The Pebble Time Round looks great, but its battery life leaves a lot to be desired.
Reviewed By: Rebecca Paredes on November, 30th -0001
From the incredible e-paper color display to the awesome on-screen notifications, the Pebble Round definitely has some potential. Although the battery life falls short, this early generation model is a well-rounded smartwatch.
I am attached to my phone, so there is one feature on smartwatches and fitness trackers that really interests me: notifications. Fortunately, the Pebble Time Round’s notifications did not disappoint. They are well-designed, clean, and easy to read. I love that each social media or phone notification has its own easily distinguishable icon, so you know exactly what you are reading at a glance.
Despite the Round’s smaller display, it’s easy to scroll through a long text message and read everything on your wrist. Plus, some emojis come through on the Round’s screen, and if you get an image, the watch shows a small gift icon! It’s the perfect indication that a picture is waiting for you on your phone.
This is definitely one of my favorite features of the Pebble Time Round. It looks like a standard watch, and the band is a soft, leather-like material that doesn’t irritate your skin at all. This is easily one of the few smartwatches available that looks interchangeable with a standard watch — and the customizable wristbands make it easy to find a band that matches your style.
The Pebble Time Round’s talk-to-text feature is great because you can use it in two ways: the Send Text feature, and replying in your notifications. With the Send Text feature, you can view a list of people you have recently contacted. With one click, the watch will listen for your voice and type out what you want to say. Replying through your notifications is also simple. When you click the side button to reply, you have three options: voice, canned message, or emoji.
There’s one downside to communicating from Pebble Time Round: you won’t be able to view a copy of your messages on your phone. So if you answered through talk-to-text reply and try to look at your conversation in your phone, you might think you never replied.
As a first-time user, I’m happy to say that the device’s software is well-designed. It was incredibly easy to navigate through all of the settings and see all of the smartwatch’s features. The easiest feature to use was the calendar — all I had to do was click the up and down buttons on the right side of the device, and I found myself automatically scrolling through my calendar. If you live your life through Google Calendar like I do, this is an incredible feature.
I also really enjoy the positivity of Pebble’s software. Every evening, it checks in and alerts you to the amount of steps you took that day, and how that number compares to your average. From there, you get little boosts of encouragement!
Your watch face can say a lot about you. So, while I was looking through Pebble’s watch face, the kid inside me decided to go with a Mario theme. I chose Bowser as my watch face, but a fun elephant design was a close runner-up. It was great to see tons of options for downloadable watch faces, but I felt like most of the designs were too busy.
The Pebble app is a work in progress. It has some clunky parts, but it also features incredible graphics and activity tracking. Annoyingly, the device often disconnects from the app and won’t allow you to use the talk to text feature. Integrating with third-party apps was also hit-or-miss. I tried to install a daily positive quote, and since the day I installed it, it has only worked twice.
This is hands-down the worst feature of the Pebble Time Round. With any device, whether it’s a smartwatch or a fitness tracker, I would want a minimum of three days of use before the device needs a charge. Sadly, this device only lasts one day on a single charge — maybe a day and a half at the most. Although this is comparable to other smartwatches on the market like the Apple Watch, Pebble doesn’t have a low power mode to make the battery last longer. You could turn off notifications, but for me, that kills the entire purpose of a smartwatch.
The Pebble Time Round’s design is comfortable and visually appealing. I absolutely loved the e-ink screen, and I would love to see more devices with it. The fact that you can see the screen clearly with no glare at any time of the day is a huge perk — especially in comparison to Fitbits.
Overall, I feel like my time with the Pebble Time Round is limited. The battery would routinely die, and I would wear it in my wrist uncharged, take it off, and then forget to use it. Having another device besides my phone to charge on a nightly basis is just one extra load on my daily routine.
Although I was super excited when I first got ahold of this smartwatch, I recommend waiting until the next generation model — which, hopefully, will have a battery life that won’t let you down.
/5 - average rating
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