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.