Pebble Watch Teardown by iFixit – Is the watch revolutionary enough?

It has been a week since I am using the new Pebble SmartWatch made by a team which had started through the Kickstarter project listing, and now are one of those who got funded by 10 million dollars. Before I could start reviewing it in terms of usage, durability and in the various other aspects, I was curious to know what the world already is talking about it. To my surprise, iFixit made it look totally negative by cursing the adhesive gums for the waterproofing, but was there really a need for us to open and see whether we can fix it again? What came out positive for me, was the fact that the Pebble watch is a Waterproof one.

Pebble Watch Teardown

Pebble Watch Teardown

Let’s see what iFixit had all to say about the Pebble Watch, and what we learn form it.

The Pebble Watch is waterproof up to 5 ATM (50 meters or 165 feet) and this is quite enough for someone who is swimming, and even when you are under a shower, but the makers of the watch would ask you not to dive in the water wearing it, so you later should not complain later if the functioning doesn’t remain the same after a dive with pressure.

The front of the Pebble watch has got a clear plastic frame that covers the entire front area and this is sealed tight to prevent not just the water but even small dust particles, which very frequently enter many watches even with the metal framing.

Tons of Adhesive – There’s a lot of adhesive added to the internal surface of the watch, and this is done to protect from the water entry. The display cannot be easily separated from the back portion, unless it is cracked down to open the watch.

Pebble Smartwatch iFixit

Pebble watch teardown by iFixit.

The Sharp Memory LCD included in the Pebble is a mix of the e-ink and e-paper and that makes the display bright and neat and essentially it helps in maintaining longer battery life with the low power usage. Below the paper is three LEDs which control the brightness of the watch.

The battery packed in the Pebble watch is a 3.7 volt one with the capacity of 130 mAh which is good enough to provide a continuous usage with Bluetooth connection for a few days on a full charge and that is because of the e-paper, and GetPebble claims that the battery can last up to 4 hours on this battery, but we can’t vouch for that.

What iFixit concludes about the Pebble Smartwatch:

  • Low power consumption decreases the frequency of charges, increasing the battery life.
  • Watch band is a standard size and easily replaceable. This is even claimed by the GetPebble company, with the watch being available with a standard size of the strap and one can change it without having to open the watch from any side.
  • The life of the Pebble is 6-10 years, and we have to totally agree with this because the battery is not accessible, and the life of the battery according to the estimates by iFixit is somewhere between 6 and 10 years. Once the actual life of the battery is reduced, one would not have an option to replace it with a new one.
  • It is impossible to open the device without destroying it or at least compromising its waterproofing, making internal repairs infeasible.

Now, to conclude whether the Pebble Watch is a revolutionary one: One would say that the watch doesn’t have very much to offer than the vibratory notifications, messages, alarm settings and the remote music playing features but for me, those are the positives and the good battery life is another good thing about it. As of now, GetPebble has done a good job with the design too, while there are several competitors form the huge brands which are quite pricey but don’t look equally neat. Will update you with the hands-on review explaining what all the Pebble could do, and how much we really liked it.

Source for article + pictures: iFixit

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