For about a year I have worn a Pebble Steel smart watch. This week I got the chance to borrow a friend’s Apple Watch. So, I thought a quick comparison would be in order.
Where the Apple Watch wins:
- It is sleek and fits my wrist better than the Pebble Steel. Though this may be because of the sports band, so I have started looking into other band options for the Pebble Steel.
- It’s interactive. While the Pebble gives me the alerts from my phone, I cannot interact with those alerts. One of my favorite moments with the Apple Watch was when I was sitting in a large meeting, got a text from my wife, and was able to reply with a quick “Yes” from the watch. Another favorite moment was when I was driving down the road, got a call from my wife and my phone was wedged into my pocket, so I just answered from the watch. I felt like Dick Tracy.
- It has a better activity tracker and includes a heart rate monitor that the Pebble Steel doesn’t. I liked the reminder to stand up every hour. Though, I recognize that reminder is easily accomplished in other ways.
- Lots of apps. The Apple Watch has more, and better, apps in general than the Pebble.
Where the Pebble Steel wins:
- Battery life is killer. I can go days without charging it, which is very freeing.
- It’s not interactive. I know, this is the opposite of what I claimed as a benefit of the Apple Watch, but hear me out. It’s nice that it’s not interactive because that means it’s harder to get distracted by it. I get a notification, make sure it’s nothing critical and have no temptation to look a the watch any further. This keeps me more in the moment.
- It’s a lot cheaper. This is a big one as I’m not a huge fan of large expenses on a regularly recurring basis. I feel like with the Apple Watch I will be wanting to buy a new one every year or two, like upgrading an iPhone. With the Pebble Steel, sure there are nicer Pebble models out there now, but I don’t feel like it’s necessary to get one, I’m happy with that I have.
Where Smart Watches win:
- It’s nice having a watch to show you notifications and count your steps. I like being able to stay up to date and know if those phone vibrations are annoyances or emergencies.
Where Smart Watches fall short:
- While having notifications on your wrist is nice, and some people claim that they help you look at your phone less, they are a luxury, not a necessity. I like having one on, but then when I wear a normal watch, I don’t miss the smart watch.
- It’s easy for a smartwatch to become just another distraction, keeping you from really enjoying the moment. An alert in your pocket (when you don’t want to pull out your phone), is a lot easier to ignore than one on your wrist.
The overall winner:
- If they cost the same I would go with the Apple Watch hands down. But, they don’t, and for that reason, I think it’s a draw and will depend on personal preference.