Tech wearables are the next big thing for tech enthusiasts as we see more and more wearable devices being launched in recent times. Android Wear grabbed a lot of attention when it was launched at Google I/O earlier this year, but there have also been other smartwatches around including the highly popular Pebble. In this post, we take a comparative look at Pebble and Android Wear and how these two products measure up in terms of their design elements and how they work.
Note: Pebble has now been discontinued.
Pebble vs. Android Wear : The Look
I doubt anybody in the world is prepared to wear a tech device that looks geeky or plain dull. Today, with so much importance being placed on looks, its only natural that smartwatches should meet that standard. The Pebble, which looked plasticy when it originally launched has come a long way with a heavier Steel version, but if you’re game for a trendy casual look, you have a variety of bright fancy colors to pick from.
The Pebble features an LCD screen, which is ideal for outdoor viewing. Plus it consumes less power, extending your battery life for as long as a week depending on your usage. The Pebble doesn’t offer touchscreen functionality, but the buttons surrounding the screen are adequate for navigational purposes.
As far as Android Wear goes, you have choices by way of the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live with Moto 360 due in a couple of weeks, which offers a round face compared to the traditional square watches we are used to. The LG G Watch looks less fancy when compared to the Samsung Gear Live smartwatches. They are both touchscreen devices, which is kinda cool, but that advantage is clearly offset by its battery life, which may last for less than half a week. The buttons of the Android Wear devices are merely for accessing the menu or waking up the device. Apart from touch controls, users can use voice controls to navigate Android Wear devices.
Connecting the Pebble to your smartphone requires you to download the Pebble app from the Store and connect via Bluetooth. The app pulls together the different apps and watchfaces directly so you don’t have to install additional stuff on the phone to access them. As far as Android Wear devices go, you don’t have a single app that brings together all the apps and watchfaces and you’ll have to interact with individual apps that support Android Wear, which can be a bit annoying.
Pebble & Android Wear Notifications
Notifications on the Pebble show up as pages and you can dismiss them by pressing the on-device buttons. To customize which notifications you want to see, you can make use of the notifiers which are available on the Pebble App Store.
With Android Wear, notifications appear as Google cards and can be dismissed with a swipe to the right. You can navigate the notifications by swiping up and down. Swiping actions also let you do additional stuff like changing music tracks or starting voice replies.
Both the Pebble and Android Wear are good at what they do. The physical buttons on the Pebble may sound ancient, but are are more sensible to use when you don’t want to be distracted by another flashy screen. Just pressing the buttons “n” number of times can sometimes accomplish a task such as when you want to open a music app. There’s no need to be glued to the screen when you’re performing such a task. With Android Wear, you do tend to stare more often at the screen to swipe this way and that, and its almost like using your phone. However, with voice commands, you may just be able to use your smartwatch like a smartwatch, instead of a smartphone.
Both the Pebble and Android Wear devices have their own styles and functionality. If you want a distraction free device that doesn’t have to be frequently recharged, you could consider the Pebble. If you want something more fancy or one that allows for voice inputs Android Wear should be your choice. Either way both devices offer you a handy way of accomplishing things without having to reach out for that smartphone every time and your choice will depend on which option suits you the most.