16k people are still using their e-ink Pebble watches

Originally published at: 16k people are still using their e-ink Pebble watches | Boing Boing

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It’s a nice rejoinder to the corporate insistence that nothing you buy is ever truly owned by you.

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Yeah I have had an Fossil smart watch for a while but still think about going back to the Pebble I have since it would still keep a charge longer. They really had a good idea with how it used e-ink display. May have to go fire it back up now. :slight_smile:

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One of my coworkers at my last job still used his Pebble. He loved it, even with all the official back end infrastructure long gone.

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And I’m one of them!!! :smile_cat:

My spouse was using the Samsung watch for a while, but the battery ran out on vacation because they forgot to pack the charger.
I show off my powered Pebble: “Well my watch has a 7-day battery life!” :smirk_cat:
Spouse showing off powerless Samsung: “Well my watch company still exists!” :scream_cat:

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But, if people have a desire to keep it going, it can be reclaimed. An example is Rebble.io, which has kept the Pebble alive.

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I haven’t worn/charged mine in several years, but I was an original backer for the thing, and after a year of them futzing about with it, they got the watch/phone interactions DOWN. Like, for a couple of years there it was just a good solid usable mesh.
They certainly did not deserve getting swallowed with no benefit like they did.

(The Cuckoo watch, though, was kind of a big waste of time.)

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We still use an old Pebble. It is always on, it can display the time in a large font and it can display the seconds. I gather more modern smart watches do have always on displays, but try finding a watch that can display the seconds in a large font for far-sighted people. Apple has always on watch displays, but their design standards make it impossible to get a display of the seconds and definitely not one that can be read without glasses.

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I’m still using my Pebble Time with the color display, I’m wearing it right now. It’s actually my second, after the first broke I bought another on eBay.

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Sadly(?) I’ve moved on to a Pixel watch. The configuration app on the phone side feels verry Pebble-like, to the point that I wonder if any of the talent that stayed on after the Fitbit acquisition didn’t move on to Google after they ate Fitbit.

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I have 5 working pebbles. I have bought a Garmin, an Amazfit GTS 3 and two generations of mi band. In the end I realized I don’t actually care about fitness and sleep tracking other than using Strava on my phone. With me only wanting watch and notifications and other simple functions, it turns out a pebble does those thing better than any of my modern watches. I no longer wear the newer devices.
One nice thing about the pebbles is that they only ever really suffer from two faults and both are trivial to fix, screen tearing and dead battery.

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I also have a Pebble watch which I wear every so often. Best smartwatch ever.

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I’ve restored and sold about 75 original series Pebble Steels with battery and screen problems over the past year. They are indestructible, nearly unscratchable, waterproof even after being serviced, and better than any more modern watch I’ve tried for notifications. People still write apps and watchfaces for it. Google just issued an updated phone app that will work on 64 bit phones like the Pixel 7. Pebbles have been my daily driver since 2014 and will be until they don’t pair with my phone anymore, unless some manufacturer gets smart and builds something with the same capabilities. I’m not holding my breath.

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My father and I still use our pebbles and don’t see a reason to stop using them. Haven’t seen anything that comes close to replacing them yet on the market. Only thing is that we will probably have to start looking to replace the battery soon, and that’s all the maintenance.

They remind me a lot of my eMate 300. Discontinued in 1998, bought it in 2001, used it until 2010.

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I miss my pebble. all i need from a smartwatch is to be able to push play or pause on my phone audio, and to get my notifications. When it stopped playing nice with my iphone it was time to say goodbye :frowning:

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Wearing mine as I read this.

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