I can be negative with the best of them, but I don’t think I have ever reviewed a product that feels quite so apart from the time it is living in as the Pebble Time. While trying to be objective, I have considered my time with the Apple Watch, Moto 360, Sony SmartWatch 3 and of course traditional watches, but I remain perplexed and completely underwhelmed by the Pebble Time.
The design is exceptionally bland and not one person I have shown it to has liked it. The bezel is huge and there is no sense of quality at all. From the strap, which admittedly includes a clever removal mechanism, to the screen quality, there is not one part that makes me want to wear it each day.
Perhaps most of all it is the lacklustre screen and Palm OS style graphics that let it down. It looks OK in good lighting, if you can stand the pixels, but there are too many occasions when you have to turn on the backlight to see what is going on which brings me to two more problems-
The colours are incredibly washed out to the point that I would actually prefer it to be monochrome. To me, they add nothing to the experience apart from making the software feel even more childish than it already is.
To actually get the backlight to turn on you have to lift your wrist in a much more aggressive manner than you do with the Apple Watch or some of the better Android Wear watches. It is inconsistent, far too insensitive and generally a block to ease of use.
I will give credit for the fact that every single notification appeared as required and the general stability of the OS, but if you are using an iPhone you may want to look elsewhere because the software is severely hampered. Of course this is Apple’s fault entirely, but Pebble has chosen to release this device knowing that these restrictions are present.
At £129 (current price) you do get a smart watch with a decent battery life, reliability and some good points, but you also get to look at a poor quality screen with a child’s OS on board and that makes for an experience which truly does feel like it is from 2002.
I was going to re-write this as it is extremely negative, even for me, but after some consideration I realised that it is accurate to how I feel about it.