Apple Watch Versus Pebble for Runners

Since I now have both Pebble Smartwatch and an Apple Watch. I decided the best thing to do was run with both and compare. For this I'm using the Pebble Classic (The Original Pebble and first smartwatch) and Apple Watch Sport. The plan was to use both of these with the RunGo App and supporting Pebble or Watch App,

I wore one Smartwatch on each wrist and had my phone in my pack. The route was this 16km training run for the BMO Vancouver Marathon.



Pebble: just connected as soon as it was in range of my phone.

Apple Watch: Somehow the Watch disconnected from my Phone so I restarted the Apple Watch and everything worked.


Starting RunGo

Pebble: When starting a run in RunGo from my iPhone, the Pebble RunGo app automatically launched (RunGo Pebble App was installed on Pebble First).

Apple Watch: Starting RunGo on my iPhone didn't launch the RunGo App on the Apple Watch, You have to select the RunGo app from the home screen first.


Using the App:

Pebble: I just had to look at the screen, easy to read in daylight and I got vibration alerts on upcoming turns.

Apple Watch: I had to rotate or raise my wrist to activate the display, then the Watch wakes up in about half a second. Then I had to select the app from there. To avoid this in future, I changed my settings so that "Activate on Wrist Raise" is set to "Last used App". Otherwise, you have to fumble with buttons and the screen. (We expect to see Apple allowing developers to do more and as developers we will learn more to make Watch Apps better.)



Pebble: black and white e-paper screen is easy to read in daylight and aways on

Apple Watch: its beautiful colour OLED screen, it is fairly readable in daylight as long as the text is a bright colour.



Pebble: the watch updated in real time. Stats and data matched the RunGo App on the iPhone

Apple Watch: seems to have a short delay, usually less than 1 second, probably due to the Bluetooth updates.


Look and Feel:

Pebble: The Original has a unique design, but it still feels a bit like a gadget. We're excited about the Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel, which promise to offer all of Pebble's great tech with a beautiful design.

Apple Watch: Beautiful, high quality look and feel.



Pebble: The Original has amazing flexibility and has many apps but the watch is several years old. Let's see what the Time and Time Steel can do!

Apple Watch: This is the first version and the SDK is still very limited, once developers can access the Apple Watch hardware like the Taptic Engine, Heart Monitor and its other sensors I expect to see some amazing apps, especially in the Health and Fitness area.


Battery life:

Pebble: this seems to be a priority for them-- it will run for about a week.

Apple Watch: Less than 24 hours. Our two hour run used 13% of the Watch Battery. So your phone battery will probably run out before the Watch.



Pebble: Has a watch, accelerometer, compass, vibrations, and it's water resistant.

Apple: Has a watch, accelerometer, heart rate monitor, Near Field Communication, microphone, speaker, taptic engine and more.


Sex Appeal:

Pebble: Has a fun, technical design and gets a little attention.

Apple Watch: All my female running friends wanted to try the Apple Watch. It gets a lot of attention.



Both Pebble and Apple Watch are great devices, I recommend trying both, maybe not at the same time though! Pebble is available now at . As for the Apple Watch, you may have to wait awhile unless you pre-ordered one. But rest assured, you can try one for a short looped-course run at the Apple Store.