Category Archives: Pebble Time

Garmin Forerunner 35 Review

With the loss of the ability to sync with macOS High Sierra and long GPS acquisition times, I figured it was finally time to replace my Garmin Forerunner 305. Since Fitbit is shutting down most Pebble services, I figured I might as well replace my Pebble Time as well. I settled on the Garmin Forerunner 35 as an inexpensive smartwatch and exercise GPS with heart rate monitoring.

After two weeks with the Forerunner 35, I’m satisfied but not thrilled. It’s convenient going to a single device; however, it isn’t as good of a smartwatch or running GPS as the dedicated devices it replaces.


  • Great Battery Life – After 10 days and 3×30 minute runs using GPS, the battery is still reading 25%
  • Fast GPS acquisition – When I step outside it’s usually less than 10 seconds to acquire GPS
  • Easy synchronization – synchronizing activities with a phone over Bluetooth is much more convenient than a USB connection


  • Limited (almost no) customization:
    • Watch Face – The watch face only shows the battery, time and date. It cannot be customized (other than converting it from digital to analog)
    • Widgets – information screens (notifications, steps, weather, etc.) cannot be reordered
    • Notifications – There is no way to filter notifications. Selecting specific apps to show up on my Pebble was one of my favorite features
    • Exercise information – There are 4 screens of 3 fields for each. Fortunately these can be configured; however, they are not labeled. If you don’t have all screens configured, you still have to scroll through blank screens
  • Controls – Everything is controlled through the 4 physical buttons. There is only a down button for scrolling, so you have to scroll through everything if you hit down an extra time
  • Vibrator – I hear the vibration more than I feel it. I think it sounds cheap

Customizing Pebble Time Notifications on iOS

This was tested on Pebble Time HW 8.12 (snowy22), Pebble Time FW v3.2, Pebble Time app v3.1, iOS 8.4, and an iPhone 6.

The latest Pebble guide I could fine for setting up notifications on iOS (May 13, 2015) is not accurate, making it a trial and error exercise to customize notifications that get pushed to the watch.

Notifications are not dependent on the "Show on Lock Screen" setting or the "Alert Style" settings stated in the article. Alerts on the Pebble Time are actually tied to what appears in the Notification Center.

To disable notifications from a particular app, go to Settings → Notifications → <app> → Show in Notification Center → No Recent Items. When this is set to 1, 5, or 10, notifications will show up on your Pebble.

Security Note: If you’ve turned off the "Show Previews" option so text messages an email contents are not displayed on the Lock Screen, the message contents will still be displayed on the Pebble Time since it pulls content directly from the Notification Center.

Pebble Time with iOS Review

7/22/15 Update: Items addressed in FW version 3.2 (released July 22, 2015) have been struck out.

This applies to Pebble Time HW 8.12 (snowy22), Pebble Time FW v3.1, Pebble Time app v3.1, iOS 8.4, and an iPhone 6.

I’ve been using my Pebble Time for about two weeks. It works great as a convenient notification/reminder device. Even though it is marketed as a "smartwatch" it is by no means, a smartphone replacement.


  • Long battery life – I still charge my watch every night, but it has never reported under 90% charge.
  • Subtle notifications – I find the small vibrations more noticeable than a phone.
  • Convenient Calendar Access – pressing down quickly shows me the next appointment on my calendar.
  • Lightweight (1.4 oz. with band, 0.8 oz. without band)
  • Good range – I reliably receive notifications when I am at the at or beyond the "typical" Bluetooth range of 10m.


  • Dim Backlight – the backlight provides minimal illumination
  • Reflective Glass – glare on the glass makes the screen difficult to read at many angles
  • Dependence on the built in iOS Calendar app

Areas for Improvement

These are items that Pebble could improve with a simple Firmware update.

  • Customizable Backlight Timer – the backlight only stays on for about 3 seconds.
  • On Demand Do Not Disturb Activation – when going into a movie or important meeting, I’d like a simple option to turn off all notifications
  • Snooze on calendar notifications

Other Thoughts

I have not had any connectivity problems between my Pebble Time and my phone. I have not had to re-pair it or had any issues due to walking out of range of my phone.