The original Pebble Smartwatch launched with disappointing results, but Pebble improved the watch software and better apps surfaced, making the it more useful. Now the company’s second effort, the Pebble Steel, brings with it some improvements over the first Pebble that put Pebble ahead of the competition.
The Pebble Steel smartwatch connects to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. Users can control their phone’s music play, the camera and silence the ringer with the press of a button. The Pebble shows notifications on the watch screen so owners don’t need to take out the phone. The apps add hundreds of functions thanks to the plentiful collection of apps in the Pebble iPhone app, and the updated Android 2.0 app will show up soon.
Here are five reasons why the Pebble Steel’s worth the higher $250 price compared to the first $150 Pebble.
Pebble Steel Looks More Like a Quality Watch
The Pebble Steel Smartwatch still won’t win a jewelry design award, meaning Rolex and Bulova can rest easy. However, the Steel looks better than the first Pebble. People can wear it without fearing ridicule from friends and family.
Despite improvements in design, it still looks bulky and we can’t imagine those with smaller wrists would want to wear it.
Pebble Improved the Apps
With the Pebble Steel comes an improved app ecosystem. The new Pebble iPhone app comes with tons of apps that will run on both Pebble Steel and the original Pebble after an updated firmware. The Android version is still in beta.
Here are eight of the best apps and watch faces to load on the Pebble Steel to make it useful. Why eight? Because that’s all a Pebble can store at a time.
- Grill Timer – includes a database of cooking times for most kinds of meat
- YWeather – a watch face that shows time, day, date, weather conditions, temperature, location, Bluetooth connection status and battery life indicator
- Score Keeper – keeps score for any sport
- FlippaCoin – no need for a quarter, just use the app
- Timer – puts a timer on the watch that counts down from 360 minutes or less
- PebbleMars – a watch face that streams images from the Mars Rover to the Pebble Steel
- Camera [Pebble Rocker] - use the watch to snap pictures on a connected smartphone or tablet
- Foursquare – check into the service from the watch
With the new Pebble Locker users can store more other apps ready to load on the watch without searching for them in the app store.
See our unboxing video below:
Two Quality Watch Bands Included
The original Pebble came with a rubber watch band. The new Pebble Steel comes with a steel band that will match either the stainless steel or matte black watch, plus a leather band. Either of the bands look great with the watch.
The proprietary design requires a user to use a tiny jeweler’s screwdriver to unscrew the post holding the back in place. Insert the new band and then screw the post back in through the tiny holes.
Pebble Steel Got Smaller
The Pebble Steel shrunk enough to make it less cumbersome. It measures 46mm long x 34mm wide x 10.5mm thick. The old one measured 52mm long x 36 mm wide x 11.5 thick.
The numerical difference seems small, but the result feels much better on the wrist.
Pebble Steel Uses Corning Gorilla Glass
The original Pebble scratched too easily. Thanks to the Corning Gorilla Glass used to make the new watch face, the Pebble Steel will last longer without getting scratched. The case also will look better longer thanks to the stainless steel material.
The Pebble Steel could serve people well if the following holds true:
- Do you like wearing watches?
- Can you wear a masculine-looking watch that doesn’t look like fine jewelry?
- Do you crave the usefulness of the apps and faces available?
- Do you have an extra $250?
If a potential Pebbler answers yes to all of those questions, then the Pebble Steel will fit perfectly into their lifestyle. One ‘no’ answer means the person should avoid the Steel.