From entry-level fitness bands to premium smartwatches, wearables are going to stay for a while. The appetite for digital bands in the India’s price-conscious market is driven by products that are usually feature-rich and do the job without burning a hole in the pocket. The Pebble Impulse and the Ubon SW-11 smartwatches fall in that category.
The overall design of both the smartwatches is inspired by the Apple Watch. Both watches have single-button touchscreen design with bezel-less square bodies curved at the edges. The strap is made of silicon with three strip holes throughout to accommodate users of varying wrist sizes. The Ubon SW-11 is available in three colours--black, black and green, and black and red—and it comes with two straps bundled in the box
Both Impulse and SW-11 have a 1.3-inch screen, but the Impulse uses a premium OLED display and the SW-11 has a somewhat less premium IPS display. Though different screens, both have decent viewing angles and good sunlight legibility. Overall, both the watches perform well in terms of design.
However, even for an entry-level smartwatch, Pebble's user interface disappoints. The fonts are too large and peppered with tired animations. In comparison, the SW-11's user interface was slick; albeit with features similar to Pebble. Both watches are light. The Ubon SW-11 weighs 36.11g, while the Impulse weighs 50 g. Both are waterproof, although the Impulse is not recommended to use while swimming.
The two smartwatches aren't shy of features. Apart from the usual suite of fitness-tracking features like step count, distance covered, and calories burned, both watches examine blood pressure rate, heart rate, and sleep quality. They even have a SO2 monitor to measure oxygen saturation level in blood.
SW-11's step counter seemed more reliable than Pebble, which seemed to be off by a count of two-three steps on occasions. However, the SW-11 also updates the same with a little lag, so that's a drawback. The heartbeat counters on both the watches seemed accurate and yielded similar results although pebble is quicker in showing results. I found the quality of sleep-analysis in both watches lagging. I'd often see even the hours I slept to be off by an hour or so.
The detailed analysis doesn't provide many other clues either, even though your sleep quality is segmented into awake, light sleep, and deep sleep.
Both smartwatches support notifications for phone calls or messages. To act on either the call or the message though, you will need to use your phone. The SW-11 also supports notifications for messages in social media like Facebook and Skype.
Both watches are compatible with iOS and Android phones. You can connect the SW-11 via "Wearfit App" through the phone. The Pebble uses Lewfun app. You can use the apps to keep a track of your historical records and see your progress, including how shy you are of your goal. Overall, I liked the Lewfun's interface and colour scheme better.
The Pebble Impulse charges in approximately two hours and the Ubon SW-11 almost three hours. Although the company claims that the Pebble can provide up to seven days of battery life, I could never use it beyond four straight days largely because I'd switch on the option to track heart rate all day even when the screen is off. The SW-11's standby backup time is seven days and it easily achieves this.
The Pebble Impulse and Ubon SW-11 are priced at Rs 1,999 and Rs 2,199. Both the smartwatches are similar in design as well as performance. Although their interface isn't the most exciting, they do offer an array of features, including the ones like SO2 monitor, which are more or less quite accurate. For beginners, these are a good smartwatches to start with.