06
Jan
pebblethumb

Smartwatch fans now have a new Pebble to drool over: the Pebble Steel. This is functionally identical to the original pebble, but it's smaller, thinner, and of course comes in a steel wrapper. This new model of the Pebble comes in black or silver colors and demands a $100 premium over the standard plastic model, retailing for an impressive $249.

Pebble Steel comes with a matching metal band and a bonus leather band, custom made for the unique head (which may not work with interchangeable watch bands). The plastic cover from the original is replaced with Corning Gorilla Glass - not as strong or scratch-proof as synthetic sapphire found on some watch crystals, but much, much better than the previous model. It also has an integrated LED light to indicate charging status.

pebble led

Here's the LED indicator light. Right now it's locked to charging status, but eventually it may be opened up to developers.

140106C.Steel-Trio

Underneath that shiny exterior, it's the same old Pebble smartwatch that the company has been slowly improving over the last year. Pebble will be showing off more partner apps and a look at the Pebble App Store later at CES. Those in the US can order Pebble Steel at GetPebble.com starting today, and orders will begin shipping on January 28th.

Las Vegas, NV (January 6, 2014) – Pebble Steel, the premium watch for iOS and Android, is the newest addition to Pebble’s smartwatch family. Proudly announced today just in time for CES, Pebble Steel wraps everything users know and love about Pebble—clear ePaper display, week-long battery life, and waterproof design—into a slimmer, classic form factor. Available now in Black Matte or Brushed Stainless exclusively on getpebble.com for $249, worldwide shipments of Pebble Steel will begin January 28.

“With Pebble, we created an iconic, colorful, and sporty smartwatch,” says Product Evangelist Myriam Joire, “but we wanted to build something even more refined. Pebble Steel cranks the style dial to 11.”

Pebble Steel unites modern technology and timeless design, coming in two finishes: Brushed Stainless and Black Matte. All models are bundled with both a matching metal band and a black leather strap. The Black Matte Pebble Steel is crafted using a process called Physical Vapor Deposition to provide a tactile, deep black finish that’s also ultra-durable. Pebble Steel’s ePaper display is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass lens with an oleophobic, anti-fingerprint coating. The housing also subtly incorporates a RGB LED light to indicate charge status. Like the original Pebble, Pebble Steel is waterproof up to 5 ATM.

“Our mission is clear,” says CEO Eric Migicovsky. “Create the gold standard for wearables that mesh perfectly with your everyday life, and build the fundamental ecosystem and platform for these devices.”

During CES 2014, Pebble partners Pandora, iControl, and Mercedes-Benz will feature Pebble Steel in hands-on demos of their new Pebble app integrations. These pioneering brands join ESPN, Yelp, Foursquare, and GoPro as part of Pebble’s growing app family, ready to bring tiny moments of awesome to Pebblers’ wrists every day.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

    So want.

    • Kart2020

      The Pebble is still a premium price to pay for a smartwatch with a fairly low resolution black and white display with no touchscreen -- an alternative is the new SmartQ Z-Watch -- which compares to the Sony Galaxy smartwatch in terms of high end features but at nearly half the price.

      The new SmartQ Z-Watch ($155) -- offers an innovative smartwatch from Smart Devices, a company that introduced the world's first tablet with a built in DLP projector - winning a prestigious 2013 CTIA E-Tech Award; and now its Smart Q Z-watch is gaining notice for its features and design, and offering a high-performance 1 Ghz processor, a super high resolution color touchscreen display; and works with Android smartphones -- with an O/S update to work with Apple's iOS available at the end of January. Smart Devices is also launching an App store this month, after accepting hundreds of developer applications in November...

      One source for the new SmartQ Z-Watch is -- Tab l et Sp r int-- which also adds in an MP3 earphone kit as part of an introductory promotion; plus features an aluminum band strap for $25 that gives the Z-Watch a premium look.

  • iandouglas

    If it's made of steel, why is it waterproof? I'd much rather have a non-waterproof model with a more standard micro USB charger (of which I have several dozen) than to have a proprietary cable.

    Did you guys happen to see whether the cable is at least the same as the original Pebble?

    • http://www.allankintz.com ack154

      Based on the images and video, there's no way it's the same as the original cable. And given the size required to fit a micro-usb port on something like this, I'd much rather have a proprietary connector (and I think magnetic is perfect for this).

      • Lancer Shade

        Based on my experience and the shown visual, i can say NO. But magnetic cable is way good. It just clip to the watch.

    • DanieleMnn

      From the Verge video they say that the cable is different.

    • Lancer Shade

      Proprietary with water resist ability is priceless. Im wearing the Pebble 1.0 right now and i can tell u it's awesome. U can get galaxy watch for non water resistant and short life 1-2 days battery or even get Hotwatch which is also non water resist. I need this water resist feature also for running because it always rain unexpectedly in my region

  • Janis Elfert

    "Due to customs restrictions, at this time we are unable to ship to Germany. We are working to resolve these issues, so please check back soon." Can't they just put a fucking german instructions guide in there? Is it THAT hard?

    • ProductFRED

      Customs restrictions on electronics usually have to do with laws and certifications. I'm not really sure why you think the instructions guide is the issue.

      • Janis Elfert

        As far as I know pebble has yet to add a "Konformitätserklärung" to their packaging as it is required in Germany for every wireless product. The "Zoll" did also point out that products should ship with a german instructions guide. As you may know there is a "CE" label on the device, but there is some kind of paper missing ("Konformitätserklärung") in package. The pebble team had a year of time to add that little piece of paper.

  • http://friskychatter.com/ _jsw_

    At this price point, I'll wait to see what Google and Apple announce. I like my Kickstarter Orange one, and the only thing I'd really add to it is the Gorilla Glass. It's not that I don't like steel or whatnot, and I like the LED light for its potential... but it's not worth $250 for me to basically just upgrade the case and get an LED.

    • Grayson Carr

      I don't think this is targeting people who already own the original. If you bought the original, you were probably already at least somewhat happy with how it looked. I think they're going after people who passed on the original Pebble because they like fancier watches.

  • ChainsawCharlie

    OK now its starting to look like something I would have on my arm.

    • Matthew Fry

      Yeah, wow. It's amazing what a metal finish will do. Now all I need is them to bump up the screen resolution and that's something I'd possibly buy.

  • kpjimmy

    So ordered! LOL I have a KS black version I have been modding since I got it. Having the SDK2.0 Beta 4 already on the current pebble and loving it! I also have the widebody brown leather strap (also from kickstarter) and a gadgetwraps overlay with screen protector that saved the face many of times from scuffs and scratches. Being that I work in an office environment this is a welcomed addition to a watch horder(not really a collector) like me :). And $250 is still cheap for a watch. I have a handmade $500 coming soon and that one is white and stainless, so this would be a great compliment in matte black for me.

    I just like the way Pebble is being developed and hope it continues like it is.

    • Lancer Shade

      Pebble customer service is great. Not like Touch Time i bought earlier in October 2012. Donald Brewer still havent ship any of the Touch Time watch until today 7 Jan 2014 which is now way behind technology of the wearables. Im sad on that part . Luckily bought Pebble to ease my tension of waiting the Touch Time. Anyway Pebble is really nice watch that i cant live without it.

  • yankeesusa

    The look is really nice. But the price will keep me away permanently. I'd rather buy the sony smartwatch at 199. Especially when it was only 160 couple days ago which will probably happen again.

  • Jeff

    Is there a bump in pixel resolution in the new design as well? Also, is there any back light for night use?

    • Niall Burnes

      No. There has always been a back light.

    • Lancer Shade

      It also has this auto flick light function just in case you were driving but need a quick glance with quick flick in the dark.

  • MeCampbell30

    The smartwatch is really only going to be useful to me when the display is always on.

    • djuniah

      The display is always on with a pebble. The backlight can turn on/off with a flick of your wrist, but it's completely readable in anything but complete darkness.
      Source: There's one on my wrist.

      • Matthew Fry

        I don't know... only one?

  • Wazzifer

    Still ugly.

  • didibus

    Awesome, pebble is looking good.

  • Rodney Figueroa

    And right there, that price point makes it cost up there with a Nexus 7?

    I'm not sure if I'm okay with this.

  • twistkill

    Why does the watch face have to scream "pebble"? Why can it not be etched/printed on the left side where there is only one button? One, it screws up the horizontal symmetry and two, it looks tacky. Less is more!

  • Falconator

    As amazing as this looks, given the beating my current watch gets, I'd prefer this model in a plastic form similar to the original. If they can make that happen, I will happily make a purchase!!!

  • Lou

    Smart Watches are on their way to being obsolete anyways with the consumer arrival of Glass approaching this year.

    The future is Glass, people!

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