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Smartwatch Recommendation? Pebble 2 Replacement?

Discussion in 'Wear Os' started by consultant, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. consultant

    consultant Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I think I went through this exercise about 8 months ago and am hoping maybe there's something new out there or something I overlooked.

    I've worn Pebbles since they first came out and now my button broke of my Pebble 2. I know there's a lot of nice watches out there but they all seem to be missing one or more of these critical features:

    1. Ability to change the font size. At 50, I wear 1.5X reading glasses, and so what's the point of wearing a smartwatch if the font is too small to read your notifications! I've always just been flabbergasted that good control over font size is something many manufacturers overlooked! (Age discrimination!) Even on the Pebble 2, the default built-in font size setting doesn't cut it. And my eyesight really isn't that bad. But the great thing with Pebble (unlike many other watches) you can still get access to a HUGE selection of 3rd Party Apps and I found one that lets me make the fonts even bigger. Not to mention making my own watch face from scratch is also nice.

    2. Decent Battery Life. I could care less about a fancy color screen, it just sucks battery. I know right away if I get any watch with less than 4 days battery life I will be frustrated being used to close to a week of battery life with the Pebbles I've used the past 5 years. If I can get the font size adjustment and fit I want, I could 'survive' with a watch that goes 2-3 days and just put the charger on my night stand but it's going to take some getting used to to remember to charge all the time.

    3. Not BULKY. I have average or slightly small wrists for a guy. The Pebble 2 is a perfect fit for me. I love that it is very light and not bulky. Barely can tell I'm wearing it.

    I fear that really, considering those 3 criteria, still nothing out there fits the bill? And so maybe I need to find another Pebble 2 for sale somewhere.

  2. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    the gear active is a great watch that i have. i also have the gear s3 as well. both are great and the battery can last almost two days on one charge.
  3. oliviamia039

    oliviamia039 Newbie

    Only Garmin Watch is the best replacement
  4. consultant

    consultant Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    So I spent a few hours scouring, comparing specs, and reading user reviews. The short answer to my question is there still is not good replacement. In my opinion, many users of the current smartwatches never had a Pebble 2 so they don't really know what they are missing (the compact -- feather light fit, the 1-week battery life, the incredible customization options through the app store (now unofficial) It's hard to explain to someone that's never owned one. Anything larger than 41mm diameter and 12.5mm thick is just too bulky for my medium sized wrist and just bulky period coming from a Pebble 2. (I do realize that many smartwatch owners, especially younger, look at these as a fashion statement/status symbol and many of these practical considerations can be secondary to them.)

    There are 3 "Contenders"

    Fitbit Versa 2 - Good battery life but all the Fitbit models don't allow changing the notification font size. This is a common complaint in the Fitbit User Forums. (Apparently the developers at Fitbit are all in there 20's and 30's and don't need reading glasses.)

    Samsung Active / Active 2 - I've not seen the font size options but apparently there is supposed to be a setting (not 100% positive). Typical battery life, 2 days max. Coming from a watch that needs charging once a week, that will drive me crazy. If I can get over the much shorter battery life, this would be the one. But most likely the time I would charge it is when asleep but then forget sleep monitoring function which can be useful. Like the Pebble though there's only three font sizes and I'm guessing the largest still isn't large enough, and I only need 1.5x reading glasses. I just guess 90% of the watches on the market are useless to us middle age people that don't want to always take a pair of reading glasses out to read their notifications!

    Garmin Vivoactive 4s - Pricey (because it's new) and I went through the user manual and couldn't find any reference to an accessibility font size setting? Good battery life though.

    There's some low-priced models on Amazon. The Amazfit Bip is promising but no font size without so hack workaround I don't want to deal with.

    Oh well, I guess I'll wait for Google to come out with a watch that is designed better than these others.
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Don't hold your breath. Design isn't Google's strong point, and rumours of a "pixel watch" come around every year without materialising. And if the reason why none of your shortlist is a Wear OS device is battery life that doesn't bode well for Google helping you.

    One irony here is that Fitbit bought Pebble, but the font size choice was not a feature they adopted. Google are now in the process of buying Fitbit, but I'm sure they are only interested in the data they will get hold of.
  6. codesplice

    codesplice Elite Recognized Moderator

    As a user of the first-generation Pebble, yeah, there's not really anything else on the market that comes close - which is kind of amazing considering how long ago that watch was released. My focus lately has been on Wear OS watches... but I do hate how bulky they are and how they've gotta be charged pretty much every night.

    I think a Fitbit is probably going to be the closest to the Pebble even without font size adjustments.

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