Jan 13 AT 9:59 AM Nick Gray 7 Comments

Up close and personal with Pebble Steel

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At CES 2014, there was a lot of talk about wearables and how this new technology category will be transforming the way we interact with our smartphones and monitor our daily lives. While companies like Sony and LG were busy showing off their first generation devices in this segment, Pebble chose CES to launch Pebble Steel.

Last week we had the opportunity to sit down with Myriam Joire, product evangelist at Pebble, to talk about the new Pebble Steel. In Myriam’s own words, the Pebble Steel looks “pretty damn awesome” and we happen to agree. The plastic shell and band from the original Pebble have been replaced with a CNC machined chassis and Gorilla Glass protected display, givek g the new smartwatch a high-end jewelry feel–something that the original Pebble lacked. Whether you choose the Brushed Stainless or Black Matte finish, the Pebble Steel will be paired with a matching metal band and black leather strap. The Pebble Steel includes an LED notification light that shows the watch’s charging status when it is plugged in, but Pebble is also planning to give developers access to the LED light in the future so that it can be used to accompany notifications from specific apps.

Functionality between Pebble Steel and the original Pebble is identical. The smartwatch displays notifications from Android and iOS devices, allowing you to keep your phone tucked away in your pocket. The only advantage that the Pebble Steel has is a boost of internal storage, which allows you to install roughly double the number of applications. The new Pebble SDK 2.0 launched in late 2013 and is highlighted by apps from FourSquare, Yelp, GoPro, Pandora, ESPN and Mercedes. These Pebble apps allow for basic interactions such as: finding new restaurants, checking in at various locations, quickly finding the score of your favorite team or controlling your music without pulling your phone out of your pocket. Pebble owners should see quite a few more applications once the Pebble App Store launches.

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Pebble Steel carries a price tag of $249, making it $100 more than the original Pebble and $50 less than the Samsung Galaxy Gear. The first batch of Pebble Steel smartwatches will ship January 28. If you didn’t place your order until a few days after the Pebble Steel was announced, your device will probably not ship until mid-February or even later, due to the overwhelming number of pre-orders Pebble has already received.

You can be sure there will be a lot more Pebble Steel coverage from us once we get our hands on a review unit later this month.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    Man, when I first saw Pebble Steel I wanted one immediately, even though I prefer wearing traditional watches, but since this looks more like a traditional watch, well…

    Anyway, then Razer comes out with the Nabu. I really want to be more motivated in being active and a smartwatch and fitness band seem like overkill. I guess it will come down to how well the Nabu will work and the price.

    This post just makes me lean more towards a Pebble Steel though…

  • thekaz

    I was keeping my eye on the Agent smart watch, but after I saw the Pebble Steel, I may change my mind. While lacking the wireless charging of the Agent, the magnetic charger seems fine. Combine that with the fact that Pebble has been doing this for a while (and the fact that I have a birthday coming up), I may be getting a Steel…

    Wish the price was a bit lower, but I don’t know if I can wait 6 months for the price to drop.

  • amgala

    The Pebble Steel looks beautiful, but since I just got a Galaxy Note 3, I’m going to wait for the Galaxy Gear 2 to come out in April before buying a smartwatch.

  • aranea

    They nailed the looks. I just need to justify spending the money for a smartwatch right now.

  • Albert Martínez

    I’m really happy with my Pebble https://getpebble.com/?rc=wmfUCJ
    Not only it has a wide range of functionalities that will go wider with the app store, but it’s comfortable and cool and it has a display and battery better than Galaxy Gear.

  • donger

    Looks nice.

  • Kevin Marriott

    Pebble was cool when it came out as the 1st smart watch. But with all the smart watches that are out now put it to shame!