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Pebble Review - Verdict Review

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Should I buy the Pebble smartwatch?

Technically you can’t. Currently Pebble is only available to KickStarter backers and for everyone else you must pre-order for ‘summer 2013’ shipping. Hairsplitting aside, if you use an Android handset, Pebble makes a great purchase. It delivers a slick, comprehensive experience and is quickly being supported by third party developers in the Google Play store.

For iPhone users things are less clear. With iOS6 alerts are limited and only the ‘view in lock screen’ glitch (admittedly one Apple doesn’t seem in a rush to fix) allows more than SMS and iMessages to be received. This should change with increased support for smartwatches in iOS7, but we’d make sure Apple delivers on it first. We stress this isn’t a Pebble problem, but a problem for all third party smartwatches on iOS right now.

When pitched against rivals Pebble currently sets the standard. It is arguably the best looking smartwatch so far, offers the slickest experience and comes with a bargain price tag. For these reasons we’d inch it above the still excellent MetaWatch Strata while both models suggest the thin client approach is more practical than models like I’m Watch, which try to be full blown smart devices.

Of course, this may change as a host of big names ready smartwatches for later in the year (including the fabled Apple iWatch), but until we know something concrete about them Pebble is the model we’d buy.

Verdict

It comes with huge hype, but the Pebble smartwatch predominantly delivers. It is smartly designed, intuitive and affordable. Currently it works far better on Android than iOS, but that is down to the limitations of Apple’s platform and should change with iOS7. Many rivals will hit the market in 2013, but so far Pebble is the smartwatch to beat.

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