Perhaps it is unfair to say the Pebble Time needs more time after only a month of usage, but Pebble Time in its current state is a bit of a disappointment. If you have an iPhone. For the Androrids, Pebble Time is probably better suited for you, and I would consider that fair when the original Pebble focused heavily on the iPhone at the start.
But, I don’t have an Android and I do have the original Pebble. If you’re in the same situation, right now, I would say wait to make the upgrade, unless you really want the color screen and new Timeline design.
Hardware wise, the Pebble Time is a solid upgrade from the original Pebble. It looks better, fits better, and is significantly lighter despite being wider and made of far better material than plastic. However, being thinner also makes the buttons much more difficult to push. The removal of spacing between them doesn’t help either. I’m also not as much of a fan as the charging port moving to the back as I thought I would be. Not having magnets visible on the side for everyone to see looks a lot better, but it also makes the connection between the watch and charging cable worse. The Pebble Time’s charging cable is difficult to get to click in to place, and once it finally is, it’s equally difficult to get it to stay in place.
Pebble’s design choices with the Time are interesting. The hardware has definitely matured and looks more like a watch than a geeky piece of hardware strapped to a wrist. The software, however, is more playful than polished. Does it look good? I think so. It’s very much a step up from the scrolling menus of the original Pebble, but it doesn’t match the more professional look of the Pebble Time. I’m a fan of the filling coffee cups, paper airplanes, messages in a bottle, and satisfying poofs… but they’re not what I would expect to see matched with the hardware they run on.
The battery life of the Pebble Time is also questionable. The original Pebble absolutely gets a solid week of battery life, even with my constantly vibrating wrist and Misfit tracking in the background. The Time… not so much. Its battery is highly inconsistent, ranging from a single day to three, at best. With the exception of the new hardware and software, nothing changed between my Pebble and Pebble Time.
Aside from Timeline, the Pebble Time’s new screen might be its biggest improvement. It looks beautiful in sunlight and under good lighting indoors. It’s backlight also appears to be much brighter than the original Pebble’s, but the colors really don’t pop unless they are in bright light, and I really think that is a shame. With the exception of the Pebble Time app for iOS, Pebble Time was ready for launch. All of the apps and watch faces I used on my original Pebble had been updated to take advantage of Time’s new screen – and they looked great. They didn’t look like an upgrade, they looked entirely new, even though I knew they weren’t.
Bottom line, if you have an Android, Pebble Time is probably the watch for you. If you have an iPhone and the original Pebble or Pebble Steel already, wait. If you have an iPhone, don’t have a previous generation Pebble, and aren’t a fan of the Apple Watch, the Pebble Time is a watch to consider. I wouldn’t call it a must – not yet – and it’s not Pebble’s fault either. Now that Apple makes their own smartwatch, I think they’ve made it very clear they have no plans to open up iOS to third-party smartwatch developers. As a result, a lot of the Pebble Time’s potential doesn’t get to shine when paired with an iPhone. Its microphone is completely unusable with iOS, which means you can still only dismiss notifications and can’t act on them – unless they are notifications from a Timeline app.