Pebble Time Round is not your average fitness tracker or smartwatch. The fanciest of all Pebble models, it appeals to gents and ladies alike despite not having the high-end looks of an Apple or Samsung Galaxy Watch.
Simple but stylish lines, functional but not outstanding, the Time Round is a great choice if you’re looking for a truly comfortable wearable to stay in touch with the world and monitor your activity.
The Time Round is Pebble’s polished version of the nerd-looking Pebble Time. There isn’t much difference between the two, except for the shape and scarcer battery life of the Time Round.
Yet, the Time Round’s a winner nonetheless. Sleeker aesthetics, ultra-thin case, and truly lightweight, it’s incredibly comfortable to wear 24/7. You won’t get to keep it on continuously for too long due to the battery that doesn’t last more than two full days, but it’s quite easy to forget that you’re wearing it.
It may not be as feature-packed as its higher-end counterparts, including the Fitbit Versa, but it’s not as expensive either.
Costing a fraction of the price of most smart activity trackers, the Time Round is an excellent choice if you want an affordable smartwatch and don’t mind making a few compromises.
Pebble Time Round is all about intuitive user experience. It has no touchscreen, but it’s easy to control with the four buttons – three on the right and one on the left side. A vast improvement compared to the previous model is the choice of stainless steel instead of plastic buttons.
They still feel a bit flimsy but are surely sleeker and easier to use than the stiff plastic buttons Pebble was known for.
It pairs with Android and Apple devices running on iOS 8 or higher; however, its compatibility with Apple is rather scarce.
Like all Pebble smartwatches, the Time Round syncs with your mobile device through is a proprietary app, from where you can download new faces and customise animated screen transitions. While the user interface is super-simple to operate, it leaves a lot to be desired in the aesthetic department.
We must admit, however, that the timeline style display is elegant and convenient.
Like most smartwatches, the Time Round lets you access the calendar and weather reports and displays smart notifications including emails, texts, and social media.
You can also use the watch to control your phone’s music, and even tie certain apps to the right buttons for quick access.
One of the best features is the Quiet Time that silences the notifications and turns off vibrations.
Replying to texts and emails directly from your wrist is also possible. Sure, you won’t be able to write a full love letter – as you would on the LG Watch Style – but you can still read your messages in full and respond via voice-to-text commands, emoji, or with a pre-written response selectable from a list.
Compatibility with some apps, including some Pebble apps such as new watch faces, leaves a lot to be desired. In upgrading from square to round design Pebble missed upgrading its apps too, which are simply incompatible with the round face.
While the company promised to optimise most of these issues, it’s highly improbable to get any updates now that Pebbles has been acquired by Fitbit.
Yet, the scarcity of apps might not be a deal-breaker for everyone, and this timepiece is well worth considering.
The Time Round has a fashionable design compared to Pebble Time, but don’t get this wrong. It doesn’t look high-end. There is nothing luxurious about it, despite the rounder and more feminine lines.
The first thing that stands out is genderless aesthetics. A mid-size frame and band width choices of either 14 or 20 mm make it equally suitable for men and women.
It’s very thin – one of the thinnest smartwatches on the market – and very lightweight.
You can easily forget you’re wearing it, but you’ll have to remember, especially when taking a shower or before jumping in the pool, given that it’s not waterproof.
The timepiece comes in a wide variety of styles. First, you can choose between soft leather and metal mesh bands. Leather straps come in white, brown, or black and pair beautifully with the black, rose gold, or silver frame.
The bezel also comes in three colours; pick from black, silver, or white, while the mesh bands are either silver, black, or rose gold.
Regardless of the style you like, the bands are not interchangeable, so pick wisely.
While the wide bezel is stylish, it is a bit wider than necessary. Together with the Super Mario-like graphics, it gives the Time Round a somewhat childish feel.
Another notable difference between Pebble Time Round and most smartwatches is the always-on display.
The brightness and colour saturation is rather dull, but the e-paper technology makes it easy to read even in direct sunlight.
There is not much to say about fitness tracking. Pebble Time Round is not GPS-enables and doesn’t come with multi-sport profiles.
It counts your steps and tracks your sleep, but that’s pretty much it. There is no heart rate monitor, and Pebble’s health app is as basic as the functions.
Step counting is accurate, though, giving about the same results as an Android Wear or Apple Watch device.
- A stylish, minimalist look
- Ideal for smaller wrists
- Super comfortable
- Intuitive, easy to use interface
- Lacklustre battery life
- Compatibility issues with some apps
|Pebble Time Round||LG Watch Style||Fitbit Versa||Motorola Moto 360 2nd Gen.|
|Display size||38.5 x 38.5 x 7.5 mm||42.3 x 45.7 x 10.79 mm||24 x 24 x 11.2 mm||46 x 46 x 11.4 mm|
|Display type||Gorilla Glass||Gorilla Glass 3||Gorilla Glass 3||Corning Gorilla Glass|
|Resolution||180 x 180 pixels||360 x 360 pixels||300 x 300 pixels||360 x 330 pixels|
|Weight||28 g||46 g||Not mentioned||Not mentioned|
|Band material||Leather or metal mesh||Italian leather||Woven or silicone||Leather|
|Water resistance||Splash-resistant||Splash-resistant||5 ATM||Splash-resistant|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi|
|Heart rate monitoring||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Battery life (smartwatch mode)||Up to 48 hours||Up to 10 hours||Up to 4 days||Up to 10 hours|
How We Tested
Due to the simplicity of its design, we tested the Pebble Time Round by wearing it for a week. Considering its scarce fitness features, we mostly tested its smart features and compatibility with apps and devices.
Android users can enjoy an undeniably excellent user experience; however, the smartwatch is not fully compatible with Apple devices. Pebble is also incompatible with all other devices, including Window 10 phones.
App compatibility also leaves a lot to be desired, but if you’re not a nerd or tech geek, this shouldn’t pose major issues.
The few fitness tracking features are accurate while wearing the timepiece 24/7 is very comfortable.
Pebble Time Round is an unpretentious yet stylish smartwatch. It’s far from perfect, but it can surely appeal to some people.
If you want a good-looking smart wearable to check notifications while keeping your hands free and check the time now and then without having to activate a display, then the Pebble Time Round is undoubtedly a stellar option.