Comparing Smartwatches: Moto 360 vs Pebble

My first impression of the Moto 360 is “sweet!” The screen is gorgeous. I love the inductive charger/nightstand. The notifications on it look fantastic.

The “ok google” voice commands work mostly well but sometimes doesn’t do what I’d expect. For example, when I set a timer or alarm, it’s not setting the alarm on the phone; it’s only setting it on the watch.

I’m never quite sure what is on the watch and what is on the phone. This is an area where the Pebble was always good: I always knew it was an interface to my phone.

Battery life on the Moto 360 is a drag. You can get through a day but that’s about it. Going on trips, bringing the charger is a hassle. I just want to leave the watch at home. The upcoming Apple Watch will likely suffer the same fate. I went on a 5 day trip recently and the Pebble had charge for the entire trip.

I find swipes on the Moto 360 don’t always do what I expect or don’t work at all, leaving me to shut the display off and turn it back on again to bring me back to the home screen. The wrist twist action to turn on the display requires me to bend my wrist too far, making it uncomfortable. Most times I just press the button to turn it on. The “always on” of the Pebble definitely works better. I can glance down and see the time. With the Moto 360, checking the time at a glance feels like a hassle.

The buzz notification on the Moto 360 is a little too faint, making it easy to miss. The Pebble always felt just right. When wearing a watch, I disable the vibrations on my phone to prevent double buzzes. It has the added bonus of getting rid of phantom vibrations. (“Did my phone just buzz? *Checks phone* Nope.”)

I got the Moto 360 in black leather. I like the touch of gold on the crown. It looks great on my large wrists but have heard from those with smaller wrists that it’s a bit big.

My Pebble is the original from Kickstarter, in white. It looks nice along with the white iPhone but I find the e-ink screen looking dated now. The screen feels too far from the “glass” (it’s plastic) and the grey on black feels retro.

I preordered the Pebble Time (colour!) and will try out the Apple Watch, too, I’m sure.

Why get a watch at all?

I like the look of a watch. They’re a nice accessory. They’re less intrusive than a phone and easier to glance at. While driving, I find it nice to just glance at my wrist to see if it’s important. If I’m in a meeting and my phone rings, I can quickly dismiss the call.

While having your phone out in the company of others can seem rude, as you’re not giving them any attention, glancing at your watch repeatedly makes you look impatient.

Published March 14, 2015
Categorized as Review
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Craig said on April 22, 2015

I also have an original (black) Pebble and it's great. I like the simplicity of it, like an always on display and the fact that it acts more like an extension or remote to my phone, rather than another device to compete with it.

I look forward to hearing your review of the new Pebble Time.

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