Apple watch or Pebble Time? Here’s our verdict on what the two smartwatches are prefer to live with

It’s been much more than three years now due to the fact that Pebble turned to crowdfunding to launch its an initial smartwatch with monochrome display and week-long battery life. The record-breaking campaign, underdog nature the the tiny start-up and also charisma that founder Eric Migicovsky combined to create something that caused quite a stir.

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The resulting product was about as basic as you can get. The Pebble smartwatch buzzed when you got a message, shown the first few lines the your recent email and burst into life once a contact was coming through. Its successor, the Pebble Time, does all those points – yet it’s much more refined.

We’ve been making use of both the Pebble Time and also its most high-profile competitor, the apologize Watch, because that a when now and have plenty come say about our experiences. Return in regards to design and also software both the town hall are really different, there room some similarity too. And, if you very own an iPhone climate they’re the best smartwatch choices out there.Here’s how the Pebble Time and Apple watch match up.

Build and also straps

The original Pebble had an ext in usual with a toy 보다 a striking piece of tech as soon as it involved design. The mix of all-plastic chassis and also display through a dodgy strap made that feel like something that had actually been whipped up of a weekend in ours garage.

With to apologize opting because that a luxury look and also feel because that its smartwatch, Pebble knew the the Time had actually to make huge strides in this department. We’ve been wearing the Pebble Time because that a when now and the renovations are obvious. But it tho lacks that little of polishing we’ve concerned expect from device costing £179.

Watch our Apple watch vs iphone race across London

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The most noticeable change is the it’s no longer all plastic. Instead, yes a brand-new metal bezel the sits atop a plastic body. It’s nice to see a classier enhancement here, yet the plastic sitting below the steel cover tho feels very bargain-basement. It’s virtually as if the steel plate is there merely to cover up those beneath it.

We’re additionally not encouraged by exactly how well the will organize up against scuffs following extended use, back it no seem to have actually picked up any type of damage in our initial testing. We’ve uncovered that our stainless-steel Apple watch is an extremely prone to scratches, however these can conveniently be eradicated through some consistent steel polish.


We were likewise hoping the Pebble would have expanded its usage of steel to the buttons. As with previous Pebble editions yes sir no touchscreen, for this reason navigating the an equipment is fully by means of the side-mounted buttons.

These buttons room a pain to press, however. There isn’t sufficient traction once you press down ~ above them and also there’s no feedback either. To compare this come the Apple’s Digital Crown and also the responsive display and the distinction is as night and also day.

Another strange point we’ve noticed through the Pebble is just just how harsh sound its vibration motor is. If the apple Watch offers you a tenderness tap when you obtain a notification, the time shakes violently. That shakes so lot that you have the right to hear the from throughout the room: we left that in a bag and also you might easily hear that vibrate in there. It’s no pleasant.

If you care around your smartwatch being waterproof, climate the Pebble Time is for you. The 3ATM rating means it’s an ideal for stay in the shower and also whilst swim – and we proficient no issues in ours tests. The apple Watch, on the other hand, isn’t an ideal for together activities. Some users have actually taken it out for a swim, however Apple says the clock is water-resistant therefore you have the right to sweat, run in the rain and wash the dishes through it around your wrist.

There’s one area whereby the Pebble Time wins the end over the apple Watch, and that’s just how it sits on her wrist. Maybe we’re not offered to wearing an ext sizeable watches, yet we discovered that the Apple clock felt really noticeable. It didn’t sit like a watch; it no feel herbal on our wrist. The Pebble Time does, however. That feels great, and we reckon this is all under to the curved bottom the fits comfortably end the border of her wrist.

SEE ALSO: to apologize Watch tips and tricks


On the whole, though, to apologize has absolutely outdone Pebble once it comes to architecture – however that was never ever really in doubt. The clock is accessible in a range of finishes, indigenous stainless stole to aluminium to climbed gold, and it feeling far an ext luxurious than the Pebble. Like the majority of apologize products, it’s fine built and also completed to a high finish.

The straps room a big part of any watch, however it’s an area that plenty of smartwatches have actually so far got very wrong. Even if it is it’s the Moto 360, the LG watch Urbane or even the Fitbit Surge, all have actually been let under by the strap.

Apple has controlled to buck the trend. It has produced straps in every shapes and sizes – leather, stainless steel, silicone – and also all with variety of styles and buckle varieties to match. We’ve been using the Milanese Loop band for the bulk of time v the Watch, whilst likewise on chance trying out the sports Band. The Milanese Loop is absolutely one of the sleekest, yet it prices an extra £129, which is only £50 shy the a complete Pebble Time.

It’s the sport Band it is most comparable with the Pebble Time. Both feel comparable in the hand, back they’re make from different materials: the Time’s band is made of silicone while the apple Watch’s is constructed from fluoroelastomer. Each has actually a soft, matte texture, and also are accessible in a pair of colours. We did uncover that castle both obtained a bit sweaty as soon as they’d to be on our wrists for part time and also we also experienced a young rash ~ the first few days of put on the Pebble Time.


What Pebble really has on its next is universal support. Since the straps are of the standard 22m size, girlfriend can conveniently slide off the original and instantly have accessibility to thousands more – also straps you already own. Through Apple you’re minimal to the straps the company sells and the ones the licenses. All obtainable at far-ranging cost.

The display screens couldn’t be additional apart

There’s plenty us don’t like around the apple Watch, and while anyone in our office has actually differing opinions ~ above many aspects of the device, yes sir one thing we all agree on: the display. Apple’s Retina display screens have long been some of the finest on the market, and also the 38mm (340×272) and 42mm (390×312) execution on the Watch are no different. Castle gorgeous: bright, sharp and also with wonderful viewing angles. That the ideal display we’ve checked out on a smartwatch.

But there’s also something about the display that we dislike: that not always on. Unless you’re directly looking in ~ the display, the watch looks choose a empty chunk of metal sitting on her wrist. Not favor a watch at all. By making use of a color e-paper display screen that spend much much less power 보다 the OLED panel on the apple Watch, the Pebble Time is always on and also displaying the clock.

Obviously, the Apple watch panel is much sharper. The Pebble Time has much more in typical with a GameBoy advance than Cupertino’s wearable, however we’re not really complaining. The point is, us won’t be utilizing our watch to look at videos, photos or perform a many reading – and also for whatever else the bright, colourful display on the Pebble Time is all we need.

The main issue we have actually with the Pebble Time’s display is the bezel. Actually, the bezel the surrounds the bezel. Over there so much of it bordering the screen that it simply doesn’t look very good.

Both devices performed fairly well in sunlight, however the Pebble’s e-paper display screen was better. Viewing angle in sunlight weaken far more quickly ~ above the Kickstarter-funded wearable, though – tilt it even slightly and also all you’ll see is glare.

We’ve however to endure scratches on one of two people screen. The apple Watch supplies sapphire decision to defend the display – the sport version supplies toughened glass – if the Pebble Time supplies strengthened 2.5D glass, which offers it a slight curve. We’ll update this is that alters in the future.

One lasts because that a week, the other for just a day

One of the Pebble’s key selling points is how it bucks the patterns of current smartwatches and also extends battery life far past just one day. Yes, we’ve seen other watches – such as the Withings Activité – big this the end to 6 months yet they have a really limiting attribute set. Pebble insurance claims you should get seven days worth of juice native the Time, if Apple recommends you charge the watch every night.

Big difference.


In reality, the Pebble Time falls short of those lofty claims, but it’s still much much better than the competition. We fully charged the maker on work one and also it lasted for five solid days prior to we had actually to reach because that the magnetic, proprietary charger. It fee quickly, though, going native 0 every cent to totally charged in a little under 2 hours.

Obviously, this far outclasses the Apple clock – back you have to take right into account that Apple’s watch does a lot of more. As much as smartwatches walk in general, the Apple watch is still one of the far better when it comes to battery life. It’ll easily last a day, and also if girlfriend forget to fee it overnight, girlfriend shouldn’t wake up up with a dead weight on your arm – and also have let go the train together your alert didn’t walk off.

Both have software issues, yet there’s hope

Take note that, for this feature, we’ve greatly been utilizing our Pebble Time through an iPhone. Why? Well because the Apple watch is compatible just with iOS devices. If you want a wearable for use through your iPhone, you’ll most likely be opting for either the Pebble or the apple Watch.

But, the Pebble Time is compatible through Android as well – and also it’s therefore much better on the Google platform. This no Pebble’s fault, but more to carry out with Apple’s tight lock end the iOS ecosystem.

When you get a notification, and you’re making use of iOS, the only option is to dismiss it. Top top Android, however, you can actually plot on it. Shoot turn off a canned solution or usage the integrated microphone come dictate a message. It is a big feature disparity best there. Basically, top top iOS you have the right to look in ~ the blog post on her wrist, yet then you have to pull the end your phone call to carry out anything. ~ above Android you deserve to look and send a reply, through the phone still in her pocket.

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On the Apple watch you deserve to dictate and reply come messages through preset responses if you’re using the main iMessage app, but things aren’t quite so clear reduced with others. Friend can’t answer to a WhatsApp article for instance, but you can “Like” a facebook post.

Both will display all the basic notifications that come to your phone, regardless on whether there’s a devoted app on the wearable. News alerts, sports scores and so on will certainly all buzz her wrist.

Another difference between using the Pebble Time on iOS and also Android is that the latter provides you an ext granular manage over notifications, therefore you deserve to pick which come to your phone and which go to the watch. ~ above iOS, it’s all or nothing – and also depends on her phone settings.

Pebble has totally overhauled that is operating system for the Time, heading in a new direction come previous iterations. The focus is the “Timeline”, an overview of her life. Making use of the hardware buttons you have the right to scroll with your day, viewing calendar appointments and also weather updates along the way. Apps can additionally plug right into this, so ESPN can include in sports scores; one airline could include your flight details; and Trip Advisor can tell you somewhere great to go for lunch.


It’s an idea the Apple appears to have taken part cues native in its upcoming apologize watchOS 2 updates, which will certainly be landing later on in the year. Yet the colourful look and also kiddy-style animations most likely won’t walk down too with those searching for a major experience.

We certainly prefer the means that Pebble has worked its UI to the of Apple, which has actually basically taken the entire idea the a phone and ported it over to the watch. However neither deserve to hold a candle come Android Wear, and also its wonderful way of making use of Google currently cards to display information when you need it.

Fitness features: have the right to they replace a Fitbit?

While apple has plainly tried to place the Watch as a fitness accessory, the Pebble has actually pushed it together much. Instead of building its very own apps, the start-up has actually let the carriers such as Jawbone and Misfit handle this. The Time additionally lacks a heart-rate monitor, i m sorry is current in the apple Watch.

As already mentioned, the one thing the Pebble Time does have actually over the Apple clock is that it’s waterproof. You have the right to dive under to 30m without risking damages to the smartwatch, while Apple advises you take it the Watch turn off for anything an ext wet than heading the end in the rain.

The to apologize Watch absolutely has an ext going for it if she a gym bug, though. You deserve to import tunes and connect increase a set of Bluetooth headphones, while there are also two committed apps because that tracking all your an essential stats. It wasn’t totally accurate 100% of the time though, therefore if you need a an equipment that’s an ext spot-on climate we’d still recommend a specialized running clock from a recognised brand such together Polar.

The Pebble is well with simple step-tracking: both the Misfit and also Jawbone up apps beam the data ago to your companion smartphone apps and they work fairly well.

If she happy with a wearable that can track your steps, calories and so on, the Pebble Time will occupational for you. Yet it’s the Apple watch that has actually a greater number of features and, while we haven’t discovered it to be 100% accurate, it definitely has more scope to end up being your gym buddy.

There’s a large difference in price

It could seem a strange point to do, yet it’s essential to compare these two gadgets in terms of value for money. No so much by comparing their bases prices, due to the fact that the cheapest Apple watch is £120 more expensive 보다 the Pebble, yet by looking in ~ what you obtain for your extra outlay.

Even though it’s cheaper than Apple Watch, we still feeling the Pebble Time is in reality a bit overpriced in ~ £179. The an initial edition the the Pebble retails for in between £89 and £99, and after using the Timeline update, the will have actually pretty much all the same functions as the Pebble Time. To placed the price right into even more perspective: you have the right to bag the Sony SmartWatch 3 and Moto 360, both the which operation the much superior Android Wear, for less than the Pebble Time. During our time through the device we yes, really struggled to feel this to be a maker that represented value for money.

Just like any kind of other apologize product, the watch is an investment. The simple Sport model starts in ~ £299, however you’ll most likely want the slightly larger 42mm version, which costs £339. We’d also recommend switching the end the sport Band for those times when you’re not actually at the gym or the end on a run, i m sorry could expense you upwards the £100 if she looking at official Apple versions.

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You do obtain a much much more rounded device with the to apologize Watch, or also an Android wear competitor, yet you’re walking to it is in paying because that it. And also you’re getting something the will likely be updated in the future. Also watchOS 2 looks to right many of not correct of the first version. Over there will also always be a much an ext thriving equipment market, to add much more interest from developers creating far better apps and also trying to look for that ‘killer feature’.

Thing is, if you specifically want a notification maker you most likely only require the Pebble Time.

Apps: transforms out they’re not that important on a watch. Yet.

This can come together a little of a surprise, however in their present state apps are not vital part the the smartwatch. Well, we can rephrase the slightly. The apps themselves aren’t important, it’s how plug in come the remainder of the system that is.

SEE ALSO: here what’s new in WatchOS 2


In the moment we’ve been using the apologize Watch and Pebble Time, we have actually only opened up up committed apps top top a few occasions. On the Apple clock we’ve had tendency to jump more towards Glances, those tiny tidbits the information available with a swipe up, as they’re much quicker than going into an app.

We’re likewise much more likely to use apps that plug straight into Pebble’s Timeline, however this is restricted right now. We’ve currently got TripAdvisor, ESPN (though the one is a little US-centric for united state football-loving folk) and a pair more to pick from, however hopefully that list will flourish once much more people have these on your wrists.


Apple has the most apps, that’s clear, but we yes, really won’t watch the best of these until indigenous support comes later on in the year. Till then, or until the apps usually get much better and faster than pulling out your phone, apps just aren’t that necessary on her watch.

So, i beg your pardon one must you buy?

We had high hopes for both of these wearables, but all at once we’re a small disappointed v the apologize Watch and also the Pebble Time. Lock both miss the mark in several vital areas.

While the Time improves upon the look at of the original, that still feeling cheap and also lacks the classy touches the make a clock desirable.

The to apologize Watch can be sleek, however you’d expect no much less for the pricey outlay. And even though the Pebble Time is lot cheaper, the still feels a tiny bit expensive for what you actually get.

For straightforward notifications, they both tick many boxes. However if you want complete support you’re finest off going through the to apologize Watch similar to it you can not only view messages, yet act upon them. It is a shame, however it’s an ext the error of Apple’s tight hold over the iOS ecosystem fairly than Pebble.

Apps on both are rather disappointing too, though for differing reasons. Apple’s application Store is plentiful, however performance concerns tend come bog down the majority of downloads. Pebble, on the other hand, lacks the assistance from developers the it needs to build swathes of enticing apps. Hopefully, this situation will improve.

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We still think that smartwatches are for the enthusiasm only and while both the to apologize Watch and also Pebble Time have actually plenty of positives, we’re not sure whether they’re all set for the mass-market yet.

So, which would you pick? Apple watch or Pebble Time? let us know in the comments section below