Affordable smartwatches aren’t always very good looking, and devices that are priced under Rs. 5,000 are usually quite simple when it comes to design and the type of display used. However, the product I’m reviewing here wants to be the exception to the trend. The Pebble Cosmos Luxe is a new eye-catching smartwatch that tries to stand out among the competition, despite being priced affordably at Rs. 3,999 in India.
With a 1.36-inch round AMOLED display, Bluetooth calling capability, and sensors to measure steps, heart rate, and SpO2 levels, the Pebble Cosmos Luxe looks impressive on paper too. Does this affordably-priced smartwatch measure up to expectations, and can its looks help it stand out in the crowded budget segment? Find out in this review.
Pebble Cosmos Luxe design
The Pebble Cosmos Luxe stands out in this price segment for a couple of reasons. The round screen and polished finish on the casing immediately grabs your attention, as does the 1.36-inch AMOLED display. The two buttons on the right side, including one that looks and functions like the crown of a traditional mechanical watch, add to the attractive look and feel of the Cosmos Luxe.
The left side of the Pebble Cosmos Luxe has a grille for the speaker, which can be used for audio when paired to a smartphone using Bluetooth. The underside of the smartwatch has the optical sensors for health and fitness tracking, and contact points for the magnetic charging pin. The smartwatch is IP67-rated for dust and water resistance, and can therefore handle significant exposure to the elements. It can even be used for swimming in shallow water.
The rubber strap that comes with the smartwatch looks a bit out of place as compared to the rest of the device, but it is removable and replaceable with standard aftermarket 22mm watch straps. The bundled strap is completely waterproof and I found it comfortable to wear, with plenty of adjustment points to ensure a proper fit.
There’s a microphone placed alongside the two buttons on the right side of the Pebble Cosmos Luxe. The primary button or the crown controls power, opens the app drawer, and also lets you go back to the home screen. You can rotate the crown to scroll through menus, wherever possible. The second, smaller button takes you directly to the workout menu, and can also be used to quickly start the default walking workout tracking.
The Pebble Cosmos Luxe weighs 50g as per the product listing on Flipkart. It has a 1.36-inch 390×390-pixel round AMOLED display with a peak brightness of 600 nits. There is also Bluetooth 5 for connectivity, and sensors for step tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and SpO2 monitoring. Included in the sales package is the charging cable which plugs into a USB Type-A port, but no wall adapter.
The review unit sent to me seemed to have a slightly misaligned display as it was mildly turned in the anti-clockwise direction, but enough for me to notice it. This looked a bit strange, but it didn’t affect the functioning of the device in any way to hamper this review.
Pebble Cosmos Luxe software and app
Budget smartwatches tend to use a fairly basic software system for functionality and rely on the Bluetooth connection with the smartphone for synchronisation and other connectivity features. The Pebble Cosmos Luxe has its own software to cover core functionality, including controlling the watch faces, fitness and health tracking, and Bluetooth connectivity for calls with a paired smartphone.
Making good use of the AMOLED display, the Pebble Cosmos Luxe has an always-on mode which displays the time on the screen even when the watch is in standby, and you can choose between an analogue or digital version of the time and date. You can also turn it off if you want to improve battery life, but I found it nice to have it on to quickly check the time.
The screen can be normally woken with a lift-to-wake gesture or by pressing one of the buttons, as tapping the screen doesn’t activate it, unfortunately. The lift-to-wake gesture worked properly most of the time, but there were occasions where I had to press one of the buttons to wake the screen. You can also access toggles for the quick settings by swiping down from top to bottom. Notifications from supported apps can be accessed by swiping upwards from the bottom to the top on the screen. Finally, key apps can be found with a left to right swipe gesture, and widgets for select apps is available by swiping from right to left.
The built-in apps on the Pebble Cosmos Luxe include telephone, contacts, workout, workout records, heart rate, sleep, blood pressure, blood oxygen, stress, messages, weather, music, and various tools such as calculator and stopwatch. It isn’t possible to install any more apps on the smartwatch, and most of the existing apps work either on their own or by linking with the FitCloudPro app using Bluetooth.
The telephone app lets you use the watch as a wireless hands-free device for your smartphone. The contacts app lets you select your ‘favourite’ contacts for a quick call, the dialler lets you directly dial numbers, and the call records app maintains details of phone calls. There is also a voice assistant app that relies on Bluetooth connectivity to work with your phone, but this didn’t work when I tried it.
The FitCloudPro companion app handles the connection between the smartphone and Pebble Cosmos Luxe. You can use it to customise the settings, choose which apps to receive notifications from, and link it with your Google Fit data, among other things.
The app also synchronises and stores fitness data from the smartwatch and can be used to quickly activate all the sensors to get a combined report of your heart rate, stress level, blood pressure, and blood oxygen, which I found very useful. It’s a good app on the whole, and I didn’t face any connection issues during my time with the Pebble Cosmos Luxe.
A long-press on the home screen of the Pebble Cosmos Luxe lets you change the watch face, with nine pre-loaded watch faces already on the device. You can choose a tenth watch face from the companion app and load it onto the device, but just one of these post-loaded watch faces can be stored on the watch at a time. However, it can be changed quickly and easily whenever you like.
Most of the pre-loaded watch faces are decent and suit the sophisticated look of the watch, although a couple of these were a bit strange in appearance. The FitCloudPro app (available for iOS and Android) has a large collection of watch faces which can be loaded onto the Pebble Cosmos Luxe, so you have plenty of options for customisation.
Pebble Cosmos Luxe performance and battery life
The Pebble Cosmos Luxe is a smartwatch like most others in the affordable price segment, but tries to differentiate itself with its design and AMOLED display. The screen is indeed the most impressive feature of this smartwatch, allowing for easy visibility and legibility of the time and other data on the screen, including being able to view notifications clearly.
The always-on mode and the colour levels were good, but a typical benefit of AMOLED displays — deep blacks — weren’t really visible on the Pebble Cosmos Luxe. This is because the user interface seemed to always illuminate even the black colours rather than allowing the individual pixels to switch off, thus to some extent negating a key feature of the smartwatch. That said, the sharpness and detail in the screen still makes the display tech worthwhile on this smartwatch.
Many of the included watch faces are well designed with animated seconds hand in analogue faces, and have live widgets for certain data such as steps, heart rate, weather, and battery levels. However, the widgets aren’t interactive, so you’ll still have to open the apps through the app list to access detailed data and statistics on the watch itself.
Although visibly design-focused, the Pebble Cosmos Luxe also claims to be a capable device for fitness tracking thanks to what the company claims are the “best sensors” in the product class. That said, I didn’t experience any extraordinarily better tracking on the Cosmos Luxe than I did on most other devices in this price segment. The Cosmos Luxe had roughly the same error margins and drawbacks that I’ve seen on devices such as the Realme Watch 2 Pro and Just Corseca Ray Kanabis.
There are various workout modes optimised for tracking activity according to those workouts, with common ones such as walking, running, climbing, swimming, and cycling, as well as other sports such as basketball, badminton, football, and volleyball. For my review, I stuck to tracking my walking workouts, as well as climbing stairs.
When manually counting 1,000 steps, the Pebble Cosmos Luxe counted 1,042 steps, an error margin of a little over four percent. This rose to around 65 extra steps per 1,000 over longer distances, when compared to the Apple Watch Series 5. Measurements of distance were roughly the same as that of the Apple Watch, while calculations of calories burnt were strangely much higher on the Pebble Cosmos Luxe for the same workout.
Heart rate tracking was fairly accurate when compared to an accurate pulse oximeter and Apple Watch while standing still or sitting down. However, heart rate readings were all over the place when walking, and blood oxygen readings rarely ever matched what I saw on the pulse oximeter. The Pebble Cosmos Luxe also provides blood pressure readings, but as I’ve advised before in various reviews, relying on measurements from a smartwatch’s optical sensors for this isn’t recommended.
A major feature on the Pebble Cosmos Luxe is the ability to use the smartwatch as a hands-free device for calls. Like other smartwatches with this feature in this price segment, the Cosmos Luxe pairs with your smartphone in the same was a Bluetooth headset or speaker would, and can therefore be used even to play music on your wrist, if you like. It worked well for calls if I held the watch up near my mouth, and is suitable for short, quick calls. For longer calls, the sound quality and usage method weren’t too comfortable.
The Pebble Cosmos Luxe also has apps for various useful tools, including a remote for music playback on your smartphone, alarm clock, stopwatch, timer, calculator, and a way to ring your smartphone to help find it. Push notifications worked reliably for the apps I selected, sleep tracking was fairly accurate with specific details for light and deep sleep, and connectivity was stable during my time with the smartwatch.
Battery life on the Pebble Cosmos Luxe is decent enough for the price, with the smartwatch running for around five days on a single charge with regular use, including frequent fitness tracking, occasional use of the Bluetooth hands-free mode, and the always-on display mode active.
In a price segment where options are plentiful, the Pebble Cosmos Luxe tries to stand out with its good design, AMOLED display, and sensible pricing. It largely succeeds at this and offers a generally good budget smartwatch experience, although the software and interface aren’t very well optimised to take advantage of the display technology. Additional features such as Bluetooth hands-free functionality and plenty of good watch faces to choose from make this a worthwhile pick under Rs. 5,000.
The Pebble Cosmos Luxe is somewhat held back by the lack of fitness tracking accuracy, and I’d recommend looking at the Mi Band 6 or Realme Watch 2 Pro if you’re looking for better fitness tracking accuracy in this price segment. That said, the design and Bluetooth calling function of the Cosmos Luxe more than makes up for this to justify the price.