Living with Technology: Time for a digital watch?
Updated 7:08 am, Wednesday, June 24, 2015
My the watch on my wrist has been quite analog for many years, except for the LCD watches during my teens and early 20s.
For some reason, I’ve enjoyed a watch with hands that go around in a circle. Call me old fashioned.
As computers continue to get smaller and more connected, I’ve seen many more “wearable electronics” become available, including watches.
The best known of these watches is the Apple Watch. Having seen them and used them, they’re very nice. The Apple Watch is best when paired with an Apple iPhone. Because I’m an Android phone user, I would not benefit from all the Apple Watch has to offer.
But even before the Apple Watch was available, I had looked at some of the other wearable watches, especially the Samsung Gear. My biggest complaint with some of these items was their size. Generally, they’re really big, which is not what I wanted.
I had heard of the Pebble watch, a very successful product that was crowd-funded on Kickstarter.com a few years ago. I had seen that they were coming out with a new watch called Pebble Time, so I decided to support it.
It has taken about four months since I backed the Pebble Time project, but my watches (one red for my wife and one black for me) arrived about a week ago.
In my week since configuring them for my wife and myself, here’s what we like and don’t like about them:
First, they look good. They’re the right size for both my wife and me.
Second, the batteries last a long time. Other watches have to be charged as frequently as every day. We can go days without recharging.
Third, once we got the notifications set correctly (text messages and calendar items … no emails), the quick buzzing notifications meant that we didn’t have to pull our smartphones out to see what’s happening. Just a quick glance at our watch gave us the information we need.
Fourth, price. With the Apple Watch starting at $349, our Pebble Time watches were easily $100 less. Each.
First, a touch screen would be nice.
Second, the text is small for us to read without glasses. Text size is one of the reasons we like our large smartphones.
Third, the number of apps is limited. But the watch just came out, so I anticipate that will change.
All-in-all, my wife and I like our Pebble Time watches. It’s not nearly as technically sophisticated as many of the other watches out there, but it’s a very good watch at a good price point.
Mark Mathias is a 35-plus year information technology executive, a resident of Westport, Connecticut. His columns can be read at http://blog.mathias.org online. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.