-Symmetrical design is sleek, elegantly simplistic
-Color in the screen is good addition
-Performance as snappy as ever
-More than 8 apps can be installed at one time now
-Voice input is as good as Android Wear
-Tactile buttons are still useful, reliable
-Timeline is great calendar extension
-New Pebble software is quirky but undeniably functional


-Screen still has quite a bit of body and bezel around it
-Not very easy to find good-looking replacement bands

Our Rating
Bottom Line

A symmetrical design houses a new color screen and a microphone for voice input, but what matters most is that the Pebble ecosystem performs as well as ever - with some added charm. The Pebble Time is a worthy upgrade for Pebble loyalists, but its practicality makes it worth everyone's consideration.

Our Rating
You have rated this

Editors-Choice-Update-2015-4 starsOnce the pioneer of the smart wearable, Pebble has managed to find continued and impressive success in the face of ever-growing competition in this market from Google, Apple, Samsung and others. The company is back again with their latest smartwatch offering that, despite what the competition is doing, doesn’t divert too far from Pebble’s traditional path, which is something that consumers don’t seem to mind, if their hugely successful Kickstarter campaign is any indication. So – is the latest Pebble smartwatch deserving of a place on your wrist? We find out in this comprehensive Pebble Time review.

Buy Pebble Time


pebble time review aa (9 of 17)

The most important feature of the Pebble Time is the update to the design, and though this is the original edition that is made of hard plastic materials, a Steel version with the same general aesthetic will soon be on its way to Kickstarter backers as well. In a stark contrast from the taller overall design of the original Pebble, the face of the Pebble Time is more symmetrical and looks quite a bit like a very tiny old-school TV on the wrist. Contributing to the rather wide body of the watch is a significant bezel around the display, that adds further distance from the edges of the screen to the edges of the watch itself.

Read – Best Android Watches

pebble time review aa (11 of 17)

The sides of the body house the button layout, with the selection button flanked by the up and down navigation keys on the right, with a back button towards the top on the left side. A water resistant microphone is just below the buttons on the right, that can be used for any voice input. The buttons start off squishy, but end with a strong click at the end, and feel pretty sturdy all around. The availability and usage of the buttons is one of the main differences between Pebble devices and the other smartwatches out there, with Pebble still favoring this implementation over complete touchscreen control.

pebble time first impressions (5 of 19)

For those who like to customize their watch, the usual 22 mm prongs are available at the top and bottom, which should allow users to replace the included strap with any of their own choice. That said, the fact that they tend to stick out quite a bit makes it difficult to find a replacement watch strap that doesn’t end up looking a bit weird. Cuts in the strap will tend to stick out, and don’t fill the blank space between the body and the watch enough to look stylish. The back of the Pebble Time houses the charging and expansion port, through which we will hopefully see smartstraps become a reality. Underneath the port is a clear indication that this particular version is a Kickstarter edition of the watch, with a big “Kickstarter Backer” label as a reminder that I was an early adopter.

pebble time review aa (16 of 17)

Design has been one of the most polarizing aspects of the Pebble Time, and it is somewhat obvious as to why. While this watch is quite the departure from what the original Pebble looked like, it is also quite far from a traditional timepiece, something that other smartwatch makers have been at least attempting to achieve. Despite the usage of the word watch, it is perfectly alright for some smartwatches to feature a unique aesthetic, which the Pebble Time does, and what it does well is present the screen with enough room around it to express itself, in a simple and elegant way.

pebble time first impressions (14 of 19)

With just enough space for the buttons to be of a comfortable size, the Pebble Time isn’t particularly thick, and is quite light on the wrist as well. It is so light, in fact, that you might actually forget you are wearing the device throughout the day. The search for a better watch strap might prove to be a bit of a nuisance, but the original band available helps keep it inconspicuous at first glance, though the device itself will lead to some curiosity on the double take.


pebble time review aa (2 of 17)

The Pebble Time brings with it an upgrade to the e-paper display, which now provides color, resulting in a new level of character being added to the applications in the Pebble ecosystem. The colors are really muted however, but this isn’t unexpected, given the nature of this display. Though the colors allow for an easy distinction among different elements, you certainly won’t be amazed by this enhancement the way you might by the color displays featured on Android Wear devices and other competitors.

pebble time review aa (6 of 17)

What the Pebble Time does bring forward from its predecessor is with regards to visibility, with a mostly positive effect. In broad daylight, it is really easy to see what is on the screen, and in well-lit scenarios it is a treat to have this always-on display when compared to some of the competition — which have displays that must first be triggered on before they will display. Where the display falls short though is in lower light situations, with the backlight not having been engineered to its best potential.

pebble time first impressions (11 of 19)

Though bright enough for easy viewing, a hard flick of the wrist is needed to trigger it, and apart from the fact that the movement is quite jarring, it doesn’t work 100 percent of the time. When it does work, the backlight stays on for only a short amount of time, which can become very frustrating. While there is a third-party app available in the store that helps remedy this issue, it is a shame that this kind of functionality isn’t better implemented out of the box. Hopefully, a substantial firmware update in the future will help make the backlight better.


pebble time review aa (7 of 17)

When it comes to performance, the Pebble Time performs as well as its predecessor, which is a very good thing, even if speed and snappiness aren’t too difficult to come by when applications are given a simple, but effective, platform to work on. Under the hood, an updated ARM Cortex processor is accompanied by a larger amount of storage, allowing for a bump in the number of apps you can have installed from 8 to as many as 50 this time around. Getting through a large app list may prove too annoying though, but that is about all that will slow down Pebble Time users.

pebble time first impressions (17 of 19)

Animations when transitioning between screens don’t take too long to finish, but does keep tasks from feeling instantaneous like before. This short loading time is easy to forgive though, as these animations to add some character to the overall experience. The only real slowdown is with the new Pebble Time application for Android, which still takes some time to load lists of apps and watch faces. Once you find what you are looking for however, adding it to the watch requires a very short transfer time.


pebble time first impressions (4 of 19)

On the hardware side of things, some new additions help add to the overall experience and usability, bringing it up to the mark with what you’d expect from a current generation smartwatch. To start with, the Pebble Time comes with resistance to dust and water and a Gorilla Glass 3 panel to protect the display and help keep it scratch-free.

pebble time review aa (4 of 17)

The big enhancement in its capabilities is in voice. The microphone nestled below the right buttons does require Android Wear to be installed though, allowing the Pebble Time to take advantage of Wear’s API for voice input. While it can’t be triggered at any point to perform a search on Google, it does provide the useful opportunity to respond to messages using your voice, which works about just as well as it would on any Android Wear device.

pebble time review aa (17 of 17)

Another highlight of the original Pebble was battery life, and it’s great to see that feature carry over to the Pebble Time as well. Not a lot of devices that claim to offer incredible battery life live up to that claim, but that is certainly not the case here. The Pebble Time can comfortably last close a full week of usage, which includes a lot of vibrations and backlight usage throughout the day. The cherry on top is the fact that the charging time is also short, and just an hour of having the device tethered to the magnetic cable is enough to get the device back to a full charge. The fact that it doesn’t need to be removed and placed on a dock every night is great, and even when it does need to be, it wouldn’t have to be off the wrist for very long.


pebble time review aa (12 of 17)

When it comes to the software side of things, the underlying foundation of the Pebble Time is exactly the same as the original. All the applications installed using the Android app are transferred over to the watch, with now up to 50 apps allowed to be installed, compared to the 8 with its predecessor.

pebble time review aa (5 of 17)

Not all the applications have been updated for the color screen or for the new Timeline feature, but all of them can still be installed and used, and will simply be presented in their original monochrome iterations. Of course, notifications remain a key part of this platform, as any notification you get on your phone from any and all applications appear in previews on the watch, making it very easy to decide whether you actually need to reach for your phone. Notification handling is definitely the main point of a smartwatch, and is one of those features that you must feel for yourself to really the huge advantage it offers.

pebble time review aa (10 of 17)

The biggest addition to the way the Pebble Time software feels is the Timeline, which is an agenda-based UI that can be triggered by going up or down from the main watch face. You can see what is coming up on your schedule, see what you might have missed recently, and also whether you’re approaching sunrise or sunset. The overall functionality is being expanded all the time as well, and there is already an app that can create a custom Timeline entry for a simple reminder. This is a fantastic feature for anyone that is wholly dependent on their calendar, and as mentioned, this will only continue to get better with more apps adding information like sports scores and travel times.

pebble time review aa (8 of 17)

What makes the new Pebble firmware standout is its character, and that is exactly what colors and new animations bring. Initially, the extra time needed to even show these quirky animations felt like time lost, but it really doesn’t matter once you get used to them. Once the task is triggered via a button press, you are likely not going to stick around to watch them all happen anyway. If you do, however, you’ll see a charming and quirky animation that will bring a smile to your face, like a star that tells you that you’re all set, or an ostrich digging its head into the ground when notifications are muted.

pebble time first impressions (13 of 19)

Apple’s watch OS features an elegant but ultimately predictable look and feel, and Google’s OS offers a somewhat sterile information based system, but what the Pebble Time brings to the table is a different kind of take, and one that isn’t afraid to look a little goofy while still getting the job done admirably. It speaks to what kind of community the Pebble team knows it has, and makes the Pebble Time a platform for the company to be clear on what makes it different from the rest, which is the way it expresses itself. All in all, the software might get a couple new abilities and some color, but what gives the Pebble such a loyal following is how unique it is, inside and out.


Pricing and Final Thoughts

Though I pledged $179 on the Kickstarter, the Pebble Time is available for pre-order and will come to Best Buy stores by the end of July with a price tag of $199.

pebble time review aa (1 of 17)

So there you have it for this in-depth look at the Pebble Time! $199 might seem like a lot, considering there are some high quality Android Wear watches coming down in cost. Even the original Pebble watches are easy to find in retail stores for $99, which sounds like quite a steal these days for a full featured smartwatch. That said, for anyone that already supported Pebble before, the pledge price, and perhaps even this retail price, makes perfect sense, because the Pebble ecosystem makes more sense to them than the competition, and I think I fall in that category.

Great smartwatch videos!

Editors-Choice-Update-2015-4 starsIf you are looking to be convinced, there is a lot going in favor of the Pebble Time when you consider some of the pitfalls associated with almost any other smartwatch out there. Touchscreens can be fidgety, where tactile input is very reliable. Battery life on full LCD screens don’t go much further than 2 days, let alone 7. Finally, while Apple and Google stick to their guns in terms of look, feel, and also compatibility, the Pebble is functional across both platforms and gets tasks done just as well, while not taking itself too seriously. Smartwatches are still on the bubble between need and want, but among the smart wearables I have, it doesn’t take much time for me to decide which one I prefer on the daily.

Buy Pebble Time


  • Mike Bastable

    Nice review but those bezels put me off..plastic buttons…all seems very 2001…for a Simple Retro watch try the lg g watch…dead cheap everywhere and performs well with a good battery.

    • reasonable

      Touch screen beats the unergonomic, hassle-to-use buttons (can’t reverse!) on the wrong side of all Pebbles. The LG G is pretty nice. but it does have those bezels you dislike (a situation that doesn’t bother me, because there are a dozen aspects of smartwatch functionality and utility that come before bezels, for me).

      • Mike Bastable

        Agree…seemed to block the bezels on the LG…selectively blind lol

        • reasonable

          I think the Sony SW3 looks like an even better deal. But that one appears to be ignored by everyone, just like the Sony phones.

          • Mike Bastable

            Good point… But Sony phones are awful.

          • reasonable

            I went and got a Sony Z2 phone s few months ago. if there is anything bad about it I haven’t found it yet.

          • Mike Bastable

            Oke i hated my Z…it was awful,especially the screen. Glad they upped their game with the Z2

    • The bezel in person is hardly an issue. The problem is you’re looking at huge photos of the watch up close. In person, it looks extremely tiny. Either way, the Pebble Time Steel he mentioned alleviates your concern with bezel design and has metal, knurled buttons (and a stainless watch case). The G Watch is terrible compared to Pebble Time. It’s probably the worst of all Android Wear watches too.

  • reasonable

    I used the first Pebble for a while, and don’t any more. It had a painful design flaw that made the Gear 2 Neo I replaced it with a joy to use in comparison.

    Turns out all the Pebbles have this design flaw: it is not suitable for left-handed users. I had to reach WAYYY around and over to get the main buttons, which basically discouraged me from using them. The mistake Pebble makes is a simple one to fix: just add a CONFIG OPTION to make the screen upside down and then everything is fine. Pebble specifically told me they don’t want to do this, ever, including with the “Time”.

    It’s lousy that Pebble is downright hostile to left-handed users, to the point of intentionally leaving out a simple configuration option that would have added no cost to the watch, nor would it have hurt right-handed capabilities. Their choice is also to flip the bird at 10% of potential customers…. a business mistake which might be life-and-death in the increasingly competitive smartwatch market.

    The old Pebble was painful and annoying to use due to the lack of this basic option. It’s night-and-day with the Galaxy Gear 2 Neo…. much much easier to use with the touch screen, perfectly ambidextrous, battery life almost as good as Pebble. (but not as waterproof, and ONLY works with Samsung phones).

    As for the “cons” about the bezel, I don’t see this as a con at all. After all, you look at what is on the screen and not at the borders.

    • Right wrist (left handed) support is actually being planned for Time, I have no idea why you said they don’t want to do this. It is not a simple configuration difference though like you’re incorrectly assuming. The screen is not updated like a traditional LCD, on Time, it actually draws left to right. To flip all that, required changing all the animations to animate in reverse, etc.

      • reasonable

        I’ve had two at Pebble tell me that it was not planned at all. They could easily resolve this by posting it on their site (I looked, and could not find). I’d easily consider the “Time” if they made this change. However, in using the Gear 2 Neo, with a single hardware button on the bottom instead of any on the side, it seems this location is even better than any side button. Much easier to press, and ambidextrous even without any configuration changes. Of course, that would be a significant hardware change.

        Thanks for explaining about the animations.

  • LongPressBackToKill

    I love my original Pebble. I wonder if Google Now reminders will show up in the timeline? Date and time based reminders would be easy enough, but I’m not sure how place based reminders would be handled, as it could days, or only hours, before I end up in Wal-Mart with a reminder to buy dogfood.

    • >” I wonder if Google Now reminders will show up in the timeline?”

      Not yet. Google Now doesn’t really let you extract data from it, it’s fairly closed (not open source) and with limited API’s. It would be great if Google built a Now app for Pebble though, which could then do that.

      • Ryan Gunn

        I read that Lightflow allows you to specify notification type for individual card types in Google Now, including whether to push that card notification to Pebble.

        Since reminders show up as a card, or should be able to push reminders to Pebble, as well.

        • It’s a far cry from actual Google Now card support. They get pushed as notifications as a moment in time. You don’t need lightflow to do that, just enable Google Search in the All Apps list in Pebble.

          • Ryan Gunn

            Right, but what I read was that you could filter the cards with light flow. Enabling Search in Pebble sends you everything.

  • reasonable

    Also, there’s an advantage to decent-sized bezels, like this watch has. Smartwatches take a lot of abuse: my first Pebble was always being banged against doorframes and other obstacles. Impacts like this typically happen on the edges or near them. And decent sizes bezels minimize the problems of damage to the actual screen from such impacts.

    (When I had a Moto 360, which was bezel-less. the thing seemed sooo fragile as a result, and I went around like I had an egg strapped to my wrist.)

  • MariaRRoy

    22222Ultra Income source by androidauthority < Find Here

  • whacko

    “Not very easy to find good-looking replacement bands”

    What are you talking about?! The Pebble Time will work with any standard 22mm watch band, and there are literally MILLIONS of different style bands available. The fact that you list this as a con is laughable considering the Apple watch and many popular Android Wear watches use proprietary strap connectors that limit your options and drive up the price of compatible bands.

    • Thanks for mentioning that, I forgot to bring it up. I too, was baffled by his comment. I can only assume he wants more 1st party bands available directly from Pebble. Which I imagine once Time Steel is retail released, will happen.

  • Expensive

    Why does this little watch cost as much/more than my new kindle paperwhite?

    • Because it’s the size of a watch, not a tablet?

  • akoli

    Is the bluetooth connection any better I have the original and steel and 3 different phones and keeping the thing connected is problematic because the majority of faces don’t tell you when it’s not connected and it’s kinda pointless without notifications…you don’t realise until you check your phone…a couple of the new faces give you notification but again I walk to the other side of my work it should pick the connection back up but a few times a day it doesn’t…have to go in to the app disconnect and reconnect as it sits at “connecting to pebble “.

    • That sounds like a problem with your phone, not your watches. But regardless, I’ve never had that issue with my Time.

      • akoli

        I’ve had three different phones over that time .. two different pebbles … custom roms and standard roms… same deal… doesnt pick up a lost connection after a certain period of time …I dont wear the watch all the time so it can be away from the phone for half a day sometimes might be why its a unique issue to me… app gets stuck at connecting… couple of watch faces have the ability to vibrate or go in to negative colouring when it is not connected which is great its a good indicator… the fix is minor, its a case of open the app cancel the “connecting” and reconnect again … but my two favourite watch faces dont have the notification so I dont know its dropped off… I used to use pebble notifier app but would notify everytime the connection is lost which got annoying.

  • Brian Hurley

    the screen is way too dim, colors are washed out

    (all the photos in the article show a brightness that is not present on the actual kickstarter backer device I have (even with back light turned on))

    the screen is too small (particularly compared to other smartwatches) and bezel is too big

    plastic makes it feel and look like a watch for a child not an adult

    not recommended, save your money

  • AmandaBBeier

    Next few days start your new life…androidauthority… < Find Here

  • hmianiaddy34

    you like me androidauthority give you chance.. Online Job Help

  • MarthaFErvin

    Best Quality performance androidauthority….. <…… Find Here

  • Hollie

    Last 40 year Best Home Income with androidauthority < ……. Find Here

  • jimt29

    Grate review!
    Here’s my recent experience ordering from Pebble on line:
    I ordered the Pebble Steel on 7/20/15 with a purchase price of $169.00. A minute or so later I received a confirming email showing a purchase price of $219.00, a difference of $50.00.
    I replied back immediately explaining the problem. Didn’t hear back. I also contacted Pebble using their website contact page, again explaining the problem.
    The watch was shipped but refused. My credit card was charged $219.00. As of 8/15/15 they have not processed a refund or sent an email confirming receipt of the returned watch.
    On 7/27/15 I did receive a reply but no mention about the $50.00 error. Also the tracking information indicated the watch was received back on 7/27/15. This company clearly has procedure and support problems. Perhaps it is run by some guys out of their garage?