The Pebble is one of those items where you’re paying for the function, not the materials or design. It’s not ugly, but a square (more or less) piece of plastic and a silicone rubber strap aren’t why you’re buying the Pebble. You buy the Pebble because of the way it extends the screen of your smartphone.
It’s fairly comfortable and is “easy” to wear. I take mine off at night, but that’s not really a requirement for comfort’s sake. The e-ink display works well in this configuration, especially when paired with the basic black body and strap. You may not win any fashion awards for wearing the Pebble, but you will get noticed.
Let’s be honest, the Pebble isn’t much to look at. It’s basic, plasticky and utilitarian. The screen is small, monochrome and easily scratched, and the strap is a basic (though comfortable) strip of rubber. But you’re not paying for what it looks like, you’re paying for what it does — that is, primarily, the convenience of having notifications on your wrist.
It’s comfortable and functional, but it’s not going to turn any heads. You could get a better-looking watch for your $150, for sure, but that’s not really the point. Generally speaking, traditional watches (dumb watches, if you will) tend to prioritize form over function. They’re fashion items after all, and that’s their job. The Pebble is the opposite, and that takes some getting used to. And it’s going to be interesting to see where the line between looks and brains ends up being drawn on future smartwatches. In this area, Apple’s the one to watch.
Nobody will ever see a Pebble on your wrist and think it’s a traditional analog watch. The upside of that is people may think you have some super cool smartwatch (you do), but the downside is this device doesn’t exactly fit with attire for every situation. Depending on your color choice it isn’t going to stand out too much given its size, but this certainly isn’t a fashion statement just yet.
Putting aside the fact that it looks kind of … well, nerdy, the Pebble feels great on the wrist even with its included band (which can be changed as well). It’s thinner and lighter than some of the other smartwatch options, and has even been comfortable enough for me to wear while on the computer and while sleeping — two things that larger watches of mine just don’t fit with.
Let’s face it — you get what you pay for. And the Pebble’s design clearly puts function over form. That’s not to say there wasn’t any thought put into it — the button scheme is simple and intuitive. But the watch itself is gaudy. I tend to think it’s not unlike those of us who wear it — more than capable, but a little awkward.
Being able to swap out bands is a big thing, though. And I completely expect a sexier design in whatever is to come from Pebble.