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Pebble: The Best Smartwatch

I love the Pebble smartwatch. Like many others, its simple software, whimsical interface, e-paper displays, and long endurance have won me over and ruined any other smartwatch for me. However, there’s a lot more to Pebble than solid software, so here’s why I am more loyal than ever to Pebble and its amazing community.

For some background, I bought my first Pebble in 2021, and I soon acquired a couple others for the collection. One of these new watches was a Pebble Steel. This quickly became my favorite Pebble, and when it failed a few months later, I was devastated. So, I got some analog watches and mostly abandoned Pebble. Well, one year later, I decided to give Pebble another shot, and I now have nearly 10 Pebbles and wear one every day. It’s an addiction, but I also want to make sure that if one fails, I’m not doomed. That might seem like an exaggeration, but Pebble actually really helps me stay on top of things.

How come? Well, even all this time later, the Timeline UI is still unlike anything you can find on any other smartwatch. I have it synced up with Google Classroom so I can track upcoming assignments and their due dates. Reminders and alarms also show up there. It’s a brilliant system, and I would probably be screwed without it, as it genuinely helps me stay on top of schoolwork. Once you start using it, there’s no going back.

Also, being able to do basic smartwatch tasks with the click of a few buttons is very handy. Thanks to Pebble’s use of button navigation, pausing music, dismissing notifications, or even setting a timer can quite literally be done with your eyes closed. Other smartwatches add unnecessary features to replace your phone and have incredibly small touchscreens, but Pebble sticks to simple buttons and focuses on augmenting your phone instead. As a result, it can last a solid week on a charge with a new battery, so long as you aren’t using a Pebble Time Round. (Make no mistake, though, the PTR is awesome. I have the 20mm version and really enjoy it.)

So, as long-time readers of the blog already know, I absolutely adore Pebble and its vision for smartwatches as a whole. There is a catch, though; Pebble has not been in operation for some years. Indeed, it ceased operations quite a while ago, but thanks to some savvy fans, a service called Rebble has filled the void for the missing Pebble services. Everything software-related still works as if Pebble was still around thanks to Rebble’s replacement services.

Of course, Pebble’s shutdown means that new hardware is no longer in production. Thus, the still-thriving Rebble community fears the day that all of their beloved watches inevitably die. However, that’s still a little while into the future, so in the mean time, you bet we’re all Rebblin’ every single day. There are many reasons for this, but it ultimately comes down to a shared deep appreciation for Pebble’s spirit. Indeed, Pebble lives on as proof that even small but ambitious companies can make a difference, dedicated fans can keep anything alive with a little persistence, and most importantly, modern smartwatch manufacturers could still learn a thing or two from the trailblazer that was Pebble.

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