Pebble Classic Smart Watch Review

pebble classic
Pebble Classic

I first started wearing watches during my grade school years. While I really wanted one of those nerdy, calculator watches, I settled for the “regular” kind that simply, you know, told time. Now that I’m an adult, I can pretty much choose any kind of watch I want, so that means I want my watch to be smart.

It has taken me a long time, but last year I had an oppurtuity jump on the smart watch bandwagon. Nate purchased an Apple watch and sold me his Pebble Classic for cheap.

Overall, I’ve been very happy with the Pebble Classic. It has a long battery life and is able to perform the same tasks of other smart watches costing hundreds of dollars more. It allows me to see notifications from my phone, skip to the next track of my music, and, of course, tell time.

Would I recommend the Pebble Classic for others? The answer is “maybe.” The Pebble Classic isn’t amazing, but it is still very useful. If you can get one for cheap, then why not? But, if you’ll be paying full price for one, I’d recommend saving up for one of Pebble’s other models. Both the Pebble Time and Pebble Time Round have color displays and offer additional health tracking features.

Pros:

  • Receives notifications from phone
  • Has hundreds of apps and watch faces to choose from
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons:

  • Display is hard to see sometimes
  • I hate the “flick” gesture
  • Compatibility with iPhone is subpar

Website: pebble.com
Amazon link: amazon.com

The Apple Watch. My Thoughts.

Activity Monitor
Activity Monitor
Camera Remote Inception
Camera Remote Inception
My Watch Face
My Watch Face
"Apps"
“Apps”

I have had my Apple Watch for about 3 weeks now and have a lot of people asking how I like it. I figured it was time to type out some thoughts and observations so far (No I am not able to type blog posts from the watch).

A few disclaimers before I get started:

  • I have worn a watch as long as I can remember. The Apple Watch would be a lot more of a transition for a non watch wearer.
  • I’m a huge Apple nerd. I have purchased almost every iPhone on the day it comes out, since the first one in 2007. 
  • I had a Pebble Watch. For the last 8 months I wore a Pebble Smart Watch. It has limited functionality compared to the Apple Watch, but it helped the transition from ‘dumb’ watches.

Last fall when Tim Cook introduced the watch he said it was their most personal device yet. I have to agree with him, when people ask to see it there is an awkward wrist twist and not much to show. While I do believe that it is a revolutionary product, it isn’t as ‘demonstratable’ as many other gadgets.

I have tried to thinking of a good analogy for what I think the watch is. There was a time when TVs did not come with a remote, they worked, but it is hard to imagine life without them now. After just 3 weeks, that is how I feel about the Apple Watch. The watch requires an iPhone to function which I have no problem with. At this time I don’t think I would want something the size of a watch to replace my phone (but we said the same thing about smartphones and computers not too long ago.

Here are some various things that I think are important:

  • It is not just another screen to stare at endlessly. It is made for quick interactions, you know, like a watch. I can quickly look at my watch to see a notification and decide if I need to do anything with it. I have found myself pulling out my phone a lot less and getting sucked into all the distractions found there.
  • It doesn’t have real apps, at least right now. What it does have is extensions for apps on your phone, most of which aren’t real useful. Third party iPhone apps are very limited in what they can do on the watch, Apple says they will allow real apps later.
  • The Activity Monitor is a great way to get moving. Those of you that know me, know I don’t move much. With the watch it is really easy to set and track daily goals. It will also give you a gentle reminder if you haven’t moved in an hour to stand up and get the blood flowing. That has been huge for me, there are a lot of times when I spend a long time in my recliner. I just have to work on less trips to the kitchen when I do get up.
  • Battery life is better than expected. When Apple said that battery life would last about a day every one freaked out. I understand, this is a big change from the 5 years a standard watch battery will last. But people have an iPhone mentality on charging, it takes less than 2 hours to fully charge. So I sleep with mine on and then just charge it some point during the day when I don’t need it.
  • Square is the best shape. Again we think a watch should be round, but you know what doesn’t work well on round objects? Text. Try to write a letter on a round piece of paper, it is not efficient.
  • Is it waterproof? I have not tested the ‘waterproofness’ too much yet. Apple says to be very careful but the certification they got says you can put it in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. This Guy took it for a long swim and off the high dive without issue. I just figure I don’t need to risk it yet.
  • It’s the best Siri yet. Apparently Apple made some changes to Siri to put it on the watch and most people think it is much more accurate. I dictated a text while at a loud concert last night and it came through perfectly.
  • So what do I do with the watch?
    • Look at the time. It is a little weird that the screen is off when you aren’t looking at it but it’s not a deal breaker.
    • Look at notifications. Not having to pull my iPhone out every time there is a notification is great. I can take a quick look and decide if I need to respond and whether I can do it on the watch or need to take my phone out.
    • Control audio on my phone. With a quick swipe I can play, pause, rewind or fast-forward whatever I am listening too.

Final Thoughts: I really like the Apple Watch, it has smoothly integrated into my life. Yeah, $400 is pretty expensive for a watch, and I have to admit it isn’t something I need. But I do have to say that it has me spending a lot less time on my iPhone, something I think we could all use. I am excited to see what Apple does with the watch as well, remember that we didn’t even get apps on the iPhone for a year…

Questions? Concerns? Answers? Head on over to the Facebook page and let me know.

Further Reading: The team over at iMore has a ridiculously in-depth review over on their site.

 

Disclaimer: This was originally posted on layPhone.com and was migrated to this site when Nate and David started Notnerd.com.

Last minute stocking stuffers for the iPhone lover on your list

iPhone-StockingChristmas is just a week away. I can’t believe it, I literally thought we had another week just this morning. Based on the statistics, there is a good chance there is an iPhone lover on your list. While a new iPhone would look great sticking out of the stocking, I am guessing the chances of that happening are about the same as a new Acura appearing in our driveway like the commercials suggest.

 

pill-case

There are plenty of ridiculous gifts out there too, I decided to do this list after seeing someone talking about this crazy accessory online. Why any one would want to keep their pill hanging off their phone I could not imagine. There’s also this iPhone case with skateboard griptape on the back, oh the chafing. Let’s look at some more practical options this holiday season.

 

Here are a few smaller items that any iPhone owner would love to see in their stocking:

Apple Lightning Cable

Apple Lightning Cables – $6.95

If you have a newer iPhone, you probably are short on the new lightning cables. These are authentic cables are only $6.95 at the time of this post (The price fluctuates but you wont find a better one). They don’t come in the fancy Apple box, but that price includes free shipping. It’s time to invest in a few more of these.


NomadKeyNomad Keychain $29 (15% w/ this link)

I bought a few of these back when they were on Kickstarter. I cannot tell you how many times the one I keep on my keychain has bailed me out when I needed a charge.


 

Anker ChargerAnker Lipstick Charger $19.99

Great small charger when your on the go, again, a life saver.

Here is a higher capacity unit for longer trips away from an outlet.


Gifts Under $20
ThinkGeek has all kinds of tech goodies!

300x300 iB85 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
Speakers or headphones from iHome

Gift Guide
iPhone Protection

PC Case with Soft Sand Finish for iPhone 5/5s -  Brick Red
Monoprice.com for all kinds of iPhone accessories!

iTunes Gift Card

 

 

iTunes Gift Cards always work!

Disclaimer: You buying some of these items via the provided links might result in my receiving a few pennies in referral fees.

What should I buy at my carrier store?

Source: Cult of Mac

I was reminded today to remind you all why you shouldn’t buy anything at your cell phone carrier’s store besides a cell phone.

A coworker with an Android phone said that the AT&T store was all out of 32 gig SD cards for his phone. I immediately asked how much they wanted for it… $50. While he was answering I pulled up Amazon.com and let him in on a little secret.

The search for micro SD cards proved my point quite nicely, there were several great options under $20. Now I am quite aware that there is not an iPhone that will take any kind of memory card but it proves a point. You wouldn’t/shouldn’t buy your groceries at 7-11, and you shouldn’t buy anything besides a phone at your carrier store.

They overprice things because they know you will be tempted to utilize the convenience and buy there. Take iPhone cases for instance, you could buy one at the AT&T store when you pick up your phone or you could head over to Amazon where a quick search comes up with over 300,000 results, I am guessing all of which are cheaper than at the store. You can find just about anything you ever wanted too, my wife somehow found a “Coach” iPhone case for $15 (no longer available). Amazon isn’t the only solution, let me know if you need help finding what you want.

So just a reminder, and a little bit of a rant, to not impulse shop. Shop around, find what you want and pay a reasonable price.