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You have no need for a smart watch, until you wear one.


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I haven’t regularly worn a watch since around 2005 when I got my first Window CE smart phone. I own a couple of mid-tier fashion watches that I only wear on special occasions, but I didn’t see any reason to return to wearing a watch on a daily basis, much less a smart watch. Then a little over a month ago I was a chaperon on a school trip that included a day at any amusement park and all of the other adults kept talking about how many steps they were taking with their fitness trackers. After I got back my wife was saying it would be a good idea for me to get a fitness tracker, but I decided if I do it is going to need to something more than just count steps. It needed to sync with my phone and tell me when I have an alerts and displaying txts would an additional plus.

After doing some research, I bought a Gen 1 Pebble watch, which I picked it up for $89, which is cheaper than most of the fitness trackers that sync with your phone to handle the tracking data and did alerts and it was cheap enough that I wouldn’t kick myself if I hated it. I then played with it for the next week and a half on a trip to Disney, trying the three biggest fitness tracker apps. None of them were great, but they mostly got the job done and I have since settled on the Misfit app, hoping that will be improved with future updates. It tracks steps and sleep, but doesn’t sync data with Android phones (iOS will sync).
When I first got the watch I was a little overwhelmed with the alert notifications. The watch would buzz for every junk mail and app update. So I added a different notifications app that would allow me to select which alerts to have sent to the watch and I’ve been much happier. I have also found another app that syncs with navigation app and displays navigation information and speed on the watch. I tried a find my phone app that was supposed to allow my watch to tell the phone to ring if I misplaced it, but it didn’t work with my phone. It may work with other phones, just not mine.

Even with these apps, I’m not sure that is enough that would keep me wearing it. But what is enough is that the watch buzzes when I’m getting a call or txt and displays from whom. My phone is almost always on mute, because I don’t like the phone making loads of noise at work and I kept missing calls and messages. Now with the watch, I’m missing fewer calls and messages and can see who I’m ignoring when I’m driving. I’m also getting a solid 4 days between charges. Compare that to a resent entry into the smart watch category that only last 17 hours.  I’m starting to think this is a no brainer for what it does. I would have a harder time saying ‘try this’ with a $200 plus device and at over $300, forget it. But for under $100, yes, do it.

I haven’t used any of the other watches, so I can’t really compare, but when I read reviews on any of the Pebble watches it is often dinged for having buttons and not using a touch screen. I’m going to add a little counter argument here. I can see how touch would be nice when you siting and playing with the watch, but when you’re walking, driving or in a meeting and want to clear a notification without looking at the watch the buttons are great. I can feel where they are and I know what each does. I can literally do it with my eyes closed, I’m not sure that can be said for the touch screen watches.

So, there you have it; I’m a smart watch convert. Maybe I might upgrade to the metal version of the watch, but that depends on what my wife thinks of the Pebble, she wants to try it now. I may lose the one that I’m wearing.

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Nice to meet a fellow Pebbler. I backed the original Pebble on Kickstarter as well as the Pebble Time & Time Steel (still waiting for the latter to ship).


Currently, I own a Pebble Steel which I only remove roughly twice a week to charge. It's the more age-appropriate watch for me compared to the first one, and works well with any attire by switching between the included leather or metal watch band.


Primary uses and apps are: notifications, Misfit, Dashboard (Android), Compass, DIN Time, Y!Weather, and a few other watchfaces.


Notifications is something I really appreciate. I can have the phone in my pocket or left on my desk/charging dock and for as long as I'm within Bluetooth range, I can preview messages on my watch and decide whether or not to act on it with urgency. Dashboard allows me to control certain features of my phone remotely, like turning on/off the WiFi Hotspot, putting it on vibrate/silent, or even use it to ring the phone if I misplaced it, among a few others.


Like you, I really find it counter-intuitive to go back to a traditional watch.

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