Sorry Pebble Rebble

Pebble time and Ticwatch pro

Over the last few months, I kept using my Pebble watches for many things but over time every single Pebble 2 (I have 2 which still kinda work) died, even with no buttons.The last survivor is the Pebble time but it got to a point where I need to charge it everyday and partly in the day. I looked into moving the battery from some of the dead Pebble 2’s to the pebble time but its so simple.

The pebble is a great smartwatch but I had to look at my options, so decided to look at the hybrid smartwatches again and wasn’t impressed. After looking at smartwatches which have longer battery lives, I found a number changes and low power modes increasing the battery lives from 1 day to a 3-5 days.

In the end I bought the Ticwatch Pro 3 Ultra with Wear OS (automatically updated to wear 0s 3), although I did originally buy the Samsung Galaxy watch 4 and considered one of the Huawei smartwatches, but I decided I should stick with Wear OS (even with the battery drain). I had hoped the Google Pixel watch would be the answer to my needs but was let down.

Idle mode on the pebble time and ticwatch pro 3

The idle mode seems to be the key to battery usage, and the viewable screen on the ticwatch 3, although not as clear as the epaper screen of the pebble time. Is still good even at extreme angles.

Its a shame having to say goodbye to the rebble (post pebble community, they were amazing and the rebble software engineering is incredible. But it had to happen, as little things like not knowing who is calling and not being able to reply to non-sms messages (signal for example) was grinding on me. The health side is useful but mainly covered by the Oura ring.

Could a hybrid smartwatch be a replacement for the pebble?

fossil hybrid HR smartwatch face

I was reading about the Fossil hybrid HR smartwatch recently, and on the face of it (pun intended) it looks like a good smartwatch with all the features I would be after to replace my pebble smartwatch.

What’s the difference between a hybrid smartwatch and a regular smartwatch? In the hybrid category, Fossil’s Hybrid HR mixes physical watch hands with an always-on display that shows information and notifications. It almost feels like an old-school Pebble watch fused with an everyday analog-style watch.

I always swear by eink for these type of things, and I’m happy to hear its using eink too.

Keeping a smartwatch charged is incredibly annoying. Fossil’s newest line of hybrid smartwatches may have found an answer, and it’s E Ink. The Hybrid HR’s added display feels less like a screen and more of an extension of the watch, the sort of basic readouts that you might expect on a digital watch. Or, like what Google’s Wear OS watches offer, but in E Ink. To be clear, though, this isn’t Wear OS. It almost reminds me of what the TicWatch Pro tried for by layering an always-on display on top of a feature-packed smartwatch, but the Hybrid HR looks a lot nicer.

Earlier this year, Google reportedly paid $40 million for Fossil smartwatch technology that could enable hybrid watches. The Hybrid HR looks like it is, indeed, the watch tech that earlier reports thought Google was interested in… and it’s here now.

I will be keeping en eye on this category, because although I like the Hybrid HR, I’m not so keen on round faces and I’d need to get a sense if theres sleep tracking support? Or more so if theres going to be a standard for watch apps like WearOS and the Pebble OS.