Apple Watch Versus the Pebble Time

TechSmash


The Apple Watch has hit the shelves and the lucky few that pre-ordered are enjoying their smartwatches as we speak. However, many of you may be considering the Apple Watch against some of the other smartwatches on the market. One of the most popular and successful smartwatches thus far has been the Pebble.



The company recently announced the original Pebble’s successor, the Pebble Time. The Pebble Time’s Kickstarter campaign shattered its funding goal within 32 minutes and broke the record for reaching $1 million dollars in funding in the least amount of time. Needless to say, there is a sizeable amount of hype for this upcoming smartwatch. The question remains, how will the Pebble Time compare to Apple’s recently released Apple Watch. We’ve compiled some important details surrounding the two smartwatches below for comparison:

  Apple Watch Pebble Time
Screen 1.65 inch, Color Amoled
screen with Force Touch
technology
1.25 inch, color e-paper
with LED backlight (Non-touch)
Resolution 340 X 272 & 390 X 312  
Battery Life 18 Hours
(Breakdown Below)
7 Days
Sensors Ambient Light Sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Heart Rate
Microphone
Accelerometer
Compass
Ambient Light Sensor
Microphone
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.0
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz
Bluetooth 4.0
Weight
(With Band)
2t to 69 grams depending
on the band
42.5 grams
Watch Thickness 10 – 10.5 mm 9.5 mm
Price $349 – $17,000 $199 – $299
Water Resistance Up to 1M Up to 30M
Apps Over 1,000 have been
submitted for approval at
this time
Over 6,500
Storage 8 GB Total Unknown
Processor S1 SoC Processor –
Roughly 1 GHz*
Cortex M4 – 100 MHz
RAM Unknown Unknown – Apps will have
access to 64 KB of RAM
Compatible Phones iPhones iPhones with iOS 8.0+ and
Android Phones with 4.0+
Release Date Released but Current orders
will not be fulfilled until July
May 2015

As is noted in the above table, each device has its strengths. Below are a few noteworthy items that stuck out to use during our assessment of the two smartwatches:

Processor and Screen

The Apple Watch is definitely the powerhouse of the bunch. With a processor that is roughly comparable to the A5 that was in the iPhone 4S, the Apple Watch blows the Pebble Time out of the water from a processor standpoint. Additionally, the Apple Watch is equipped with a much higher resolution screen that supports a significantly greater range of colors. Photos will look comparable to that of your phone screen on the Apple Watch; be-it a smaller display. However with the Pebble Time, photos will be lower resolution and discolored. (Think a little bit better than Game Boy Camera photos on your Gameboy Color)

Such power and screen resolution open a lot of future opportunity for the Apple Watch. App developers will have much more to work with when developing for the Apple Watch, enabling them to do things that will be physically impossible on the Pebble Time. It will be interesting to see how relevant processor power is in years to come for smartwatches. Currently, smartwatches are best utilized as notification hubs which don’t require a lot of power. Time will tell.

Battery Life

All of the Apple Watch’s power does come at a cost. The estimated battery life for the Apple Watch is 18 hours and that’s being quite conservative from a “use” standpoint. Below is the breakdown of “use” in that 18 hour period:

  • 90 Time Checks
  • 90 Notifications
  • 45 Minutes of App Use
  • 30 Minutes of Playing Music

The Pebble Time uses an e-Color screen which is what allows it to have significantly better battery life; up to 7 days! One of the primary complaints from early Apple Watch reviewers is that battery life is quite poor. If you don’t want another device to charge every day (or multiple times a day), you probably want to go with the Pebble Time. 

Apps

Available apps are another noteworthy mentionable. The Pebble Time will be fully backwards compatible with all Pebble apps providing access to a library of 6,500+ apps. The Apple Watch is coming out of the gate with approximately 1,000+ apps, many of which are yet to be street tested. Apple will surely catch up, but Pebble is currently the front-runner in the apps department. 

Fitness Tracking

From a fitness perspective, the Apple Watch has a heart rate sensor, accelerometer, and GPS that are all used in tandem with the integrated fitness apps. These apps allow you to track your activity, the intensity of the workout, and more. The Pebble Time does have an accelerometer that could be used for tracking movement, but nothing has been announced at this time. The Apple Watch is water-resistant up to 1 Meter meaning you can shower, wash the dishes, or endure a sweaty basketball game. The Pebble Time is water-resistant at up to 30 meters meaning you could go swimming with the device if desired. Each watch has its pros and cons from a fitness perspective, but the Apple Watch is the frontrunner in this category in my opinion. due to the additional sensor and tracking options.

Apple Watch Versus Pebble Time



Overall

Overall, they are both great smart watches with incredible potential. Considering that the Pebble Time was able to raise $20 million dollars in a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $500,000 dollars is indicative of the demand for the device. The Apple Watch has seen incredible pre-order numbers far outpacing most other competition. At the end of the day, it comes down to preference of one smartwatch’s features over the other. Let us know which you are planning to buy in the comments below. 

Sources:

Ryan Egan

About the author

Ryan is a natural born technology enthusiast. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology and has been writing on the topic of technology for over 4 years. He also enjoys sitting in hot-tubs while watching movies on a gorgeous 80 inch flat-screen televisions.

4 comments on “Apple Watch Versus the Pebble Time”

  1. Larry Reply

    It’s interesting that the Applewatch has such a powerful processor,yet many of the reviews state how much lag there is in using apps. Just a note on the Pebble Time Steel,it’s battery life is up to 10 days.

  2. viggen Reply

    One big omission in this article is that Pebble Time works with third party sensors that can be attached to the pebble band whose data can be collected by pebble watch.

  3. Billy BoJangles Reply

    The Pebble Time is clearly the winner. While it may not have the processing power, it doesn’t need it.

    Why do you need a high res screen? If you’re watching movies on your Apple Watch, you have issues. Plus you can’t even get through a full episode of Full House with the battery life of the Apple Watch.

    7 days of battery life? Yes please!

  4. stocklone Reply

    Don’t forget about the smart bands! You could potentially have great fitness tracking that you only wear when you need it. I really think Pebble is on to something with the smart bands. Who knows what crazy things people will come up with and Pebble is investing $1M in finding to get people to working on them.

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