The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in the smart­watch mar­ket is in many ways rem­i­nis­cent of the years and months before the sale of the very first iPhone. To date, no man­u­fac­tur­er has been able to release a tru­ly break­through device that can instant­ly reshape con­sumer expec­ta­tions. Sam­sung, LG, Motoro­la and oth­ers have so far got­ten away with niche mod­els and are now feed­ing con­sumers pro­to­types and demos — but not fin­ished prod­ucts. You have to choose between com­pro­mis­es.

If you were look­ing for a smart bracelet, the choice among the best options would be lim­it­ed to only two mod­els — Jaw­bone UP and Mis­fit Shine. But if you just want a smart­watch that makes it easy to work with your smart­phone and a con­stant stream of incom­ing mes­sages and alerts, you have only one option. It has­n’t had a sin­gle com­peti­tor for two years, and there does­n’t seem to be any in sight before the release of the iWatch.

it Peb­ble.

Many gad­gets seem inter­est­ing on paper and pic­tures, but in real use they turn out to be incon­ve­nient, ill-con­ceived, and too nar­row­ly focused. “Smart watch” Peb­ble is an exam­ple of a rare, strict­ly oppo­site sit­u­a­tion. This is a thing that is ide­al for any­one who has so far looked askance at the entire mar­ket of wear­able devices. For exam­ple, I did not see any ben­e­fit in using them. Or was upset by typ­i­cal short­com­ings and lim­i­ta­tions.

Prej­u­dices for a whole year and a half stopped me per­son­al­ly from acquir­ing Peb­ble. Three great months after the pur­chase, I want to share with you six rea­sons to do the same: throw all stereo­types about smart­watch­es in the trash and start wear­ing your own assis­tant on your arm.

No. 1. Huge selection of software and watch faces

With their tiny size and low weight, Peb­ble have own App Store. In the offi­cial appli­ca­tion for iOS and Android, the own­ers of the afore­men­tioned smart watch­es can down­load and install any of the tens of thou­sands of watch faces. Today, no such device has such a choice: from count­less styl­iza­tions for ana­log watch­es up to the sec­ond hands to the most infor­ma­tive dig­i­tal watch­es with the dis­play of cur­rent weath­er, wind strength and the lunar cycle.

Peb­ble sup­ports up to eight simul­ta­ne­ous­ly installed watch faces (or pro­grams). Switch­ing between them is instant, just press one of the side but­tons in stand­by mode. The rest of the “watch” is added to your per­son­al stor­age — in the mem­o­ry of the Peb­ble iOS app. Such a sys­tem allows you to select a cou­ple of dozen dials to your lik­ing and change them at your dis­cre­tion at any time.

Do you want some­thing mod­ern, under sports­wear? Or maybe in the style of a famous artist or video game? How about some­thing with a twist on the man­u­fac­tur­er of real watch­es? All this and more is in the Peb­ble store. I almost for­got: every­thing in this store is free.

No. 2. Down with useless iPhone notifications

Push noti­fi­ca­tions on iOS are some­times as annoy­ing as email spam. Noti­fi­ca­tions about incom­ing SMS, mes­sages from social net­works and installed appli­ca­tions are pour­ing almost non-stop into the ears of smart­phone own­ers today. And every time they have to take the device out of their pock­et — and put it back in frus­tra­tion. The ratio of infor­ma­tion noise, dis­tract­ing from busi­ness, becomes alarm­ing­ly high.

Peb­ble own­ers make it easy. They just look at watch and go fur­ther.

Noti­fi­ca­tions from the game Walk­ing War Robots are dis­played on the watch screen

All noti­fi­ca­tions (SMS, What­sApp, games, reminders, etc.) that come to the iPhone are instant­ly dis­played on the Peb­ble screen, accom­pa­nied by a vibra­tion sig­nal. One glance is enough to under­stand who or what both­ered you. It seems to be such a tri­fle — but the con­ve­nience is sim­ply incred­i­ble. After all, now you don’t need to check your smart­phone at all. Every­thing impor­tant that hap­pens in your social net­works and instant mes­sen­gers will always be in sight — with­out unnec­es­sary move­ments. Why do you need Google Glass when you can see every­thing on your own watch?

To dis­play Cyril­lic on the Peb­ble screen, spend 5 min­utes of time updat­ing the watch accord­ing to the instruc­tions below.

Number 3. Music playback control

I don’t know about you, but I use head­phones with­out a con­trol unit. Until now, many mod­els of vac­u­um plugs, inter­est­ing from an audio­phile point of view, are not equipped with such a sim­ple thing — or they cost twice as much just because of the remote con­trol on the cable. It would seem, and here Peb­ble?

In stand­by mode, one click away, the Peb­ble user has access to a music play­back con­trol pan­el. The screen dis­plays the artist, album, and title of each track. With the side but­tons, you can instant­ly scroll through the songs, and with a sim­ple com­bi­na­tion, you can adjust the play­back vol­ume. Noth­ing more is need­ed for the com­plete hap­pi­ness of a music lover.

Con­trol­ling music play­back on iDe­vice through Peb­ble can be con­ve­nient in oth­er sce­nar­ios. For exam­ple, when con­nect­ing an iPhone to home acoustics: you can change tracks on the go with­out going to the speak­er or smart­phone. Smart watch­es act as a mobile remote con­trol and do their job flaw­less­ly.

#4 A Week of Real Battery Life

Very often, future iWatch own­ers com­plain that the bat­tery life of the new Apple gad­get is unlike­ly to be long. The thought is log­i­cal: to fit a capa­cious bat­tery inside a portable watch is not an easy task. The cre­ators of Peb­ble solved it very sim­ply, elim­i­nat­ing not the con­se­quence of the prob­lem, but its very cause.

The Peb­ble has a small black and white screen. This fact scares off a good half of poten­tial buy­ers. And very in vain. Cus­tom designed dis­play Sharp solves a lot of impor­tant prob­lems that own­ers of future smart watch­es will def­i­nite­ly face. For exam­ple, the vis­i­bil­i­ty of infor­ma­tion under the direct rays of the sun. Every­thing that Peb­ble shows you is per­fect­ly vis­i­ble in almost any sit­u­a­tion. And in the dark, you can acti­vate the back­light of the screen.

So, thanks to the ener­gy effi­cient dis­play, Peb­ble can work a week. With the most active use of this watch, includ­ing a con­stant con­nec­tion via Blue­tooth, auto-light­ing, and reg­u­lar instal­la­tion and removal of new pro­grams, Peb­ble will work longer three days. There is noth­ing else like it on the mar­ket. And it prob­a­bly won’t be any time soon.

No. 5. Silent vibration alarm

Sin­gles and just sin­gles do not need to wor­ry about oth­ers. In par­tic­u­lar, you can set scream­ing alarm clocks on your phone for at least four in the morn­ing. If oth­er peo­ple who do not need to wake up at the same time as you are sleep­ing next to you, you des­per­ate­ly need Peb­ble.

Up to 4 alarm clocks are stored in the watch’s mem­o­ry for any time. Since there are no speak­ers in the watch at all, the sig­nal is giv­en exclu­sive­ly by means of vibra­tion. I have nev­er over­slept rely­ing on Peb­ble. They awak­en great — but only the one who put them on. Every­one else con­tin­ues to sleep, as if noth­ing had hap­pened.

No. 6. Waterproof

Par­tial pro­tec­tion against water will not inter­fere with any gad­get. Espe­cial­ly the iPhone. The cre­ators of Peb­ble thought in advance about those who do not want to take off their favorite watch in bad weath­er. The offi­cial water resis­tance lev­el is 5 atmos­pheres. In prin­ci­ple, this means that in Peb­ble you can take a show­er with­out much fanati­cism or get caught in the rain.

How­ev­er, numer­ous exam­ples from the life of Peb­ble own­ers prove that you can eas­i­ly swim in them both in the pool and in the sea — with a full immer­sion of the watch. This sum­mer, I drowned the first gen­er­a­tion Peb­ble in the Black Sea for a whole week, and noth­ing bad hap­pened to them. Even the com­pa­ny’s offi­cial social media accounts con­firm the safe­ty of swim­ming in their smart­watch­es. You can dive in them to a depth of 40 meters. In gen­er­al, you do not need to remove them at all 🙂

Pebble Classic or Pebble Steel?

Thanks to luck and good man­age­ment, a suc­cess­ful Kick­starter project has turned into a suc­cess­ful busi­ness, capa­ble of cre­at­ing new prod­ucts on its own. There­fore, at the begin­ning of 2014, a new ver­sion of Peb­ble entered the mar­ket. How­ev­er, it does­n’t have to be bet­ter. Rather, it is an alter­na­tive. Peb­ble Steel — this is the same watch, but in high-qual­i­ty pack­ag­ing. Includ­ing in the lit­er­al sense.

If you’ve been side­step­ping Peb­ble just for their sporty, some­what youth­ful design, you’ll instant­ly love the Steel. These watch­es were orig­i­nal­ly made for those who wear long-sleeve shirts, jack­ets and gen­er­al­ly fol­low their dress code. More tra­di­tion­al, rec­tan­gu­lar shape, real glass instead of clear plas­tic, qual­i­ty met­al but­tons and hous­ing.


The Peb­ble Steel comes with two dif­fer­ent straps — black leather and steel, as well as a tool for chang­ing them. Fur­ther depends on the pref­er­ences of the indi­vid­ual. Per­son­al­ly, I think leather looks bet­ter. Per­haps because the excess of met­al along with the dig­i­tal dis­play evokes par­al­lels with a cheap watch-cal­cu­la­tor 🙂 I’m sure many Steel own­ers will dis­agree with me, and this is absolute­ly nor­mal. That is why we are giv­en choice.

On the tech­ni­cal side, that the usu­al Peb­ble, that Steel is almost no dif­fer­ent from each oth­er. If you find fault, the dis­play con­trast in met­al mod­els is still high­er than in the clas­sic series. In oth­er words, white is a lit­tle whiter there, and black is, well, you get the idea. Plus, the man­u­fac­tur­er solved the prob­lem with “gaso­line” stains on the dis­plays of ordi­nary Peb­ble. At least noth­ing like this hap­pened on our Steel. Due to flat glass, rather than con­vex plas­tic, the watch looks twice as good in the light, does not give wavy, dis­tort­ed reflec­tions.

The advan­tages of Peb­ble Steel over the con­ven­tion­al mod­el are obvi­ous. Of the short­com­ings — com­plete with the first there is no rub­ber bracelet. This means that play­ing sports in Steel will be incon­ve­nient. Also, do not get involved in swim­ming with a leather strap, as well as run­ning. In gen­er­al, the mod­el is not at all sports and not house­hold — more for work and meet­ings. The vibra­tion motor in Steel is slight­ly weak­er than in the first ver­sion, and at the same time loud­er. That’s basi­cal­ly it.

It turns out an inter­est­ing pic­ture. Unlike the choice between the old and new iPhone, Peb­ble and Peb­ble Steel get along well with each oth­er and com­ple­ment depend­ing on sit­u­a­tions in life. Choose the ones that suit you best. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Even if Apple does intro­duce the iWatch.

Not just “smart” — useful

Every­one who has not just tried, but owned and used Peb­ble, bold­ly con­cludes: this The best smart watch on the mar­ket. Their func­tions work as they should, and tech­ni­cal and soft­ware sup­port is at a lev­el inac­ces­si­ble to com­peti­tors. Peb­ble, regard­less of the mod­el, work out every ruble and are not tied to spe­cif­ic smart­phone man­u­fac­tur­ers or oper­at­ing sys­tems. The device changes, the clock remains.

I pre­fer reg­u­lar Peb­bles. Arthur is delight­ed with Steel. And which ones will you choose?

In EU, the first ver­sion of Peb­ble costs from 5900 rub. Met­al Peb­ble Steel — from 10 4,5 dol­lars. This is less than the prices at which these watch­es are sold in Europe.

Buy a Peb­ble watch
in dif­fer­ent col­ors

Peb­ble Steel pro­vid­ed for review by