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Grow Your Business Technology

Pebble Time Smartwatch: Pros and Cons for Business

Pebble Time Smartwatch

It’s not as flashy as the Apple Watch, but the Pebble Time is the best smartwatch for business regardless. That's largely due to its long battery life; while the Apple Watch turns into an expensive bracelet if you forget to charge it for even one night, the Pebble Time lasts through the work week.

But that's not the only thing Pebble's new wearable device has over competing smartwatches. Here's a quick rundown of the Pebble Time's pros and cons for business users.

Long battery life: Between your laptop, smartphone and maybe even a tablet, you have enough work devices begging for a daily charge. Unlike the Apple Watch and most Android Wearwatches, whose meager batteries can barely last a day, the Pebble Time effortlessly runs for 4-6 days, depending on your use. 

Good app selection: The Pebble Time has a big library holding more than 7,000 third-party apps, including apps for checking your email and social media, managing your schedule, saving quick notes and more. 

Always-on display: Like all Pebble watches, the Pebble Time sports a low-power E Ink screen.  Unlike the OLED display on the Apple Watch, which turns off when you're not using it to preserve battery life, the Pebble Time's display stays on so your alerts, notifications and, of course, the time are always one quick glance away.

Skimpy alerts: Smartwatches can save you time by letting you easily glance at alerts to see if they demand immediate attention, with no need to yank your phone out of your pocket. Unfortunately, the Pebble Time struggles to provide much information for email alerts, instead providing just a glimpse at the subject line and sender, unless you're using the Gmail app.

Limited voice functionality: The Apple Watch, as well as many Android Wear watches, lets you use built-in microphones to respond to messages, set reminders, perform Web searches and more. While the Pebble Time is the first Pebble device with a microphone, its functionality is limited to responding to Gmail and SMS messages, though it's likely that more third-party apps will use the microphone in the future.

Plastic design: It's far from the worst-looking smartwatch we've seen, but the plastic face of the Pebble Time wasn't really designed to pair with business attire. The soon-to-be-released Pebble Time Steel, which comes with a metal face and a metal or leather band, may be a better bet for business users, though it costs $100 more.

The Pebble Time won't wow you with a gorgeous display like the Apple Watch would, but it's a far more practical device. It's the only smartwatch with battery life that can potentially last through the end of the workweek. You also get an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to check your schedule and view incoming alerts – even if your options for responding to those alerts on the Pebble Time are limited.

Check back for a full review of the Pebble Time very soon, or check out our review of the Apple Watch.

 

Brett Nuckles

A former Ohio newspaper man, Brett Nuckles fled the Midwest in 2013. He now lives in Seattle, where he spends his days tinkering with smartphones, tablets and computers. He loves to think about the intersection of technology and productivity, and how to get the most out of new gadgets and apps. He's also a big fan of vegetarian food and digital painting. In his off hours he spends most of his time drawing and painting sci-fi/fantasy scenes on his PC with his trusty Wacom stylus in hand.