News Column

The Pebble Connection

May 11, 2014

shroff, Manjula pooja



"Smart watches are the newest tools on the block for technology and gadget lovers. Smart phones went into retail sometime last year. But the second generation models are the real ones to look out for. The technology has matured; the manufacturers have added more intuitive features and the watches are more robust.

In India, the better known smart watch is the Samsung Gear. A colourful, vibrant square watch, that sits firmly on the wrist. Its interchangeable straps with neon colours like orange makes it a funky and fashionable wear as well.

It has all the features like receiving and making calls, receiving SMSes and sending standard short answers, receiving and reading emails.

This microphone on the reverse of the band also makes it easy to receive and speak on the phone, reminding one of Captain Kirk of Star Wars, when speaking on a phone was considered futuristic and of the space age.

The Gear2 is a sleek longish watch with a black dial, giving a feel of the Rado watch. It is accompanied by a fancy cradle charger unit giving it a delicate feel.

In USA, there is another smart watch that is making the rounds called Pebble. Just as Samsung has released the Gear2, Pebble has launched the Pebble Steel, a business like, black-and-steel watch with options of black leather or steel strap. The first edition of the Pebble was funkier, with more colour and more youthful than the Pebble Steel.

Both phones do the primary task of the smart phone with relative ease. Receiving notifications, both phones buzz on the wrist when a call, text or email is received. Both are water resistant, have software to act as a pedometer and a sleep tracker. Software like Glance gives weather forecast and calendar sync for appointments. Then there are music features and navigation features.

The Gear scores over the Pebble due to the inbuilt microphone that makes it easy to receive and calls on the wrist itself and a 2MP camera for clicking pictures, larger storage space compared to 8 apps that Pebble can accommodate. On the other hand, gear battery lasts 2-3 days and Pebble lasts 5-7 days.

The Pebble scores on its portability and phone compatibility since it can be used by the Android as well as the iphone. Gear can be used only by the newer Samsung Android phones like Note 3, Galaxy 4&5.

Pebble has a distinct edge on the price point - Pebble Steel costs $250 and Gear2 costs $300. Since price is an important consideration for purchase, Gear1 was forced to roll back its prices from Rs22k to Rs16k.

Pebble Steel launched in Feb 2014 and Gear2 launched in April 2014, these are the two high-profile smart watches to choose from. Gear2 surely is capable of a lot more, but the app market is still not ready to fully utilise the phone. Pebble is functional, basic, longer battery life and easier on the pocket.

The writer is  an entrepreneur and educationist

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Credit:Manjula pooja shroff


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Source: DNA : Sunday