iFixit Completes Teardown of the Pebble E-Paper Watch [PICS]

The folks over at iFixit have completed a teardown of the Pebble e-paper watch, one of the most successful Kickstarter projects in history, started by Canadian Eric Migicovsky, a former RIM employee.

iFixit notes in their teardown there is no repairability scale yet on the watch, but they did say replacing parts would be difficult given the watch is sealed tight with adhesive to keep it airtight for its water seal. For those interested in tech specs, here’s what was found inside the Pebble:

  • Micron N25Q032A11ESE40F 32 Mb serial flash
  • STMicroelectronics STM32F205RE high-performance ARM Cortex-M3 MCU, with a maximum speed of 120 MHz

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Interestingly enough, iFixit found a Texas Instruments chip–that doesn’t support Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which contradicts a feature touted by Pebble in their #10 project update:

All Pebble watches will support Bluetooth 2.1 (as before) as well as Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy)

We probably won’t enable Bluetooth 4.0 at launch, but we’ll turn it on with software at a later date. (via a free upgrade).

We made sure that the Bluetooth module that we’re using had a ‘drop-in’ upgrade option to BT 4.0. We’ve already placed a large order for the 4.0-enabled module, and it will have no effect on our timeline.

We’ve reached out to Pebble for comment on this issue for clarification and will update this post.

After iFixit voiced concerns about old, broken watches eventually laying to waste, Pebble responded it has future plans in place for a responsible recycling program.

The first batch of Pebble watches started shipping in late January, the same day the Pebble iOS app was released in the App Store. We got our hands on our Kickstarter Edition Pebble a while back and will publish our review shortly. Stay tuned.

Have you received your Pebble watch yet? Thoughts so far?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • still waiting on mine. I’m very curious about this bluetooth issue. I hope there is a logical explanation or an over-looked part or something.

  • Guest

    Hey you must have made a mistake about the chip. I was reading thru it and ifixit claims that it has this chip from TI in step 12 http://www.ti.com/product/cc2564 which both ifixit and TI claim do BT 4.0 BLE

  • Guest

    oops then I reread the very next step… my bad

  • Solublepeter

    Pleased with mine so far- with the caveat that there is still much work to do on the software side. You cant do that much with it yet, and the SDK is not yet available (which would certainly help) but the basic construction is good and I get a lot of use from the music controls that it does feature.

  • Farids

    iFixit is right. I got curious about Pebble claim that they will enable BT 4.0 via software upgrade, so, I disregarded the Ti published manual and even checked a little into the CC2560A chip internal schematics, whatever little bit I could find and did a few calculations. I may be wrong as I haven’t done this for a decade and then some (and I may have the wrong the specs and design for BT 4.0 reference board as these are considered old school and are no longer disclosed), but from what I gather, CC2560A does not support BT 4.0 at all. It’s not even a disabled feature that can be enabled later. It has a lot in common with CC256, but is an older generation and totally lacks the circuit in the design, unless, it’s a later unannounced revision of CC2560A or a custom order and has it added. I’ve seen it happen before. Ti could be taking a CC256, disabling some features not in CC2560A, leaving BT 4.0, stamping it CC2560A Rev.x and giving it to Pebble. Or else, Pebble has to do a recall sometime soon.

  • Kimono

    FCC (Federal Communication Commission) has been provided with the “BT 4.0 disabled” declaration because they have a RF exposure problem (users need to stay away from 2.5cm of the watch to use it with BT 2.1). Possible or not, they could not break their FCC rules. They should leave it deactivated.

  • Leonis

    Pebble website talk about a 140mAh battery but inside you will find a 120mAh battery. Another error …

  • We’re still waiting to hear back from Pebble on these issues.