Pebble Steel Review
The launch of Pebble Steel coincides with the release of the 2.0 firmware and the refreshed companion app, Pebble appstore in toe. On the watch you won’t find much different; there have been some tweaks to the software and interface with each of the frequent updates Pebble has put out over the year and we expect this to continue. The biggest new addition is that you can now recall previously dismissed notifications, but in general everything feels familiar. The new firmware is available across the Pebble lineup, meaning that you won’t have to get the Steel to get all the new features.
The Android and iOS app has been completely reworked, with the new Pebble appstore baked in. The Android version isn’t officially live yet, so we’ve been using the beta version which is fully functional but still has a few wrinkles to be ironed out. The appstore works as advertised, allowing users to like apps and watchfaces and therefore promote them towards the top. There are some big names available, like FourSquare, Yelp, ESPN and GoPro as well as thousands of entries from smaller developers. The watch itself can hold 8 faces and/or apps at a time, but within the app you have a digital locker where you can store ones you’re not currently using. Switching apps between the watch and locker is very simple, simply tap the app and choose Unload or Load.
We’ve been using Pebble as our daily watch since we first reviewed it nearly a year ago, but there were times when we’d have to slip our Seiko back on because Pebble just didn’t fit the occasion. While the Seiko is a very nice watch, we immediately missed the functionality Pebble offered. Despite increasing competition, Pebble remains as a leader in the red-hot smartwatch field and Steel adds a much needed new dimension to their offering. It is a classier alternative to the original, and by offering both models Pebble has most user needs covered. The $250 price tag looks a bit steep, but for the everyday convenience Pebble offers it is certainly justifiable.
The Pebble Steel is not the next generation Pebble that we are eagerly waiting for, it is simply a more attractive offering. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing; Pebble has been able to exceed in this space where so many others have failed because they continue to keep it simple. With Pebble Steel, simple simply looks better.
- Premium materials make it appropriate for dressier occasions
- Gorilla Glass and 5ATM waterproofing make it tough enough for everyday use
- Price may be too high
- Non-standard watch band
1. XperiaOptimusOne (unregistered)
Really love the classic masculine design. Too bad I'm not a watch person.
2. Avenger827 (Posts: 46; Member since: 19 Jan 2014)
Great smartwatch,certainly better than galaxy gear.
10. KillgoreTroutTime (Posts: 211; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)
I like the Gear and think the 2nd Gear will be pretty cool, especially if it will work with most Android phones. I also love the Pebble, I have the original and wear it daily. I also think the Steel has really improved the design. I am just excited about how companies are really trying to compete in the wearable tech market.
4. SleepingOz (unregistered)
I certainly appreciate the more classic design they came with this time but still, I think that it could have looked much better.
7. E.S.1 (Posts: 289; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)
How does this work? Does it connect to my android phone?
And where can I get it?
8. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5555; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
yeah, i'm real excited to get my Matte Black one.
11. schinnak (Posts: 81; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
Sorry - but what kind of a review is this? What about battery life and other software features like notifications etc? Instead they just mentioned about the display and some apps? and then came up with a rating of 8.5? wth !
12. Brian.K (Posts: 2; Member since: 20 Dec 2012)
For a more in-depth look at the software side check out our original Pebble review, or the Pebble Redux followup. We did cover the new software features that debuted along side Steel, but the Steel is largely a hardware change which is what this review is.