iFixit Tears Down the Pebble Smartwatch, Finds It Virtually Unrepairable

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News Posted: Thu, Mar 14 2013 12:38 PM
The Pebble smartwatch first gained attention when it raised millions on Kickstarter; plenty of folks were interested in the smartphone companion that let users control several apps and receive notifications all from the convenient controls of a fashionable timepiece. Now, the product is nearly ready to ship, and the cool cats at iFixit got their hands on a Pebble and ripped it apart, as they are wont to do.

They found a waterproof (up to 50 meters) device with a 144x168 display of black and white e-paper, a vibrating motor, a 3-axis accelerometer with gesture detection, and low-energy Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR and 4.0 for connectivity that is exceedingly difficult to repair.

iFixit Pebble

There are no screws on the top surface, so iFixit had to heat the glue to loosen it and pry the display off--which ruined the screen. The whole of the Pebble’s guts are neatly encased in a single tiny box. There’s a ribbon cable surrounding the box that contains the smartwatch’s four buttons controls, three LEDs, and BT 2.1 antenna, which it makes replacing any single component an impossibility. The actual physical spring-loaded buttons could be replaced individually, though.

iFixit Pebble

The bottom line is that the Pebble is well made in that the display won’t come off or leak without a fight, and the interior components and layout look to be neat and tidy. The downside of such tight construction is that you really won’t be able to fix or replace much inside the Pebble, but hey, you probably aren’t going to be messing with it much anyway.
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3vi1 replied on Thu, Mar 14 2013 1:10 PM

Well, the band is replaceable, and that's the most likely component to break. :)

I think this watch is aimed at people that are going to want to be constantly upgrading to the newest version anyway, if it breaks outside of warranty.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?


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I don't think to many watches are made to be able to be torn apart easily. Especially if they are waterproof, they tend not to be after just having the battery replaced.

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