Geek break: smartwatches, part X (returning Pebble Steel)

Sadly, my bargain Pebble Steel has enough small annoyances that I'm disinclined to wear it, so I'll be returning it. These things are so minor as to seem as if I'm picking nits, but really, that's what we geeks do: play with things we don't need and then complain about them.

The main issue is the frequency of Bluetooth dropping. I live in a 700-square-foot house and can't go from couch to bathroom without the connection dropping, which I mention not because I need a connected smartwatch in the bathroom but because that's just not a convenient radius for being near my phone. It does eventually reconnect, even on its own if you let it, but if I expect to get notifications on my watch, I need to GET notifications on my watch: not keep checking to see if it's connected.

The other issue, only slightly secondary to the first, is that the pedometer function is seriously crippled. The Pebble apps that sync with iPhone apps made me look really good by increasing the step count while I sat there and watched, but I didn't find one that conveyed anything in the ballpark of accuracy except for a Pebble-only app that resets itself each day and each time you reboot the device (which you will do a lot if you have Bluetooth issues). Whine, whine...but this is a huge part of why I want one of these things to begin with. If it doesn't work and work well, it's not worth it.

I could spend time ruminating over whether to buy an Apple Watch, but let's be honest with ourselves. I'll be poised on the Apple Store with 1Password unlocked and ready to hand over my information the second they're available for order. Turns out the heart rate tracking and fitness tracking ARE worth an extra $150 to me.