Smartwatch shootout
Smartwatch shootout
6:29

Smartwatch shootout

Culture
-Time for a smartwatch shootout. This is obviously the hottest category in technology right now. Samsung just announced the Galaxy Gear right before we shot this. We didn't have one at press time, but it sounds like it only works with Samsung phones anyway. So, I'm testing some more universal smartwatches. The current darling of the set is the Pebble right here, comparing that with the Martian Passport. I'm trying to find out if either of those can displace my Michael Kors. So, I've been testing out the Martian Passport smartwatch and I have to say that, of all of the smartwatches that I have seen or tried out, this is obviously the prettiest. I get tons of compliments whenever I wear this. I got it in girly white, although it does come in black, but it's really attractive. It has a very sort of classic timepiece style look up here and then a small little LED notification screen and a notification light. Call Allison Tom. -Calling Allison Tom. -The pros, overall, for me, are how easy its notifications are. Basically, any app that can do notifications, you can get a little note down here, so you can get incoming texts, phone calls, tweets, Facebook messages, e-mails. Now, its big claim to fame also is that it is a two-way communicator. It actually uses voice control. When you talk to it, you're just talking to Siri or to the Android voice controls. Remind me to make a haircut appointment. That's pretty awesome and I think it's a huge selling point. Generally speaking, the whole thing is just pretty simple, right? Like, it just gives you notifications, you can talk to it if you want to, you can play music out of it. I found it pretty easy to connect via Bluetooth. So, that leads me into the cons of the Martian Passport watch. One thing I noticed with the Bluetooth connection is that it stole the Bluetooth connection from my car. So, if I was in the car and I had an incoming call or I wanted to use voice controls, I was no longer going through the in-car Bluetooth system. I was only going through the watch. One other con about this watch is that it's just a little bit finicky and some of the controls in the app are confusing. For example, I'm pretty sure I have it set to notify me when I get a text, but sometimes, it notifies me, and sometimes, it doesn't and I don't know really why it's decided not to or when it's going to. That's annoying. Also, I find that trying to check out the notifications and see what's happening on the watch is really distracting when you're driving. Like, if this thing all of a sudden starts vibrating and things start happening on the screen and you got your hands on the wheel and then you're short of time to look at this and read it and then a notification is scrolling across it like this, it's vibrating and things are ringing, and I was-- I don't know what to do. Here, I want out. All right. So, my impressions on the Pebble watch here. Now, I have to say that, when I first tried it on, I thought that it was a little cartoony probably because it had the Mario watch-face app, but then when I wore it with my orange shirt, I realized it looked kind of cool. And then, we went around the office trying it on different people and it looked cool on all of them too. I think the design is a little bit of a slow burn, but it really grew on me. And now, I really like it especially because I found this kind of stylish watch piece. One of the cool things about this watch actually is that it has multiple watch-faces built in that you can scroll through. Now, overall, I have definitely found this watch pretty easy to use. It has a lot of buttons, as you can see the ones on the side, scroll through things and bring up basic menus and it's really simple. Pairing is very easy. And then the button on the left here acts as basically a home button to back out of menus and get you back to your watch-face. One thing I don't like is that the Pebble unfortunately has a proprietary charging cable. The Martian watch charges over micro-USB, so you can use it with any charger that you already have at home. If you forget the charger on this guy, you're in trouble. So, one interesting thing about the Pebble watch is that, apparently, it's water-resistant. Now, I have found over and over that water-resistant does not mean waterproof; however, I'm hoping that it will give me a little peace of mind for basic tasks such as washing my hands in the sink, you know, you always get a little splashing to it, it got a little soap on there, get that off. You know, you gotta do like the surgeon wash like all the way up to the elbows. All right. It seems fine so far. I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm never gonna take a shower or go swimming with this thing, but I do appreciate that I can leave it on during my surgeon scrub. What I do like about this big screen is that if a long e-mail comes in, I can press the buttons on the side and actually scroll through it so I can read the whole thing. That has proven pretty handy a couple of times. I've also noticed that the Bluetooth range on this watch seems to be really good. In fact, it was working for me at one point, 30 or 40 feet away from my actual phone whereas our reviewers have said that the Martian smartwatch only works more like 10 or 12 feet away. Now, the Pebble, because it has an SDK available, has some apps. I haven't tried too many of them because they are almost all for pay, but from browsing the various apps in the App Store, it does seem like they're somewhat limited. As far as cons go for this watch and the other impact, I found the notifications very inconsistent. Sometimes, I couldn't get text messages to come through at all. Other times, I would get only text and no e-mail. One other possible con is that this watch, so far, has been hard to get. It only costs $150 which is a really good price compared to something like the Martian, but because it's been a kick-starter, some of the fulfillments have been a little bit slow. Hopefully, they'll improve on that front, but you might have to wait awhile to get your Pebble. I have to say going into this, I thought the Martian Passport was gonna be the clear winner because I like the design so much, but the Pebble won me over with its simplicity and the potential for all that functionality and not to mention this nice big screen. However, I'm gonna have to say that neither of these is actually a buy for me 'cause I'm still not sold on smartwatches. It's annoying. I don't need that much info coming in all the time. No, thank you.

Up Next

Always On Season 5 bloopers!
Always On

Up Next

Always On Season 5 bloopers!

It's the best of Always On, Season 5!
Always On

It's the best of Always On, Season 5!

High-tech wine
Always On

High-tech wine

Crushing the Lumia 1020
Crushing the Lumia 1020

Crushing the Lumia 1020

Unboxing Apple's iPhone 5S
Always On

Unboxing Apple's iPhone 5S

Episode 54: Unboxing Apple's iPhone 5S in gold
Always On

Episode 54: Unboxing Apple's iPhone 5S in gold

Episode 53: Road testing the iPhone 5C
Episode 53: Road testing the iPhone 5C

Episode 53: Road testing the iPhone 5C

Wired hotels
Wired hotels

Wired hotels

Road testing the iPhone 5C
Always On

Road testing the iPhone 5C

GoPro keeps on rolling
GoPro keeps on rolling

GoPro keeps on rolling

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?
240419-site-does-having-an-apple-watch-make-me-use-my-iphone-less-4

Did a Week With the Apple Watch Make Me Use My iPhone Less?

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones
240417-site-google-pixel-lab-exclusive-1

How Google Tests the Cameras in Its Pixel Phones

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus
240419-wtf-atlas-vs-optimus-v04

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus

What is the Fediverse?
240418-fediverse-winged

What is the Fediverse?

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission
240418-site-omt-the-core-problem-of-apples-green-goals-v1.jpg

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e
240417-site-fiat-500e-ev-drive-program-thumbnail-v3

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e

Most Popular All most popular

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)
innovation

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost
240123-site-samsung-galaxy-s24-ultra-review-4

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen
circlesearchpic

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop
asus-preces-00-00-25-11-still003

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions
samsung-galaxy-ring-clean

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024
240111-site-best-of-ces-2024-1

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024

Latest Products All latest products

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling
cnet-audiq6

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter
pic3

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar
240320-site-nuro-r3-first-look-v1

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day
240304-site-nothing-phone-2-first-look-v3

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More
240229-site-best-of-show-at-mwc

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display
240225-site-lenovo-translucent-laptop-concept-v3

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display

Latest How To All how to videos

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2
airpods-pro-2

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone
screenshot-2024-04-03-at-15-47-11.png

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features
240311-site-windows-11-hidden-tips-and-tricks-v2

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3
VisionOS 1.0.3

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra
240216-site-galaxy-s24-ultra-tips-and-hidden-features-2

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro
tiktok-on-vision-pro-clean

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro