Best Replacement for a Pebble 2?

consultant1027

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I've always found myself explaining to people about how great the Pebble 2 is which many people never really knew about because it's not one of the more expensive and prestigious brands like an Apple Watch. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Tech Junkie and can afford whatever watch I want, but I'm also not one looking to pay a higher price just to wear something to impress people - I want good functionality, practicality and value. Nothing could match my Pebble 2. When I told people I only need to charge it once every 5-7 days, they are flabbergasted. Heart Rate Monitor? Check. HUGE selection of custom 3rd party apps. Check. Design your own custom watch face with dynamic stats (like temp, phone signal strength, etc.)? Check. Waterproof to the point you can swim with it on? Check.
All that, under $150? Check.

Now, my eyes have grown old and I can barely read the text messages that come through as it is a pretty small face. I don't NEED color - I prefer long battery life. So what's out there (I'm an Android Phone User) that people would say is the closest replacement that has a bigger screen? Maybe I just keep wearing my Pebble and wear trifocals all the time - no thanks.

My MUST haves are:

- Long battery life (no more than 2 charges per week are necessary)
- Waterproof (can swim in it)
- Heart Rate Monitor
- Large screen, but I'm not an NFL player so not too gigantic

Nice to haves but not MUSTS:

- SOME degree of customization (some 3rd party apps, custom watch screen design, etc.)
- Built in GPS (I really don't need this - I'm not a runner and my phone is always with me, so would rather avoid paying extra for it, but if I have to have it to get other stuff I must have then so be it.)

All I really need the watch to do is: tell me the date and time, show my text messages and notifications (with setting to increase default text size), track my fitness activities, and don't bug me about charging it every 1-2 days.
 

jhilker

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Your first must have (battery life) will eliminate most Android Wear watches from your list, although the Ticwatch Pro may come closest. Your best bet may be there Amazfit Bip. It's under $70 now on Amazon:

Amazfit Bip Smartwatch by Huami with All-Day Heart Rate and Activity Tracking, Sleep Monitoring, GPS, Ultra-Long Battery Life, Bluetooth, US Service and Warranty - A1608 Black https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07CRSK5DM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_Hf1zCbBT4DC3P
 

consultant1027

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Ya, the Amazfit Bip looks like a great value and checks the boxes. But it doesn't have any bigger screen than my Pebble 2 and there's no system setting for font size, you have to do a font hack provided by some guy in Russia. You can't respond to text message with even canned responses (although I rarely do that on my Pebble, or talk text a response.)

Interim solution.... I forgot about this Pebble Notify app you can download and install on Pebble that lets you make the notification font size HUGE if you want. Way more flexibility than the Pebble built in font-size. This solved my immediate problem although I know I'll eventually have to replace it since it's not made or supported anymore.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3, as confirmed by other former Pebble users, comes the closest but, no font size setting (by seems most users complain font is too BIG!) but it has all the bells and whistles I want, EXCEPT, it's too bulky, a pretty thick big watch. Round watches make inefficient use of screen size as rectangular you can fit more on the screen. But it's not worth 3 times the price of the Amazfit Blip. Guess I'll just use my Pebble 2 until something more compelling comes out.
 

kramer5150

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Your eyesight font size and battery charge limits rule out just about everything.

A lot of smart watches have custom downloadable watch faces with large fonts in mind. But text / call notifications and the OS interface itself do not have a way to bump up the fonts.
 

consultant1027

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Your eyesight font size and battery charge limits rule out just about everything.

A lot of smart watches have custom downloadable watch faces with large fonts in mind. But text / call notifications and the OS interface itself do not have a way to bump up the fonts.

Not a native O/S function of the Amazfit, but...

https://forum.xda-developers.com/smartwatch/amazfit/app-set-font-amazfit-watches-pace-t3808837

With this patch, for $70, the only thing this watch is missing really is ability to reply to texts and frankly looking back, I rarely used that function on my Pebble. You have your phone in your pocket or nearby all the time so using the watch to communicate I thought was always sort of a geeky gimmick feature.

The bigger issue really is what are these Watch O/S developers thinking? Granted most of them are probably under 35 years of age so that have yet to experience the normal decline of your near sight (reading vision) but geez, as time goes on more and more older people are comfortable using tech gadgets to it baffles me why most if not all these watches have a feature to increase font size if desired instead of having to put reading glasses on, or, in many cases people would just foregoe buying the watch in the first place. The watch makers don't want to sell more units to the 45-yo and up market?
 

kramer5150

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Wow that's nice.

FWIW I have been using an amazfit stratos for a month as a GPS trail tracker, altimeter and field compass on weekends... and a basic bluetooth notifier + sleep tracker during the work week. Its been awesome. I charge it whenever the battery gets down to about 30%, about every 4~5 days.

Yes the primary market segment is young (at least in the US)... under 34 Y/O.

"...People aged 18-34 carry the majority of the market with 23% market penetration."
https://www.androidcentral.com/wear-os-accounts-less-12-us-smartwatch-market

To my surprise (coming from WearOS devices) the full-featured always on screen display is more handy than I had originally thought. I also don't really miss the whole google "app ecosystem" thing.


My reviews here:
https://youtu.be/xqbb-cJ-bAg

https://youtu.be/CxJih7wBm-c
 
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