Apple Watch vs Pebble Time Steel: What Buyers Need to Know

The Apple Watch was detailed  earlier this week during Apple’s event, providing us with price points, battery life, and new features, but if you’re thinking about buying the cheaper Pebble Time Steel, here are some things you need to know about both devices.

Pebble announced its new Pebble Time smartwatch late last month, but the company upped the ante recently with a higher-end version of its new wearable, called the Pebble Time Steel, which is a stainless steel version of the Pebble Time and it has been added to the Pebble Time Kickstarter campaign.

Some of the big features of the new watch include a color e-ink display, seven days of battery life, voice dictation, and a new Timeline feature that highlights the various important aspects in your day. To do this, the Pebble Time takes your notifications, news, reminders and events and splays them out chronologically instead of being contained within their own apps, for which you’d have to view all of them separately.

apple-watch-edition

The Pebble Time lineup arrives during a time where the Apple Watch is just around the corner from releasing on April 24, and if you’re in the market for a smartwatch but aren’t sure if you should get the Apple Watch or the Pebble Time Steel, here’s what buyers need to know.

One of the biggest differences between the Apple Watch and the Pebble Time Steel is that the latter doesn’t come with an LCD touch screen, but rather keeps the same e-ink display as previous Pebble watches, which allows for that awesome seven-day battery life, and the screen is protected with scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass.

Instead of interacting with the display by touching it, buttons on the side of the watch are used for navigation, just like the original Pebble. Those looking for a touch screen will want to aim for the Apple Watch, but battery life will be significantly less than seven days.

Pebble Time Steel

One of the biggest new features on the Pebble Time Steel is voice dictation, thanks to a new built-in microphone. You can send voice replies to incoming notifications or take short voice notes.

However, voice dictation only works in Gmail for iOS devices, but it works with many Android apps, including Hangouts, Gmail, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. This means that if you use an iPhone, compatibility will be much better with an Apple Watch, as the Pebble Time Steel will see many compatibility issues with iOS when it launches.

The Pebble Time Steel is 20% thinner than the original Pebble, measuring in at 9.5mm, but it still retains much of the large bezel that surrounds the screen, which could be an unattractive feature for some buyers looking at aesthetics. The Apple Watch arguably has a much nicer design, and it’s no surprise that the watch has been advertised in Vogue and other fashion outlets. However, the bezel is still rather large on the Apple Watch, so be prepared for that for either smartwatch.

The new Pebble Time Steel in gold.
The new Pebble Time Steel in gold.

As with the original Pebble, any 22mm band will work with the Pebble Time, which is a nice change from the Pebble Steel, which came with proprietary bands. Pebble will offer different band styles for the Pebble Time, but you can also use your own band for a unique look, and the quick-release pins make it really easy to switch out bands. The Apple Watch, on the other hand, looks to have proprietary bands, but it’s possible third-party manufacturers could come out with different bands in the future.

As for the price between the Pebble Time Steel and the Apple Watch, the Pebble Time Steel is priced at $249, while the Apple Watch starts at $349. The $100 difference is a tough one, as that’s a lot of money, but if you want full compatibility with iOS, the Apple Watch may be the one to go for, but just be aware of the one-day battery life.

However, the gold version of the Pebble Time Steel looks very similar to the gold Apple Watch Edition. This makes the gold Pebble Time Steel a great buy if you want the Apple Watch Edition look without the high price tag, but be prepared for less features and spotty iOS compatibility if you plan to go with the Pebble Time Steel.

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