I’ve Had My Pebble For a Bit, Here’s the Voodoo Review!

It seems like just the other day I got my shipping notification and was waiting on the edge of my seat for my Pebble. And it was definitely not too long ago I was first opening up that custom made package and checking out my fresh new watch. Well, I had a few technical issues to work through, but I got that all sorted out and here are my thoughts!

Technical issues you ask? What technical issues? No worries, they weren’t related to the watch – but the timing definitely sucked. I used to own an original Samsung Epic 4G phone on sprint. The phone was great when it was new, but now it’s pretty out of date. So I rooted it, and I kept that software shiny and new. I was running CyanogenMod 10.1 which is great for phones, but it as one small issue – Bluetooth. And wouldn’t you know it, Bluetooth is vital to properly enjoying the Pebble. I could not get the watch and the phone to play nice. Well, I’m happy to announce that I’ve switched over to Verizon (to enjoy 4G) with a nice new Galaxy S3. My Bluetooth up and strong, I got to experiment with my new Pebble.

I can’t be bothered with any sort of reading or anything, so I dove right in to trying to get this watch set up. I’m assuming you all have the Pebble app installed on your device? If not, you clearly are not as impatient as I. The moment that app was announced I was trying to play with it. So go get your Pebble app installed! It was a simple setup, just click through on the watch into the setting and Bluetooth menu – this makes your watch visible to other devices. Then turn on Bluetooth on your phone and scan for the device – after that you should just have to go through the standard pairing protocol for your device and you are all set. These guys are as paired as can be, and ready to play together.

Once I had my device paired, I hopped over to the app on the phone and ran through everything there. Well first of all, the firmware went ahead and updated. That has happened twice now, and took just a couple of minutes and caused zero issue. I went into the app and ran through the test options, ping, email, message, and phone call. The first thing I noticed is that the vibrate on the watch is quite robust and the screen is very easy to read. All of the test features were good so I went ahead and installed one of the watch faces that are available. That also installed perfectly, no problems to be seen.

With my pebble all set up and tested, it was time to wear it out and around. The first thing I noticed here, I got a lot of compliments. Most of my friends and co-workers have never seen me wearing a watch first of all. But the fact that every time they see me now the watch face has something different on it is pretty cool. The watch also holds a certain amount of nerd-cred right now, anyone who has heard me speak of the watch, or who has heard of the Pebble is very interested in seeing it.  I did have some strange battery issues at first. It seemed almost as if the battery had to be ‘warmed up’ – does that make sense to anyone? The first time I charged it, it died within 24 hours, then it lasted 2 days, then 3, now it lasts a full week as advertised. Now, for the first week my watch was paired with my broken phone, so I don’t know exactly what caused my battery issue, but I do know it works great now.

The only real issue for me is the complete lack of apps/customizations available for me to download. And let’s be fair here – the watch just became available. I don’t know how many folks are actively developing for the Pebble, but I am quite sure the selection will grow from here. I don’t actually need much in the way of apps here. I would like some GPS integration of some sort, maybe some fitness app integration, and then a couple of cool watch faces. Anything creative I will happily download and test of course! So I think the selection will grow, and I’m totally cool with that.

Now, my overall impression. Honestly, I love it. It’s super lightweight – I can hardly tell I’m wearing it. I can attest to the fact that it s scratch resistant, because I have knocked the watch off of quite a few things. The overall quality just looks and feels really nice. The range on the Bluetooth is pretty good as well. I leave my phone at my desk and I get my notifications from anywhere in my, or the adjoining offices. And those notifications are great, we get: text, email, caller ID, Google Voice, Google Chat, etc. Everything I use, I get a notification for. Now I didn’t realize how convenient this watch was going to be – at work I am often in meetings, teaching classes, or giving presentations. While doing that I am often wandering around a large room, or at the very least I’m in a situation where fiddling with my phone would be rude. That is where this watch really shines! I can slip a quick glans at my wrist and see who the notification is from, and the subject line, without touching the watch. I consider this especially cool for keeping an eye on my websites and servers which all text or email any important alerts.

So in the end, I love my Pebble and wear it constantly. It does absolutely everything I had hoped. I am used to being an early adapter, so I understand why not many downloads are available – I am confident they will show up. The watch looks and functions great. It’s a daily wearer for me! How many of y’all have ordered a Pebble? Was it a Kickstarter version or a pre-order? How many of you have gotten your watch? Do you have any questions for me? I’ll happily answer any that I can!!

UPDATE: Found my first upgrade which I discuss here, I’ll try to keep my posts up to date as I continue to experiment!

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