I have been into geeky watches for a very long time. In high school I sported one of these bad boys:
I have a red Pebble smartwatch and love it. I’ve been following the Apple Watch hubub and laughing, because the 18-hour battery life is a joke and my Pebble gets a week. I figured Pebble would have some sort of response to the Apple Watch, and they did: Pebble Time.
If we cruise past the fact that it is larger and uglier than the existing Pebble watch (which is enough to stop many people right there), here’s my main problem with the Pebble Time: I really don’t need a color watch face.
I have installed and uninstalled many Pebble apps over the last year. The things I actually want my watch to do include:
- telling the time
- seeing the name of a caller so I can decide whether to dig my phone out of my purse
- seeing text messages without digging my phone out of my purse
- seeing calls/text messages when I left my phone downstairs
- tracking my run time/distance
- using a stopwatch/intervalometer when working out
You’ll notice there’s not a lot on this list. Two of the items are covered by your standard Timex Ironman watch. Among the things I have uninstalled are games, weather, photo galleries, yelp, and other widgets that I ultimately decided just don’t belong on a watch. It’s bad enough to look like a dickhead messing with your phone all the time. Squinting into your wrist and hitting buttons doesn’t look any cooler, I assure you. I use my watch for things I can glance at and make a decision. I don’t generally want to interact with it.
I think the form factor is also a huge deal for a segment of the tech-loving population that has been neglected time and time again by wearable tech: women. I’m not saying this because the watch is “too techy” or “not pink enough” for ladies. I’m saying this because it’s fucking huge and on average women have smaller wrists than men.
My Pebble is no less awkward on my wrist than my Datalink was in 1999 and that thing was a standalone pager (oh, turn of the century tech). The Pebble watchface itself is literally taller than my wrist is wide. It takes a certain commitment to tech and discomfort to be willing to wear one of these things as a small-wristed person.
So here’s hoping Pebble’s next iteration is a watch that will actually fit on my wrist, instead of a bunch of features I don’t need in a watch.