My first impression to the Apple Watches was expected by the time it was announced: Wow! No thanks. And then I started regretting not to pre-order for a Pebble Time Steel…
The battery is about to die
The biggest concern to myself, or to many of you, could be the battery life of the device itself. It does matter regardless of how negligible the electricity cost of charging the batteries every day, comparing to a TV or so. Because, I am running out of power sockets.
Wireless charging is always more appealing than wired ones. Apple Watch and Android Wears like Moto 360 win. But I really can’t afford remembering what I am supposed to charge every day before I sleep.
Yes 18 hours of mixed usage is ok for a normal day but what if I go camping overnight?
Design is not the first priority
I think Pebble does it right this time. It comes really close to how it looks comparing to the Apple Watch especially the Time Steel version. Functionality does come first when design is not so differentiated.
Cross platform usage
Apparently, the Apple Watch is a companion device of iPhone, only. Pebble is workable on both iOS and Android which is quite convenient as I do switch occasionally for specific purpose. Fair enough Pebble wins in OS compatibility perspective.
On another hand, notably that recent rumors/reports show that Google will bring Android Wear to be compatible with iOS soon and probably announce in the I/O developer conference in May. This is a definitely good news for consumers but not really for Apple for now.
There has been several iterations of Android Wear smartwatches and they are getting better in specs and performance. If this really happens, why not?
Now the trend for gadgets is going toward minimal, with minimum number of buttons, ports, cables and user efforts to interact with the device. But it comes to the question of durability. Is a button more durable than a touch screen? Or vice versa?
I tend to press less times on my Pebble because I think at some day the button will break; I tend to touch my iPhone more frequently because the touch screen is very responsive and easy to control. At last, which one will break first?
Recording heart beats
This feature is gimmicky to me. I don’t know how many people will care about a heart rate monitor at their wrist. Not to discriminate from people with heart disease but I believe they do have a more accurate and reliable medical device for that.
Other than that, if you care about this, or simply fitness, plus some sort of notifications alerts like incoming calls, how about getting fitbit Charge HR for around $130 in retail shops?
We have already been seeing loads of concepts or even prototypes of how some of the existing iOS apps work with the Apple Watch, say, Things and WeChat. And they are all very impressive.
On the other hand, despite the fact that the Pebble Timeline looks nice and colorful, it does limit some of the app functionality and how the app can interact with users on that interface. Correct me if I am wrong but I can say, at least, far less flexibility than what Apple Watch developer kit can offer.
But again, it really depends on what will come out and how consumers react to it. Whether or not Apple Watch app offers too much or Pebble offers too less, we don’t know yet.
Way too expensive
Let’s talk about the price points. Apple Watch starts at $349 and Pebble starts $199 in retail. In addition to all the above perspectives, if you need no more than a smartwatch (like what I mentioned in my previous post) and cost is a concern, Pebble definitely wins it all.
To be honest, only if you are a super Apple fan boy with loads of disposable income will you get the top tier Apple Watch Edition for $17,000. If not, why not give a try on Rolex which offers luxurious design to show off plus value guarantee after years?
Here I mean both the devices and the companies. Obviously no one can beat Apple in terms of capital, financial strength, talents…etc, as for now. I am not downplaying Google and Pebble. They are all good but we don’t know who can be more sustainable in future.
The trend of wearables is clear but the future of each remains unclear. I do believe eventually it will come to a point of technological constraint and that we cannot really differentiate the products on paper but really rely on customer loyalty to carry on.
So, all in all, are you going to get an Apple Watch? Please take one second to vote below.