Go Back   Team-BHP > Around the Corner > Shifting gears > Gadgets, Computers & Software


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 20th December 2013, 15:01   #1
Newbie
 
Harneet.S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 20
Thanked: 33 Times
Post Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

The first Nokia cell-phone launched in India, and the first one I saw up close was once my Father purchased one back in ’98. It was, at the time, the proverbial ‘BOMB’. It was the Nokia 5190.In Punjabi we used to call this thing a 'vatta' or a stone. This thing wouldn't break. We guys were'nt used to babying phones back then. Today, I could never drop my smartphone and see it light up again.
Nokia 5190
Name:  nokia5190.jpg
Views: 9185
Size:  10.5 KB

Years went by in cell-phone years as if one equaled fifty. Most of us think the first phone must have been launched in India around the 80’s, until we’re reminded this was, just, what fifteen years ago? That wasn’t that far away. Heck, my OHC vtec hasn’t aged a day. How did we get from a contraption of what feels like 500 grams now to the iPhone 5’s and Nexus’es of today? Tech development went into overdrive and never lifted the foot off the A pedal.

I sincerely believe this is the next ‘thing’. Wearable technology.

My first stint with wearable tech came from a Fitbit. Not that long ago - Less than six months, even. I got a FitBit Flex. Ever since I started gaining a little weight a couple of months ago because I was spending too much time at a desk and walking about at work and not getting enough time to hit the gym everyday, I took the easy, nerdy way out. I got a pedometer that would look cool and would show me, through a nice interface, the steps I took in a day, the calories I burnt and other data that might help me get a base line as to what I am when about - which turned out to be a ‘slob’. There are five LED’s on the band which keep me moving everyday and make me want to take more steps, walk about, and be a little more active. It helped. I am gradually losing weight. I slept better. I woke up on time because it (tries to) monitor my sleep and vibrated to wake me up and its comfy.
FitBit Flex

Name:  984dd712fa4b4d0d94ee9e952a5e7fd4_fitbit002.jpg
Views: 8995
Size:  31.8 KB
Next, came the day I saw my friend get a Casio Bluetooth watch. It wouldn’t do much. It cost him twice as much as a regular G-shock that you see kids wearing these days. With the added Bluetooth LE(Low energy) or 4.0, if you please, it shows him whether he got a text or email, a phone call (with caller ID) and he could even change music tracks while he was running with the phone in his jacket pocket, earphones connected. But, to me it seemed it would get a lot more functionality if I could see the contents of the message.
Casio GB-6900

Name:  gshockbluetoothGB69007AF620x840.jpg
Views: 8858
Size:  45.8 KB
Lets face it, most of us who go to a restaurant, a gym, a hospital, sign up for alerts with our bank and such have alerts and messages and emails coming in every waking minute of the day. 90% of these notifications are about something that are irrelevant and the rest are something we need to glance at and never bring up again, never delete, just let them sit there what with our smartphones capable of handling thousands of emails and texts these days; we do just that. I wanted something that showed me everything above, without making me take out my phone from my relatively tight pocket, avulsing my hand, ‘sliding to unlock’, entering my 6 digit code, sliding the message I want to see only to have Dunkin donuts message me about their new burger. Well, there’s one minute of my life I won’t get back. To me its irrelevant, but I need these alerts to tell me how many reward points I have. This is just an example, most of you could apply this to situations you’ve had.

Example of such bull poo
Name:  IMG_2408.JPG
Views: 8966
Size:  67.2 KB


Today, I present to you, the Nokia 5190 of Smart watches.
Name:  photomain.jpg
Views: 9028
Size:  40.2 KB
The Pebble.

Name:  IMG_2382.JPG
Views: 8991
Size:  158.3 KB
It does everything a smart watch should do with out the frills. This is 1998 for Smartwatches and today, this is the most dependable one you could buy without breaking the bank, tearing your hair trying to configure or bash against the wall because it lost connectivity.

Blasting though its Kickstarter funding goal it made us all think of how such a simple piece of tech can be so useful and appealing. The love garners around ‘tinkerers’ or usually android phone owners who want an ‘open system’ for customisation. Plus it isn’t really that expensive at about 9000 odd rupees. You would want wrists of more than 7 inches in diameter lest it look like a watch you purchased from the ‘Gubaarewala’. Its big, its clunky, but it works and its so simple, and I hate to bring this up as Apple owns these words, ‘works right out of the box’.

This comes in Orange, Red, Grey, White, or Black(I got black).
It has what the most primitive part of me wanted and that was the reason I still want to go back to a Blackberry after owning three generations of iPhones. Buttons! Beautiful beautiful buttons! Press them in and feel the click, no haptic-vibrate-on-touch or touch screen bull poo, buttons!
One on the left to go back. Up and down on the right with select in the middle of the right fascia. There's a magnetic charger port on the left which will remind everybody reading this, who has or has owned a macbook, of the sheer happiness one feels for that millisecond when you feel the charger clip on to the magsafe port on the laptop. This is turn guarantees no openings for water to seep in, because this isn’t a phone. Its a wrist watch. It’ll get wet. You’ll wash your hands wearing it. You’ll forget to take it off when you take that quick shower once you’re late for work. You’ll need to see time and notifications in the rain when you’re stranded outside under the bus-stop waiting for the rain to subside or simply when you’re riding. 50 meters of resistance is enough for swimming! Just make sure you don't go below 160 feet with this.

Before I buy things, or gadgets, I always imagine how they’d fit into my life. I can not and will not take extra steps or go the extra mile for technology because I firmly believe tech is for making things simpler. No, I will not slide to unlock, press a button to turn on the display, shake my wrist, tap on the watch twice. I want my notification there when I see the watch. This is where this thing excels. It has an always on, low power, 144 by 168 LCD that functions like a watch when you don’t have a notification.

Scenarios:
  • Swimming while the phone is poolside with my coke.
  • Fist deep in minor surgery when I get a text from the fiancé for going out getting coffee.
  • Sitting in the Lecture theater in the morning glancing at good morning texts I could reply to later but won’t have to move my body sideways to take out my phone and light up my face for the lecturer to see who the retard is using a 5 inch bright LCD when he’s explaining how to look for subtle signs of dementia.
  • Cycling and seeing I just took out a hundred rupees from the ATM ten minutes ago because I just have a card wallet and and I ran out of water and I’m parched and had no money for a bisleri refill all because my bank can never send me a text on time.
The watch feels like a tool should. Not fragile, good button feedback. It does seem like this would hold up for a long time. The e-paper display is clearly legible at night with the backlight on, and out in the sun. Those who have seen and operated a kindle will know exactly what I’m on about. The legibility is outstanding at all times. The backlight comes on with any button; you could set it to come on only at night as there’s an ambient light sensor or you could shake your wrist as it has an accelerometer.

To get this set up, you’ll need to download the pebble app onto your smartphone. iOS and Android only, at this time. Its a simple software that’s as tool-like as the watch. It sets the watch up for notifications which are conveyed by the watch vibrating.
Single vibrate - Notification (Facebook/Text/Whatsapp/Mail/Tweet/Chat/Yahoo/Googlemaps direction etc.)
Long vibrate - Call.
The length of the notification(text) on your phone is the length of notification on your watch.

I use this with an iPhone 5 and I’ve selectively added the apps I need notifications from in the list to show in the notification center and all those appear on the watch. Anything not in the notification center isn’t shown. I have switched off all notifications on the lock screen as I don’t want these showing up as these have already been seen these on the watch. If I need to do something about them, I’ll just open up the app required or swipe down to look at the summary in the notification center in iOS 7.
I can control music, skip tracks, have all info displayed on the watch. This is particularly useful in my car. I skip tracks from the watch while my phone is in my jacket playing music through bluetooth to my car’s audio system. Its seamless.
It has an alarm to wake you up. With snooze. A do-not-disturb mode that shows notifications but won’t let the watch vibrate if you’re sleeping or something. The watch faces can be changed, made online, downloaded and its usually for free. Apps can be downloaded onto it. Games/Run Keeper/Weather updaters(These require another weather app to be side loaded which will then push data via bluetooth to the watch for the updates), can all be downloaded onto it.The battery life has a simple rule. Lesser the number of times you update the screen or populate with data, more the battery life. I have stuck to a digital watch interface that doesn’t show seconds and shows the day and date. The claimed battery life is 5-7 days. I am on day 11 and the low battery sign hasn’t showed up yet. I have a seconds-included watch face available to go at the click of a single button for times when I need it to count a patients heart rate, respiration rate and what not.

In short, I have contemplated stopping wearing my Seamaster as wearing two watches is silly but I still love Omega too much to give up. Its that useful.

The only thing missing is actual phone call making from it. But this is why I like it. It isn’t trying to be a phone watch. Its a smart watch. It lets you see and feel notifications in between instances of showing you the time.
Saying that, the looks and design isn’t for everyone. I can see it being seen with a raised eyebrow from those who have little wrists. The charger cable is proprietary and comes with the watch, so, if you lose it, you need to order one online. No charger included, plug into any USB port on computer/laptop/tablet/tata sky/expensive hotels with USB wall sockets etc.
I believe this will bring around a wave of better looking better functioning smart watches, but for now, this is the most reliable, especially with the newest firmware (1.4). SDK 2.0 is in progress and we’ll be able to use the three-axis accelerometer inside for activity tracking or as a pedometer as well. Its no Galaxy smart watch. But I don’t want that. I can’t charge a watch every night with my phone. I can’t have a watch on me not telling time when I look at it because then it’d have a battery life of 4 hours. I don’t want a camera on my watch clicking photos I’d rather have my phone click so I can make photo memories rather than use it for passport photos, its what I bought my high-end phone for, after looking at all specs. I can’t buy a Galaxy smartphone for wearing a smart watch.

Various functions with photos are here:
Name:  IMG_2401.JPG
Views: 8873
Size:  69.1 KB
Name:  IMG_2403.JPG
Views: 8827
Size:  75.4 KB
Name:  IMG_2404.JPG
Views: 8864
Size:  78.0 KB
Name:  IMG_2405.JPG
Views: 8832
Size:  77.9 KB
Name:  IMG_2406.JPG
Views: 8830
Size:  81.7 KB
Name:  IMG_2407.JPG
Views: 8794
Size:  77.0 KB
Name:  IMG_2402.JPG
Views: 8778
Size:  67.3 KB

P.S. Hi! I'm from Chandigarh. First long post on Team-Bhp. Got membership last month. Haven't had any time at all these past days. Love being here! Here's some T-BHP love!
Review: The Pebble Smartwatch-img_2360.jpg


Last edited by Rehaan : 26th December 2013 at 13:47. Reason: Putting one image per line, as some users complained of having to side-scroll. Thanks ;)
Harneet.S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th December 2013, 20:23   #2
BHPian
 
Pandher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Nabha
Posts: 40
Thanked: 16 Times
Default re: Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harneet.S View Post

My first stint with wearable tech came from a Fitbit. Not that long ago - Less than six months, even. I got a FitBit Flex.
Nice review of the pebble . You have used the fitbit too, tell me more about it as i am interested in losing some weight right now, how does it really help?
Pandher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th December 2013, 21:07   #3
Newbie
 
Harneet.S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 20
Thanked: 33 Times
Default re: Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandher View Post
Nice review of the pebble . You have used the fitbit too, tell me more about it as i am interested in losing some weight right now, how does it really help?
Thanks for the kind words!

The Flex is what I'm using right now. They have a new one out, too, the Force, but its currently backordered on their website. Its essentially a Flex with a screen added to it which displays time and would be able to (what FitbBit claims) display Caller ID of the person who's calling, later, through a firmware upgrade. But it loses the ability for one to wear it in the shower.

The Flex has a 5 LED display that you can configure for a specific goal. You could choose your goal from number of calories burned in a day, number of steps walked, number of physically active minutes, or number of miles/kilometers walked. With this goal set, it lights up one LED for every 20% of goal completed. 5 LED's is 100%. The counter resets at 12 A.M. every night. So, its just something to keep you motivated to walk that extra mile and lets you know of your current physical activity status.

You tap twice for it to tell you current progress and it vibrates when you reach your goal. You could also activate sleep mode on it, in which it essentially gauges how many times you wake up and are restless at night by using the sensitive accelerometer inside, using a pre-formed algorithm, which in turn is a relative indicator for the quality of your sleep. If you're going to the U.S. or are there, you could go to a store and buy it, but if you're in India, they're all backordered everywhere so the Flex is what you'll get for being impatient.

They both come with a proprietary charger and sync dongles for your computer, and they both sync to Android and Apple phones. The interface and the way they present data to you is what is impressive. Attached is a picture of my day today sitting at work.
Attached Thumbnails
Review: The Pebble Smartwatch-untitled.png  

Harneet.S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st December 2013, 12:28   #4
BHPian
 
devilwearsprada's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: GoonGaon
Posts: 418
Thanked: 601 Times
Default re: Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

Have been following the kickstarter for a long time now. Impressed by the review!
Keep the love for T-Bhp coming.
devilwearsprada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st December 2013, 16:01   #5
Newbie
 
Harneet.S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 20
Thanked: 33 Times
Smile Re: Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by devilwearsprada View Post
Have been following the kickstarter for a long time now. Impressed by the review!
Keep the love for T-Bhp coming.
Thanks for that!

I'd been following this Kickstarter project since its inception, but I was in two minds about the reliability of this. I didn't want this to be a half baked alpha or beta product I wasted money on. Thankfully, it isn't. I'm yet to lose connectivity on day 12!

This is all thanks to their latest firmware which pushed every notification from any app onto the screen in iOS 7.
Harneet.S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st December 2013, 19:29   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
n.devdath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,826
Thanked: 1,434 Times
Default Re: Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

Hi Harneet,

Welcome aboard..!!!

I m usually not found in this section of TBHP but your writing style and the relevance of the points covered in your review made me read the entire post in one go.

You should indeed review and tell us more stuff about the things that appeal to you. You have the capability to transmit thoughts, successfully.


Thank you for the review and looking forward for more.

OT: Are you coming for the HVKF AIM this year?
n.devdath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd December 2013, 00:05   #7
Newbie
 
Harneet.S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 20
Thanked: 33 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Hi Harneet, Welcome aboard..!!! I m usually not found in this section of TBHP but your writing style and the relevance of the points covered in your review made me read the entire post in one go. You should indeed review and tell us more stuff about the things that appeal to you. You have the capability to transmit thoughts, successfully. Thank you for the review and looking forward for more. OT: Are you coming for the HVKF AIM this year?
Thank You so much for that! You just made my day

I'll make sure to review more!

No, can't make it to Kutch. Getting engaged on the 29th. Too much to do
Harneet.S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd December 2013, 19:14   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 17
Thanked: 0 Times
Default Re: Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

Good review indeed.

Ordered for one and got two instead (my brother also ordered for one not knowing that I have called for it)

Not the right place to advertise but yes one is up for sale. Will list up in the classifieds for the lucky taker

Cheers
abishekkalro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd December 2013, 22:11   #9
BHPian
 
Pandher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Nabha
Posts: 40
Thanked: 16 Times
Unhappy Re: Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harneet.S View Post
If you're going to the U.S. or are there, you could go to a store and buy it, but if you're in India, they're all backordered everywhere so the Flex is what you'll get for being impatient.
Thanx again, i would really like to get one here in India but it isnt showing up anywhere online (even the Flex). any particular store?
Pandher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th December 2013, 00:21   #10
Newbie
 
Harneet.S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 20
Thanked: 33 Times
Thumbs up Re: Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by abishekkalro View Post
Good review indeed.

Ordered for one and got two instead (my brother also ordered for one not knowing that I have called for it)

Not the right place to advertise but yes one is up for sale. Will list up in the classifieds for the lucky taker

Cheers
Thank You for saying that

They're now available in India, too, through a website called getpebbleinindia.com, and although I have no clue about the credibility of this website, they do offer COD in my zip code. I'd open it in front of the courier if I were you, and ordered from here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandher View Post
Thanx again, i would really like to get one here in India but it isnt showing up anywhere online (even the Flex). any particular store?
The best place would be the U.S., of course but these are available all over with retailers such as Best Buy. Since they don't ship to India, and if I were in your place, I would go with Global Easy Buy from Ebay. I'll be very sure of the legibility of the product as the GEB team at ebay India is very pro-buyer. They'll pick up your damaged/defective/DOA/fake/incomplete product and will issue a refund. Best of all they have window of a couple of days in which you could return a product so you could even try it out to see if it works properly. Return shipping and waiting for a replacement and customs is the major hassle one does not want to ever get into. GEB solves every bit to perfection. Here's a search I did for you: Fitbit search GEB
Harneet.S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th December 2013, 01:15   #11
BHPian
 
m.shekhar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Troy, NY
Posts: 64
Thanked: 55 Times
Default Re: Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandher View Post
Thanx again, i would really like to get one here in India but it isnt showing up anywhere online (even the Flex). any particular store?
The Fitbit flex is available on ebay India, although it's a bit pricey.

P.S. - If anyone finds any supplier in India for the Force, do give me a heads-up.

Last edited by m.shekhar : 24th December 2013 at 01:16.
m.shekhar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th December 2013, 09:13   #12
Newbie
 
Harneet.S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 20
Thanked: 33 Times
Lightbulb Re: Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.shekhar View Post
The Fitbit flex is available on ebay India, although it's a bit pricey.

P.S. - If anyone finds any supplier in India for the Force, do give me a heads-up.
I highly recommend against buying a fitbit from India as FitBit only honors warranties if sold through its affiliate partners or if you order directly from their website. The TNC are here.

They explicitly state a product purchased through their website has a 45 days no questions asked return policy and a year of warranty. This would be ideal, if they shipped to India. Since they don't, a list of affiliates are listed on their website which have their own return period of 7 to 30 days and the manufacturer warranty applies there. But, the issue is when you purchase from a third party. There is no warranty on a third party purchase. All Flex trackers on eBay India are marked 'Imported from U.S.A.' and they won't give you a fitbit.com receipt. So if your product is DOA/damaged you're done for. The only respite is eBay India customer care. In GEB, they are a lot more flexible with returns provided you have a genuine reason, and I say this from personal experience. Plus you don't have to ship an item back, deal with customs.Many Flex trackers on GEB are below the asking price for the cheapest one on eBay India. Again, I have no vested interest, it's just that I've had bad experiences from the Indian portal from Indian sellers but have had no issues with GEB about seven times, now. One of them, in which I returned the item for being defective twice and they had no issues, a courier picked it up from my house and a new one would be there the 11th day. The last time they said my purchase was on them since they can't make a person wait 30 days for a product and not deliver quality service!
Harneet.S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th December 2013, 13:43   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 143
Thanked: 62 Times
Default Re: Review: The Pebble Smartwatch

Got one recently. Nice watch. However, it does not seem to be as practical as the Hot Smartwatch which i per-ordered today. The USP of HOT is that one can use the watch to pick the call instead of relying on the phone or a BT headset. I have my eyes set on Kreyos watch too. Guess, 2014 is going to be year of smart watches.
shubhamAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th December 2013, 15:04   #14
Newbie
 
Harneet.S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 20
Thanked: 33 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shubhamAT View Post
Got one recently. Nice watch. However, it does not seem to be as practical as the Hot Smartwatch which i per-ordered today. The USP of HOT is that one can use the watch to pick the call instead of relying on the phone or a BT headset. I have my eyes set on Kreyos watch too. Guess, 2014 is going to be year of smart watches.
Hello fellow pebbler

I, too, saw the HOT watch before I decided on the pebble. It just seemed too Dick Tracy a watch for me. Plus, it just seems kind of awkward to me to cup your palm to your ear and talk, especially in public ;notwithstanding the practicality.

Yes, I believe 2014 will bring in lots of wearable technology. I'm excited!
Harneet.S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th December 2013, 19:07   #15
BHPian
 
hvishwanathan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 236
Thanked: 93 Times
Thumbs up Got my pebble from www.getpebbleinindia.com

Hey Guys,

I just received the pebble watch which I had ordered from www.getpebbleinindia.com

I must say that I am impressed with the service. Had been wanting one since I first saw it on YouTube but held back after reading some horrendous reviews online about shipping and custom issues here in India. Recently came across the above mentioned website and decided to give it a go. They were offering cash on delivery and that offered me some comfort. Ordered it last Saturday and received on Monday evening.

This morning I also got an email offering a discount of Rs. 599 per watch. So when on checkout please enter the Coupon code "Santa" to avail the same.

Regards,
Vish
hvishwanathan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Indians and their Cars at Pebble Beach (PB) harit Vintage Cars & Classics in India 148 28th July 2014 23:09
Nissan launches Nismo smartwatch for drivers darklord The International Automotive Scene 0 9th September 2013 14:50
My Pebble Beach Concours experience silverblue The International Automotive Scene 6 17th November 2011 05:58
1933 Delage D8s De Villars Roadster - Best of Show - Pebble Beach 2010. wasif Beyond Borders 0 2nd September 2010 16:03


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 12:01.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks