. From early reports, the Apple Watch will struggle to make it through the day.
3) I want a display that I can see outside
If I can’t view my watch in direct sunlight, is it really functional? Have you ever tried to use your iPhone or android in direct sunlight. The experience is painful. The Pebble watch has an e-ink display that works perfectly outside. I’ve been using it with Runkeeper and it works great while displaying your distance and speed while running.
4) I want a watch that I don’t have to worry about breaking
I can buy 3 or 4 pebble watches for the price of one Apple Watch. Enough said.
5) I want my watch to track my activity
I’ve been wanting a fitbit or jawbone fitness tracker for a long time. Now with the latest Pebble update, my watch functions as an activity tracker. It tracks how far I’ve walked and how many steps I’ve taken, and even how much I sleep. Now I know the Apple Watch will do all this, but is it worth the price difference?
After using the Pebble for a couple of months, I really like it and don’t have any regrets. After watching it explode on Kickstarter, I really wanted one when it launched, but I wanted to wait to see what Apple had planned. Pebble has released several feature updates since I bought the watch. I do wish it had more memory so you could install more watch apps and watch faces, but at least you can use your phone to load up the apps quickly when you need them.
One of the interesting uses of my watch has been as an alarm. I use it for my morning alarm. It will wake me up by vibrating my wrist instead of waking the whole house with a ringtone. And speaking of ringtones, I have kept my phone silenced the last several weeks. My wrist vibrates anytime I have a phone call. I can see who is calling without fumbling for my phone.
The Pebble comes in two versions, the original plastic style in multiple colors for $99 and the newer Pebble Steel for $149. Both are great deals. Check out the video below to see how it works.