Sim­ply Stylish

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH -

The lat­est Peb­ble smart­watch is not a fancy piece of hard­ware. Time Round is sim­ple, good-look­ing and func­tional. It is the com­pany’s first watch with a cir­cu­lar dial. Sleek, at 7.5-mm thick­ness, weigh­ing only 28 gms, it is lighter than any smart­watch, but lacks touch dis­play. In­stead, to reg­is­ter in­put, there are small easy-to-use side but­tons – a back but­ton on the left hand side of the watch and three nav­i­ga­tion but­tons on the right. It comes with an al­ways-on e-pa­per dis­play with an LED back­light which is, alas, nowhere close to the bright­ness you get on OLED dis­play on the Ap­ple Watch. While the non-touch dis­play was a bother at first, with time I started lik­ing it.

To start us­ing Peb­ble Time Round, you need to pair it with the Peb­ble App avail­able for both iOS and An­droid. It in­stantly syncs with the smart­phone and fetches all the no­ti­fi­ca­tions in­clud­ing text, e-mails, events, What­sApp, Face­book no­ti­fi­ca­tions and more. The call­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tion doesn’t work quite well. If the caller’s name is saved in the phone­book, it dis­plays the same; un­known num­bers get split into two lines. The watch vi­brates for ev­ery in­com­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tion. The Peb­ble app gives ac­cess to a wide range of watch faces and apps. Un­like Ap­ple and An­droid – the big com­pa­nies be­hind Ap­ple Watch and An­droid Wear OS, re­spec­tively – Peb­ble started small with a Kick­Starter cam­paign, and de­spite that has man­aged to host a wide col­lec­tion of apps. How­ever, only se­lect apps and watch faces work on Time Round.

Fo­cused to­wards fit­ness, the Health app tracks your foot­step count, and col­lects sleep data, which was pretty ac­cu­rate. It also shows de­tails in­clud­ing calo­ries, dis­tance and ac­tive time. But, un­like the Ap­ple Watch or Sam­sung Gear S2, it does not have a built-in heart rate mon­i­tor or GPS. Time Round can be used to con­trol mu­sic on the smart­phone. The big­gest plus point of a Peb­ble watch is its long bat­tery life. How­ever, in this one, the bat­tery life has been com­pro­mised for a sleeker de­sign; but is still su­pe­rior to other smart­watches. The Time Round lasts close to two days on a sin­gle charge. The pro­pri­etary charger mag­net­i­cally snaps to the watch and of­fers quick charg­ing. A fif­teen-minute charge tops it enough to last a day. The smart­watch is avail­able in 14-mm and 20-mm bands, which are eas­ily change­able.

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