Our testing and review of the Pebble Time left us a bit underwhelmed. The second-generation smartwatch, equipped with a new color display, felt half-baked. Functionality was fragmented between iOS and Android users. Promised features like voice notes didn't make it to launch. Battery life was a little worse than the original Pebble. And annoying flaws like an aggressive vibration motor and recessed screen made the Pebble Time difficult to recommend at its $200 price.
Since our initial review, Pebble has released two significant software updates to its platform, as well as a new $250 Pebble Time Steel model. Together, they address the many of the problems I had with the Pebble Time. I've had the steel model for about a week, and wanted to share some thoughts now that both models are available to order.
First, the software fixes. Pebble's 3.2 and 3.3 firmware updates--along with corresponding smartphone app updates--provide some stability and bug fixes as well as useful features. Notably, users can adjust the intensity and time-out duration of the backlight (medium works great for me), tweak system font size, and set the strength of the vibration motor to one of three settings. Putting the motor on low feels right for my wrist and doesn't rattle my side table in the morning when emails start flooding in. Additionally, notifications are now synced between Android phones and the Pebble, so any notifications dismissed on the phone go away on the watch as well. Good stuff.