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I bought a Pebble a couple of days ago and think its a great little device, I did run into some problems and have some thoughts that apply both to the steel and the original and thought I'd share.

Here in Australia, work bought me a Pebble for $180 w/ 2 years warranty from Dick Smith because I'm a systems engineer that is on call 24 hours a day for some relatively important places. I got the pebble on Monday of this week. I ripped it out of it's square little box put it on my wrist and downloaded the Pebble App onto my Moto G.

The watch it's self is a great piece of hardware. Build quality looks to be great, there is absolutely no part of the watch that feels weak or "cheap". The silicone band seems to be plenty durable and also is replaceable so you can switch out for something else if you please.

On the left hand side we have a big back button that can also act as a button to turn the backlight on when on a watchface. The right hand side is a little bit more crowded, it has 3 buttons. Up, enter, and down. Often regarded as Right Up, Right Middle and Right Down on the Pebble forums. I don't want to get to into hardware as it is relatively simple and almost so simple its unexciting, plus it has been covered by a million other people better at describing things than myself.

So lets look at the practical side of the Pebble.

Obviously you first you have to do is pair the Pebble with a Smartphone. I am using an original Pebble loaded with v2.1 firmware using the latest version of the Pebble app for Android.

The "initial" setup process was rather simple:
1. Power on your Pebble
2. Pebble displays its Bluetooth name
3. Open the Pebble App search for Pebbles
4. Connect and download the latest updates
5. Enable Pebble accessibility service (Allows notifications to be sent)

The whole process took no longer that 5 minutes and the Pebble worked flawlessly for a whole 24 hours. Being on Android you can completely customize what notifications you receive on your Pebble. I have 3 email accounts, one encrypted exchange account for work, an iCloud account and a gmail account.

I set the Pebble to receive notifications for all the accounts, and after 5 minutes I got my first notification to the Pebble. It was from my work email. (Exchange through standard android email client) The watch buzzed and the notification that displayed was "Email. New message received"



I was initially a little disappointed because I receive so many emails and only a select few are directed at myself. I was expected to at least see a subject and the first few lines of text. This problem Is with the default email app for Android, all my personal emails (gmail) get displayed perfectly on the Pebble. It's possible there is a work around for it. Tomorrows the weekend and I will finally have some time to play with it some more.

Apart from the issues with email all other notifications worked well. The watch responded to incoming calls, texts, facebook messages and emails. Lucky I don't have many notifications that are unimportant because it WOULD become annoying to have your watch constantly vibrating for the latest offer for some game you have installed. The joy of Android is you can disable these.

I installed an app called "Spy" from the store, downloaded it on my phone and the next morning as I was sitting at my computer trying to be helpful on a support call my pebble started to vibrate every 10 minutes. I soon figured out that the Watchface I was using had a function to "Vibes on disconnect". My phone was 30cm away from my wrist. I did a quick a Google to see if anyone else was experiencing the issue...
The Pebble forums were full of users experiencing the same or similar type of problem. I followed a posters advice and downloaded a later version of the Pebble app to my phone, reset my Pebble and viola. The issue disappeared.

So I was under the assumption that it was the latest version of the Pebble app that was causing the connectivity problem. I just thought how Pebble started on Kickstarter and they might still had some bugs to work out. But my Pebble worked up until I installed "Spy" so I upgraded the Pebble app, deleted Spy and now the Pebble works better than ever. The older version of the app had issues with the UI lagging and the music function being almost nonfunctional so the working upgrade came as a relief.

I charged the Pebble on Monday until it was full and haven't charged it since it is now on 20% battery. I'm relatively happy with this. It meets the manufacturers claims of 5-7 days, will last me a whole working week even if i'm constantly playing with it like a have been and allows it to be actually a little productive!

There is enough variety with the watch faces to cater to almost any style. I choose to go with YWeather. It's super clean, works with most languages, and if you flick your wrist it gives a more detailed view of the weather. Having that information available to you on your wrist is incredible!

The watch for the next 3 days delivered all the content I wanted to see from my phone straight to my wrist. It was a massive help for work. I'm a relatively forgetful person, I leave my phone on silent, I leave it in my laptop bag or I just don't bother to check it. The Pebble is becoming a great tool to make sure I'm always relatively on point for work. From a management point of view It means that your staff have no excuse to miss calls, texts, and emails.

The inbuilt music player is awesome too. You can play music, pause, skip and go back all from your wrist. Great for running or if your playing music from your phone from a set of speakers inside when you have people over. It does however make for some pretty strange looks. Society hasn't fully caught up on the smart watch concept.



Remember this opinion is based more for productivity than a watch for everyday use. That being said the Pebble is a great combination of hardware, software (WHEN IT ALL WORKS) and features that manage to make a great product. Especially if you really do need to see notifications when they come through like myself. It's been a most help little tool.

The software can still be half baked unfortunately. Especially from independent devs in the Pebble store. Mad respect for having the knowledge and skills to develop, but people need stable. It was a little surprising that one app I downloaded had the potential to screw up connectivity between my phone and Pebble.

I can easily recommend this to people who want to use the base feature of the Pebble and actually need it.

P.S: This wasn't meant to be a "review" as such more like an opinion based on my experiences. I haven't contributed much to the OCN community lately and if this piece helps one person or boss decide for or against the Pebble I'll be stoked.
Edited by Nutty Pumpkin - 5/15/14 at 9:03pm
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Ryzen 1600 Asus B350M-A XFX AMD Vega RX 64 8GB 2x4GB DDR4 2400mhz 
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