I finally jumped into wearables this year. Why? Partly cost, partly need (yeah right, more like "want"), and because it was just time to do it! What I chose and why I chose it is what this post is all about!
Sometime in 2014 I bought my son a Pebble smartwatch. The gesture wasn't totally gift-giving. He tended to miss phone calls and text messages we sent, so a smartwatch made his chance of getting the messages much better because the Pebble vibrates when text/SMS messages come in.
Fast forward to 2016 (well, call it Christmas 2015...), and I have my own smartwatch. Here were my criteria:
- Text messages to my wrist
- Turn-by-turn gps directions when I am walking around the big city(ies)
- Look nice enough to wear to business meetings
- Reasonably stable and good update track record
- Prefer not to pay a massive premium price
- Work with BOTH iPhone AND android (I switch a lot!)
- Battery to get me through a busy day
So these requirements seem reasonable to me from a logical perspective. It turns out that this narrows down the field a LOT. Specifically the requirement to work with iPhone and Android, and looking good enough for a business meeting knocked that list down to only a few.
I decided on a 2014 vintage PEBBLE STEEL (NOT Pebble Time Steel!). We got it for $60 refurbished from Cowboom.com, and there are LOTS of them still available at that price. Mine looked brand new, but didn't come with a charging cable. $2 shipped from a supplier in China via Ebay and I have one now. (ok, technically that makes it $62... but some of the $60 ones come with charger cables. I chose one noted for its condition.)
So here is the final logic that made the decision:
- The experiment with my son's pebble worked very well. #comfort
- Text messages and turn-by-turn gps just work. #easy
- Pebble steel with the steel watchband looks quite nice. #techie but not #bragging
- Pebble has been very stable, few bugs/problems with reliability #noworries
- Cheap! Everybody wants a new one, so lightly used and not abused ones are very affordable #cash
- Works with both iPhone and Android. #huzzah
- Battery - OK, this wasn't even a competition. 7 days vs 1-3 days for all others (non Pebble options). #wow
|Battery life is still not close to non-smartwatches (dumbwatches? feature watches?)|
So what I gave up by going with an older wearable is the panache and brag-ability of showing off a new device. That only lasts a year anyway, so pttttbbbbttttt. I don't care. I am giving up a touchscreen. Who cares. I know you CAN do cool stuff on that dinky screen, but I'd prefer my timepiece to really just, you know, be a timepiece. The notifications pretty much solve my immediate need.
What did I gain (or retain) ? Cash: Only $60 spent. I've easily spent more for a Casio or Swatch (dating myself here) in the past. Battery life: This watch can go on trips without me stressing about it dying in the airport on a long international flight. Great indoor/outdoor screen visibility: The Pebble screen is so easy to see in bright daylight thanks to the e-ink technology.
So, although I enjoy writing blogs about technology, this is really about how you can get some great technology and participate in "the wearable movement" in a meaningful and practical way without giving in to the commercials that say you need "best and newest" (and expensive-est).
Want your own? Cowboom has lots of them cheap. And no, I don't work for them, have any association, and I won't make a penny off you buying things from them :)