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Thoughts on new watch: Pebble
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Josh Earl
(joshearl)

Locale: Northern California
Thoughts on new watch: Pebble on 04/14/2012 16:57:53 MDT Print View

Found this watch earlier and thought it could be great for trips shorter than a week (average battery lifetime). Only thing that worries me is it not being waterproof. WIth the open source SDK I'm sure we'll see some backpacking specific apps, if anything, the GPS and pedometer fucnction looks really nice and a whole lot cheaper than a Suunto or Casio!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android

Edited by joshearl on 04/14/2012 17:04:04 MDT.

Herbert Sitz
(hes)

Locale: Pacific NW
Okay but not for hikers on 04/14/2012 18:59:32 MDT Print View

From what I can tell the units have neither GPS nor any pedometer functionality built in. Instead they communicate with another device you have (iPhone or Android) to get the relevant info to display on the watch. This doesn't seem real useful for hikers. Am I missing something?

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
yes, it's a repeater, but on 04/14/2012 22:11:45 MDT Print View

It will allow you to keep your iphone/android safely tucked away while you can display information on your wrist and control the functions of your phone. What it won't help you with is your device's battery life. I can't remember if it utilizes wifi or bluetooth to communicate with your phone, but whichever one it is it will hasten the speed at which your battery is depleted.

It isn't waterproof, but very few things are. It should be sufficently water resistant for most if not all backpacking situations.

As a sidenote, a friend of mine who is a near-future science fiction writer and a futurist thinks this is a pretty interesting device. He's already bought a multipack.

Josh Earl
(joshearl)

Locale: Northern California
Useful for Hikers on 04/16/2012 17:05:45 MDT Print View

Herbert the reason I thought it would be useful is I've read a lot of people bringing their android or iPhone with them. You're right that the watch on its own is simply just a watch but if you kept the phone in a waterproof case (or ziploc) you wouldn't have to take it out to check the weather, elevation, or GPS. I know I generally bring my phone as I don't want to leave it in my vehicle.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Useful for Hikers on 04/16/2012 20:27:50 MDT Print View

If the conditions are such that your phone needs to be tucked away in a waterproof case, wouldn't the watch ALSO need to be tucked away in a waterproof case?

seems awfully redundant and as one poster noted detrimental to battery life

Craig Ruks
(craigruks)

Locale: SLC, Utah
Neat idea on 04/16/2012 21:13:45 MDT Print View

Another point is that the watch needs to have background processes running on the phone, which will drain the phone faster. They have commented that it's a nominal amount, but in the backcountry every little ounce/battery % makes a difference!

I do agree that from a keeping your phone safe perspective it's a solid idea. I think the watch is a stellar idea and will probably be getting for usage with cycling and just to play with (I'm a programmer so it's a shoe-in for me haha).

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F
Watch for hipsters... on 04/16/2012 23:14:18 MDT Print View

thumbs down from me for a unit that can't do more than show time without a smartphone which needs to be on.

this is a toy and should be treated as such

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
very cool on 04/17/2012 08:53:16 MDT Print View

I don't want it for backpacking, but I think that's very cool. In places where I go otherwise where I don't want the phone out, the messaging and etc. look like good features. The future looks bright.

On trail, nothing is going to beat my apparently indestructible G-Shock solar "atomic" that keeps great time, is easy to read, waterproof, bash-proof and so stylish that it matches my waterproof, bash-resistant Casio smart phone that's years newer. The phone stays "off" until I need it for some location/elevation/temp/text/email type stuff, and the watch is ever-reliable.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
While on the subject of watches on 04/17/2012 09:26:07 MDT Print View

I have for years worn women's watches. Partly, I have smallish wrists for a 6'0" guy, but especially for BPing and death marches, a Swiss Army women's model has the same features as the men's, but in a smaller, lighter package. And men's watches have gotten so huge of late, weighing 3-4 times what a smaller one does.

My 12-year-old son has a women's digital watch with an integral plastic band that is totally bomber. He swims with it, showers with it, climbs trees, builds snow forts - he's worn it almost continuously for the last 3 years. It was $19 or $24.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: While on the subject of watches on 04/17/2012 09:56:19 MDT Print View

Does the small face of your women's watch make it difficult to distinguish the information on the screen while on the move in low light or very bright conditions? I wouldn't trade my watch in for something smaller because quite honestly I think i'd be hard pressed to notice a weight difference (I don't notice my watch now) and yet I would be frustrated if I had to spend extra time staring at the screen to get the information, not to mention I'd probably trip over a root or rock in the process.

Plus a larger watch tends to have larger more easily operated buttons. Tiny buttons are annoying too.

Mike W
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Re: While on the subject of watches on 04/17/2012 14:18:38 MDT Print View

"I would be frustrated if I had to spend extra time staring at the screen to get the information"

This is one of the reason I like analog watches for time - it's quicker for me to read the analog time. But for other functions, yes, I think a larger display would be better. Maybe that's why the Suunto Core is so big.

My comments on the Pebble:
I think its a neat use of technology but with electronics getting so small, it's not the best use. I don't like the idea of having it be dependent on a connection to another device for information; there will be additional battery drain on your phone and there will be the inevitable connection problems. If anything, I would prefer to have a small number of applications that can be loaded directly onto the watch so they can function independently of a phone.

Kristofer McKenna
(KryoShift)

Locale: North Texas
Meh on 04/17/2012 15:43:51 MDT Print View

If it was more independent of the phone, like say, a rooted/hacked MOTOACTV, maybe I'd bite. I do love me some widgets.

But to keep my phone hidden safely away? Nah, I got an Xperia Active for a reason :)