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The battery life is bit disappointing. Six years ago, I tried a Sony Ericsson watch that connected to a phone and lasted three weeks on a charge. But the unit weighed nearly half a pound because of its big battery and metal body, and it had only a one-line digital screen. The rest of the face was given over to an analog display. Overall, it was far less useful, and the weight made it uncomfortable. Today, there's a competing smart watch called the Cookoo that claims to last a year on a button cell battery because it takes full advantage of a new low-energy Bluetooth technology.
The Pebble is light but chunky. It's thick enough that it gets caught in tight shirt cuffs, and it looks odd on a narrow wrist, like most women have.
The "lens," the watch's window pane, is made of tough plastic. It's not as hard as the glass covers of top smartphones and watches, and it took me just two weeks to scuff it, though the damage was hardly noticeable.
It's rare for a new type of gadget to find a place in my life, but the Pebble did just that. I'm hoping it will improve through software updates, but if it doesn't, it's still a keeper — at least as long it works with the phone I'm using.
With more smart watches on the way, the Pebble is a good portent for the field — a sign that computing can get even more useful if it gets close to our skin. A lot of people have gotten out of the habit of wearing watches and use their phones to tell the time instead. The Pebble demonstrates that there's still life in the watch, when it works with the phone.
Peter Svensson can be reached at http://twitter.com/petersvensson