I would like to write my story of owning a Pebble. My hope is to see how the average Pebble user compares and possibly to warn people about some of the Pebble issues.
So let’s begin.
My first Pebble
I bought my first Pebble (original, Jet black) around July 2014. I started using it and every new day with my Pebble was a new, exciting experience. I loved it!
After a while, the excitement of new things faded, but still, I really loved my Pebble and I was really glad I took the risk of buying it (I’m financially in a situation where I can treat myself to a new “toy” every once in a while, but I can’t buy the newest “toys” as they come out, I can’t buy multiple “toys” soon one after another, etc.).
I was in love with my Pebble and I couldn’t imagine life without it.
Then came the first problem… The dreaded screen issues:
I contacted Pebble and they RMA’d it.
My second Pebble
In January 2015 I got my replacement Pebble and I thought I just got a bad one, but Pebble was great and they sent me a replacement one and told me to dispose of the defective one. So everything was back to normal. Sort-of… While I’d hoped the screen problems were not that common and my replacement Pebble would be a-ok, I did have a nagging feeling this wasn’t the end of the story…
Unfortunately, indeed, it wasn’t. The replacement Pebble had started showing the same screen problems, too. So, once again, I turned to Pebble and they were great and once again RMA’d it.
My third Pebble
Around September 2015 I got yet another replacement Pebble. This time I had a much worse feeling, as I was now almost expecting the screen problems to appear on this device, too. Just in case, I decided to hold on to the previous watch (thankfully).
This one didn’t last that long before it, too, started showing signs of the same graphical distortion. Time to contact Pebble again. This was in March 2016. I was now already experienced with the RMA process and sent the photos as proof and everything like I did the previous two times, expecting to just go through the RMA process yet again with an even more bitter taste. Alas, that bitterness was not the worst part… The reply I got from Pebble said that they could not replace my watch since the warranty has expired. Indeed, I looked at the dates, I looked at the policy (1 year from original or 90 days from replacement, whichever lasts longer) and the warranty had gone.
At this point, I was really disappointed, considering I couldn’t live without my Pebble, but I didn’t really have money to buy a new one and, while the warranty has expired, being a recognized issue I thought Pebble could have sent a replacement watch even though the warranty had expired. But fair’s fair, they did send me three watches in total when I only paid for the original one so I am grateful for that (even though it was Pebble’s fault for making a bad hardware design that often leads to these screen problems).
So, now that I couldn’t get a new Pebble and I couldn’t live without one I turned to the internet to see if someone has found some kind of a fix to the problem and lo and behold, they have.
My Pebble 3.1
I found that if you unscrew the screws on the back of your Pebble, gently pry off the back (so as not to rip out the wires for the vibrator motor) there was a part of the watch where you could put something, like toilet paper or something less… toilety and after putting the back cover in place again and securing it with the screws you would fix the screen issues and you would have a fixed Pebble.
I opened up my Pebble thinking I had nothing to lose and I actually managed to do what “the internet” said. I got my “replacement” watch. I was really happy to be rockin’ a Pebble yet again.
After a while, though, the screen problems started creeping back slowly. I decided to open the watch up again and try to find the exact place where the contact is loose and make a better, more permanent fix. So what I did was keep the watch one for the shortest duration I could just to see what happens when I move stuff around to see where the problematic contact actually is. But, I didn’t disconnect the watch and, of course, I got a call right as my Pebble was lying on my table, with the back open. When the vibrator motor started vibrating it managed to jump out of the watch and tug itself just hard enough to lose the connection and therefore stop vibrating
As I said, thankfully I kept my old watch so…
My Pebble 3.2
… I took my old watch and did the same fix I did with the other one, being careful to not make the same mistake (and just quickly fix it, instead of trying to find the exact cause). I fixed my watch and, while I have started getting ever so slight signs of the screen problems again by now, they are extremely subtle so far and it looks like this time it will take more time for the screen problems to get worse.
I was happy I had my Pebble again, 99,5% working. I decided I’d rather do “the fix” every once in a while again and have it work for some time than try more “funny stuff” and end up without a Pebble which would be dreadful for me.
Alas, my relationship with Pebble had not passed all the rocky parts of the path, although it did took a more interesting turn this time. Before writing this post I was sitting with my Pebble on my wrist when suddenly - my Pebble fell on the floor. Puzzled as to how that happened I picked it up and saw that the strap decided to commit suicide:
While it’s not a random place on the strap (i.e. it’s a part that is under more pressure than any random part), I wouldn’t dream of it cutting itself like this (there was no excessive pressure, no heat, no cutting, …).
My Pebble 3.3
So once again, I was thankful I have another Pebble lying around (still had the one where my vibrator motor isn’t working) so I took the strap off of that one and put it on this one and now I have a functional Pebble yet again.
I love my Pebble and can’t see myself living without it! I was trying to find a place in my budget for a Pebble Time even! But after all that happened to me with Pebble I’m reluctant to spend any more money since I clearly have “bad mojo” .
I’d love to hear other Pebble owners’ experience. Have you had problems with your Pebble? Which Pebble do you own? Have you owned more the on Pebble? Have there been any problems with your Pebble(s)?
note that I’m not trying to bash Pebble, I love my Pebble and no matter how much I look at the competition I can’t find a single smartwatch that would replace Pebble for me, I just wanted to write my story