A Week With the Pebble Time Round

Pebble Time Round on women's wrist

It goes ding when there’s stuff.

In 2012, a Kickstarter launched for the Pebble watch. I wanted it immediately. The idea of having a watch that would send alerts from my phone was still novel at the time. The only smart watch I remember before this was the Microsoft MSDN watch, which didn’t run well and cost $60 a month to connect. But, when it came out it wasn’t compatible with my phone. Not only that, it didn’t fit my wrist. So when Pebble announced the new smaller Pebble Time Round, I pre-ordered immediately (had to make sure I got one of the limited rose gold ones after all).


As far as I’m concerned, the Pebble Time Round is the first smartwatch designed with women in mind. (Pebble isn’t marketing it this way, and why should they? It’d limit the potential market.) Sure, there are some watches marketed to women but they are just a slimmer band and a color change. The Round however, is smaller than most smartwatches in width. And it’s the thinnest, it actually falls under the “thin watch” category for standard watches. It still looks big on my wrist (the circumference of which is 5.5″), but it looks fashionably big like a “boyfriend watch.” There are two band options, 14mm and 20mm. I do wish that Pebble had decided to go with a 16mm band for the smaller size though. There are far more straps available in that size for watches in general.

That being said, despite what a lot of posts on the Round say, it’s not a strictly feminine watch. (And even if it were, nearly every other smartwatch is masculine. Stop whining.) The case is 38.5mm right in the middle of “ideal size” for men. If you don’t have a store near you that stocks the Round, but you want to know if it’s going to be the right size for you, check out a Timex Weekender. The Round is roughly the same size, just thinner.

Use Case

The Pebble has never tried to be a wrist computer like the Apple Watch or Android Wear devices. It’s designed to be a device that lets you leave your phone in your pocket. It buzzes when you have a text message or push alert (you can customize which ones go to your watch). It can control your media player. You can check your calendar and the weather. It runs some apps (I have a fitness and sleep tracker). And honestly, that’s all I want out of my smartwatch. At least at this point.

The Pebble is limited as it is, and the Pebble Time Round is even more so. The round face means apps have to be redesigned, and there aren’t a ton that have been yet. (Jawbone and SmartThings, I’m looking at you.) The thinner size means the watch is no longer waterproof and it only lasts two days instead of ten. These were sacrifices I was willing to make to get the size and style. They may not be sacrifices you are willing to make. Especially since the Time Round is the same price as the Time Steel, which does have those features.


I’ve been wearing the Pebble Time Round for about a week now, and I’m very happy with it so far. I’m not sure it’d go a full two days without a charge, but it’d certainly go 24 hours. I charge mine twice a day out of convenience. Once in the morning when I’m putting on my makeup, and once in the evening when I’m taking a shower. With that schedule, it doesn’t get below 50% often. I do wish it had some more apps, but the only one’s I’m really bummed about are Jawbone and SmartThings and that’s because those could tie into my home automation system. Not exactly a typical use.

I have encountered one annoying problem though. About once a day, the watch will stop getting notifications. I have to reboot my phone to get them to work again. I suspect this is a bug in the implementation for Marshmallow. And since at the time of this post Marshmallow is only on 0.3% of Android devices, I can’t really blame Pebble for not catching this.

What it comes down to is what you want out of your smartwatch. I wanted one that looked like a watch, would send me notifications so I didn’t have to carry my phone around the house, would hold a charge for an entire day, and would do basic fitness/sleep tracking. I got exactly what I wanted.

You can pick up a Pebble Time Round for $250 from Amazon or from Pebble directly.

(As a side note, my husband is still happy with his Pebble Classic, and has no desire to upgrade to the Time or the Time Round.)

Disclaimer: I bought a Pebble Time Round on my own, Amazon links are affiliate links. 

Update: Sadly, the Pebble is no more.

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