Pebble Steel now shipping for $249, shows smartwatches don’t have to be geeky

January 28, 2014
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Pebble Steel, the second generation of the popular e-ink smartwatch, is now shipping.

Launched at CES Las Vegas, Pebble brings more than a touch of class to the smartwatch arena. With its sleek stainless steel design and choice of either a metal or a leather strap, the Pebble Steel is a class above the original Pebble, which sported a much more utilitarian look and was made of plastic. In fact, the Pebble Steel outclasses most other smartwatches out there when it comes to looks, including Samsung’s much-hyped Galaxy Gear.

It’s not all good looks – the Pebble Steel is protected by scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, appeasing one of the main issues that owners had with the original Pebble. The Steel maintains the five atmosphere water resistance rating of its predecessor and the same monochrome e-ink display, but comes with an LED indicator for battery levels and a shrunk down magnetic charging slot. The battery should be good for five to seven days, depending on your usage.

In essence, the Pebble Steel is just a prettier, more fashionable version of the original device, meaning that software and apps are identical. The software has been updated on both devices, and Pebble launched an official app store that should make it really easy to find nice watch faces and apps for your toy.

The Pebble Steel is available in Matte Black and Brushed Steel, and each watch comes with a metallic and a leather strap. Note however, that, unlike its predecessor, you won’t be able to easily change straps to match your style, because the Pebble Steel has a non-standard fitting size.

The Steel ships today for $249, though according to the website quantities are “very limited”. You will have to pay a $100 premium over the first-gen Pebble, which remains available for sale.

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