Pebble Time: Looking Back 2 Years

This January (January 2018) marks 2 years of me owning a Pebble Time smartwatch. Over these years, the Pebble Time has rarely left my side except to charge occasionally, and since I will be replacing my watch with a Ticwatch E this Saturday, I figured I'd do a write-up of my experiences and opinions of this smartwatch.

First Impressions

My Pebble Time was purchased in late December 2015 through an authorized seller on Amazon for about $135. At the time, my phone was an iPhone 5C running iOS 9. Although I didn't have access to all the features, I could still pick my own watchfaces and apps to use, and get notifications from my phone. I could also track my steps and my sleep, which was pretty great.
The silicone band that came with the watch, though, was VERY uncomfortable. I often had to completely readjust the strap because sometimes it would feel too tight, and other times it would feel way too loose. This was fixed later when I purchased a Nato strap from Best Buy which was on clearance for $4.

App Usefulness

As far as software went, I never had a use for apps. None of them ever felt useful... at all. Well, actually Pebtris (Pebble Tetris) was one I would play in High School because teachers didn't care about watches, but none of the other apps were really useful, and many were bogged down by just how pitiful the dictation API for Pebble was. It was simply terrible at transcription, and terrible transcription being a dependency for any app that uses the microphone is just a huge bottleneck for the user experience.

Reliability of Updates

Updates during the first year were great too. While Pebble was still around, they were often actively taking user feedback and improving the OS. Step tracking and sleep tracking got better, and the UI got optimized. They also made a strong effort to bring text replies to iOS by partnering with cellular carriers. However, this improvement was cut short when Pebble went out of business at the end of 2017.

Conclusion

Pebble's smartwatch was a somewhat enjoyable experience despite the drawbacks of the dictation API and Pebble's downfall as a company. My watch has survived me for 2 years without any manufacturing defects and for the most part worked as expected, minus the lack of useful apps on the platform.
I'd like to know what your experiences were if you had a Pebble. Feel free to post a comment of what you thought.

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