24 November 2015

A Pebbler's Guide to the Huawei Watch

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I backed the original Pebble smartwatch on Kickstarter a lifetime ago (or at least it seems that way), and I wore it daily since its arrival two and a half years ago. Pebble got a lot of things right from my perspective. I enjoyed the always-on e-paper display, the easy-to-press buttons, the 50m water resistance, and the 5-day battery life. The software was featureful (without overdoing it), and constantly gained new capabilities with regular updates. Being one of the first relatively mainstream smartwatches, Pebble attracted a following of clever developers and talented designers, and their efforts provided a rich ecosystem of faces and apps. I was happy with my Pebble and didn't feel the urge to jump on the first generation of Android Wear devices.

Back in the spring, though, we started seeing glimpses of a smartwatch that didn't look like a smartwatch. As more information and images emerged about this Huawei Watch, I started to wonder if it might be time to give Android Wear a try. Two weeks ago Huawei generously provided me with the black stainless steel version of the Huawei Watch for testing and evaluation. (Just so we’re clear, a review wasn’t part of that arrangement - they neither asked for a review nor conveyed an expectation of a positive one. These words and opinions are my own, and my own alone.)